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Anesthesiology vs. Radiology Salaries

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by gasdoc, Jun 6, 2002.

  1. gasdoc

    gasdoc Member
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    This is just out of curiosity. Does anyone have a good idea of the STARTING and EXPERIENCED (i.e. several years of practice) for ANESTHESIOLOGISTS AND RADIOLOGISTS?

    From what I understand, at this point in time, NEW ANESTHESIOLOGISTS are commanding staring salaries in the mid 200K's to 300K's per year, depending on location. The California/West Coast and East Coast as well as the poor South tends to be on the lower end. I have good sources from other residents starting out in Southern California (one of the most saturated markets b/c of oversupply of docs) that they were getting low-mid 200K's.

    As for experienced anesthesiologists, it runs from the mid 200K's to whatever (I heard figures of 500K, 700K, 900K, etc.). But, I think the average for experienced anesthesiologists are in the range of the mid-high 200Ks to the mid 300Ks.

    As for radiologists, I believe the salaries are similar to begin, probably a few 10K more. Experienced radiologists make mid 200K's to 400Ks and up. But, I don't know the radiology side as well.

    Now, those who will start shouting for that I am greedy and whatever...SHUT UP. I am just as empathetic and compassionate as the average doc. I just want to know some realistic figures on the market. We all have huge loans and families/future families and mortages, etc. Doctors are mortals and need money to live.
     
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  3. bigfrank

    bigfrank SDN Donor
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    From doing similar research and taking polls, it seems that the in-practice radiologist who works as many hours as an anesthesiologist (which is quite a few, 50-55), has a MUCH greater chance to become fabulously wealthy.

    Radiology and Ophthalmology are probably the only 2 specialties (neurosurgery aside) that afford the possibility of one becoming ridiculously wealthy.

    If you want to work very hard as a radiologist, you can retire at 50 with, literally, millions and millions.
     
  4. Voxel

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    You will be able to find good jobs both in anesthesiology and radiology that will allow you to pay back your loans, pay your mortgage, car loans, and have lots of money left over for investments towards retirement or whatever else you want to do with your money. So please do yourself a favor and choose between anesthesiology and radiology not on the basis of 10 or even 100K more per year, cause you might hate every day of your life working in a field that is not for you. It may not seem like this is important now as large debt looms over your head but take two steps back and ask yourself what you would enjoy doing because they are two completely different fields.

    Lastly, if you are willing to live in underserved or monopolized markets you will be able to make bank in both fields. Good luck whatever you decide.
     
  5. neutropeniaboy

    neutropeniaboy Blasted ENT Attending
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Voxel:
    <strong>So please do yourself a favor and choose between anesthesiology and radiology not on the basis of 10 or even 100K more per year, cause you might hate every day of your life working in a field that is not for you.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Ah, finally sense injected into one of these discussions.

    Notwithstanding the excellent opinion of Voxel, I can appreciate that financial well-being is an important aspect of choosing a profession, but let's consider that we've already chosen that profession. Most of us will do quite well regardless of our specialty.
     
  6. godfather

    godfather Member
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    in anaesthsia all of the graduating residents in 2 of the programs in michigan are starting off at over 200k(avg like 210-230k) with fast tracks to partnerships. As far as an experienced anaesthesiologist, they're all making well over 300k, with no peak(ie you can make as much as your willing to work, their is no cap right now,). i was told this by a attending physician where i rotated. the shortage in anaesthesia right now is quite severe, however even when there wasn't a shortage anaesthesia tends to be a high paying field. Radiology is also commanding big bucks right now. there was an article in the usa today about the shortage of specialists in general and gave an example of how a group of physicians needed a radiologist and they offered somebody 600k, and he only had to work 26wks, and yet this guy still turned this group down, and group figured someone one must have given him a sweeter deal than even their offer. radiologists command the highest starting salaries right now. only anaesthsia, radiology and orthopedics are the only guranteed fields where you start off at over 200k as of right now for regular work hours.
     
  7. Sandpaper

    Sandpaper Member
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    Voxel, you knuckleheaded preacher. The dude (already in gas as his name implied) has put a disclaimer at the end of his post for a reason. Read carefully before you comment on the merits of his choice of profession.
     
  8. Voxel

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Now I'm a knucklehead preacher? That has a nice ring to it. I can read just fine thank you. And I reiterate what I said in my previous post. I am just warning him to look before he even thinks about jumping ship from anesthesiology to radiology. And while money is important to a certain extent, the fields are vastly different. The upside potential to make bank is available in both radiology and anesthesiology right now. You just gotta be willing to hustle. So that being said, choose the field that would make you happier.
     
