Most lucrative subspecialty?


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7+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2008
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    At the risk of being beaten to a pulp, I will try and ask this question anyway. Among all the specialties out there which are the most lucrative? Just for statistics purposes. I have came across offers in the millions (yes, 2m) for spinal surgery in rural areas. Just saying.

    Again, just for statistics purposes. Thanks.
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    Winged Scapula

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    Apr 9, 2000
    1. Attending Physician
      Unfortunately Jeff you have two things going against you:

      1) your previous posts indicate an obsession with how much money you will make. The posters in this forum are dedicated to a surgical career because its something they love not because of the money they'll make. Users who seem to focus more on the salary are seen as not dedicated to the craft and likely to be undesirable colleagues. Hence the disdain.

      There is no sense in saying this is for "statistical purposes"; we know you aren't a statistician doing a study but rather a high school student with an obsession about money and an inability to appreciate that people can be happy making less than $1 million/year or that medicine is not the route to such a salary. You are protected somewhat in the hSDN forums because we don't want to damage delicate egos; there is no such protection here. We will tell you what we think even if its not what you want to hear.

      2) every surgical subspecialty has the potential to make good money. As you've been told before, the physicians who make the most money aren't making it as physicians but rather managing large practices, inventing devices, etc. Neuro and Ortho Spine, Aesthetic Plastics, Dermatology, Radiation Oncology are probably the areas with the best potential for making good money doing "doctoring" alone.

      Finally, what you don't seem to realize is the chicanery in many of those ads you see. It is not unusual to see an ad with an extremely large salary offer. What they don't tell you is that the offer is for the first year only, after that you are pay for performance (so your salary drops considerably), that you are the ONLY spinal surgeon in a tri-state area (which means you are on call every night and there is no one to cover you when you want to take vacation), that the majority of your patients will be uninsured or on Medicaid, etc. Advertisements never tell the whole story. And bear in mind that a "spine surgeon in a rural area" is not the job a lot of people want nor are there are lot of these jobs available, so it would be a mistake to assume that this is a common scenario. Its certainly possible to make great money doing spine surgery but don't take the ads at face value.
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