  9. ApacheIndian

    ApacheIndian philomath
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Voxel:
    <strong>So that being said, choose the field that would make you happier.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hmmm... I dunno Voxel... I for example believe that I'd be equally happy practicing either one of these specialities. And, as a 4th year medical student, how is one supposed to KNOW which field, out of so many, is going to make him "happier?" By having done a 4 week elective in the it? I'm skeptical...

    That said, I think looking at issues such as this (monetary compensation) is a completely justifiable and intelligent way to "break the tie." I like the thought of practicing both Rads and Anesthesia a lot, but if I look at other factors... money, lifestyle, future... IMHO, Rads clearly has the edge, and that's what I'm going for...
     
  10. Voxel

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    You can shadow some private practice and academic radiologists to get a feel for what they do day in and day out. It is especially important to shadow a private practice physician because this is where 80-90% of practicing physicians end up and this experience can be vastly different from academia. Also, I agree that a 4 week elective is not that much information to go on. I had the opportunity during the 1st 2 years of medical school to shadow many different physicians.

    If however you are "tied" right down the middle then you can use other factors to break this tie. I find that this is rarely the case after you've tried the field out for yourself. You can even do what I did to rank radiology residency programs and use that to rank specialties.

    Make columns for each factor that is important to you, give each factor a weight (making sure the %s add up to 100%). For example factor A=Intellectual Interest/Satisfaction, B=Use of Manual Dexterity, C=Income, D=Lifestyle, etc.
    Weights: A=0.25, B=0.25, C=0.25, and D=0.25.

    Next, give each specialty a score (1-10) on each factor, ie A,B,C, or D.

    Then multiply each specialty's score x the weight of factor A,B,C, then D and then add up all the total. You will have a total score for specialty #1.

    You'll get a scores for mutiple specialties and that will logically break your tie if you correctly (honestly) assign both the weights and the scores.

    This is logical and semi-sofisticated for those who do not want to use their "gut" feeling to determine the next 20-40yrs of their life.

    Lastly, I want you to realize that certain factors such as lifestyle and money may change over time and your score today may not reflect your score tomorrow!
     
  11. Elliebelly

    Elliebelly Junior Member

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    OK, so I am only entering med school this fall, but because I have a family to support I find myself thinking a lot about money these days, and I read these salary posts out of curiosity pretty frequently. It seems clear what the high(er) paying specialties are, but my question is, how to you know that these specialties will continue to pay well? Even if I were at the point where I had to chose a residency now, how would I know that the current shortage of radiologists (which I gather is a main component of the high starting salaries) would still exist in five years once I was looking for a job? It seems clear that the practice of medicine will be forced to change in response to the aging of the baby boom generation, the rapid advance of (expensive) technology and the glaring inadequacies of HMOs. I am curious, for those of you choosing your specialties now or in early residency, what indicators, other than recent salary figures, help you to determine- financially- which specialties are the best bets for long term security?

    Of course I should re-iterate the obvious: that even I know it doesn't make an ounce of sense to chose a specialty on money alone, etc, etc, but lets assume you are only choosing between things that you are very interested in anyway. For me, at this (premature) point, that would be ENT, Radiology and Pathology.
     
  12. Whisker Barrel Cortex

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    Elliebelly,

    Thats a good question. You really can't be sure how demand will change over time and this can affect salaries. However, this effect is not as huge as many may think. I believe I read online (one of those job search sites) that the average radiologist salary increased from around 250K to 300K. So either way, you're making a lot of money. Salaries won't fall to 100K or anything like that.

    What does change drastically is the offers of starting salaries and benefits residents just graduating. When the supply is high, practices can pick and choose while offering their applicants 120K to start and 8 years to become partner. When you become partner though, the salary will jump to their level. Offers right now are more like 200K-300K to start with 1-3 years to become partner.
     
  13. Neurogirl

    Neurogirl Resident Extraordinaire
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    Someone above asked how one could make decisions based only on a 4 week elective. Although many actually do just that, I think it's a big mistake. Personally, I didn't trust my gut instincts. It was just too important a decision. So, in addition to doing alot of research on my specialty, I set up several elective rotations with physicians in both private and academic settings. It was the best thing I could have done. With every rotation I became more and more convinced that I had chosen the right field.

    The fact is, nearly all specialties go through supply/demand cycles. It would be REALLY naive to choose a career based only on current trends. No matter what you choose, you'll make more money than the VAST majority of people...even when your specialty is experiencing a glut! :D
     
  14. gasdoc

    gasdoc Member
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    yes, i am going to be a CA-1 starting 7/1. I started the thread to see if others knew more than me. I wouldn't trade anesthesia for radiology for anything, at this time. I have done both rotatins, obviously, and have great respect for both specialties. In fact, I am currently a transitional intern, and as such, most of my friends are either anesthesia or radiology bounded. In many ways, we share similar views and attitudes toward medicine. Furthermore, the transitional interns are some of the brightest interns in the program (sponsored by the Family Practice Residency).

    No, I am very happy to be in anesthsia. I also know that overall, radiologists make a little more than anesthesiologists. But, I wouldn't never jump ship. I am happy to becoming a gas-passer :) .

    But, like I said, some of many of my friends are going to radiology. Also, I like to point out some similarities between both professions. Radiology was also an unpopular field in the early 90s, that's why they cut the number of residency spots in 1/2. FMG's had no problem getting into radiology just about 5 years ago or so. Anesthesia, likewise, was very unpopular in the mid 90s. However, it is rapidly following Radiology by about 2-3 years' lag, in becoming competitive again. FMG's had their pick of anesthesia programs a few years ago. Not anymore. I hear they are having problem even getting into mediocre programs b/c of the AMG influx. Besides this similarity, radiologists and anesthsiologists, obviously, share lifestyle and money rewards. Also, both anesthesiologists and radiologists, in general, are not as big on direct and ample patient interaction.
     
  15. Hornet871

    Hornet871 Senior Member
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    I asked this question once before (in a 7-part post, David Greens' first to this board):

    Does anyone know why anesth/rads were so unpopular just 5 years ago? Did people "back then" not appreciate a fat paycheck and a cush lifestyle?

    I am still surprised whenever I see the match numbers from just 5-6 yrs ago: Anesth filled LESS THAN HALF its spots through the match, and Rads struggled to fill less than 2/3.

    I have friends who graduated from med school in the mid-90s who were forced into the scramble and opted for MED-PEDS, for God's sake, rather than Anesth/Rads. Those fields were just laughed at, for some reason. (OK, so there was the whole CRNA scare in Anesth, but why did people refuse Rads?)

    When I ask those Med-Peders what they were thinking, they just shrug their shoulders and say, "No one respected radiologists in those days. They weren't considered real doctors."

    And today, those "not real docs" - esp the FMGs among 'em - are laughing all the way to the bank. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  16. Whisker Barrel Cortex

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    From what I have heard, there had been dire predictions by a government agency that demand for radiologists would be less in the future. Also, the market was actually kind of tight for a couple of years. How that oversupply turned into a shortage in just a few years I don't know. I just hope it doesn't go back the other way by the time I graduate residency.

    One of the fellows at my medical school program had one of his residency class members leave radiology after doing 2 years and go into medicine because he thought he wouldn't be able to find a job! I bet that guy is banging his head against a wall right now!
     
  17. Voxel

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    I can tell you what I have heard about why radiology went uncompetitive for a brief moment in history. First, the pew commission circa 1995 came back saying with the advent of PACS and other effeciency enabling technologies there will be less of a need for specialists, including radiologists. This was spread as "truth" throughout the academic medical centers who kept in touch with the radiology private practices that recruit from radiology residencies. The word got out that there was too much supply. Private practices stopped hiring at previous levels, this led to 3-4 years where it was difficult to impossible to find jobs in geographically desirable areas. At the same time radiology residency slots were cut from approximately 1250/yr to about 850/yr or roughly 1/3. So what happens when CT (especially), MRI, US, and plain films get much speedier? Well it seems that the demand for imaging is NOT constant as the the pew commission believed. So demand for imaging is increasing at 10% clip per year (for various reasons). Coupled with the drastic reduction in supply of new radiologists, we have a market that went in the mid 95s of offering 120K-150K to start and 5-8 years to partnership to 200-300K to start with partnership in 1-3 years. Don't trust the government to make predictions on healthcare supply and demand.

    Incidently I hear that the number of approved slots from radiology is going up and inching its way to 1000. The only thing really stopped it from being put back to circa 1995 levels is medicare GME funding, which was capping in 1997. So in order for radiology to get more slots it needs to be "given" slots from other specialties ( a hard sell).
     
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