What Is the Starting Salary for Medical Interns?

Depending on specialty, medical intern programs range from one to eight years.
Depending on specialty, medical intern programs range from one to eight years. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Upon completing medical school, surgeons, pediatricians, pharmacists, dentists and other specialized medical professionals must continue preparing for their careers as medical residents. Also known as internships, residencies serve as on-the-job training. Depending on the residency's location, the starting salary for medical interns can fall between $40,000 and $55,000 a year. The programs generally adjust salaries each academic year and many schools post the actual figure for each post-graduate year on their websites.

Surgical Interns

For the 2010-11 academic year, the Oregon Health & Science University offered first-year residents of its six-year program a salary of $48,310. First-year residents enrolled in the five-year surgical residency program at Washington University in St. Louis were offered $47,051 a year in 2011.

Pediatric Interns

In 2011, the eight-year pediatric residency program at Langone Medical Center in New York City offered first-year residents at NYU Hospital a salary of $54,367. The five-year pediatric residency program at Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin is paying a salary of $50,302 to its first-year residents. With benefits included, the Marshfield Clinic estimates that total compensation ranges from $47,000 to $72,000 a year for students in all stages of its residency program.

Pharmacy Interns

Pharmacy professionals generally must complete a two-year residency. The program at Johns Hopkins Medicine in 2011 offered a salary of $45,400 for the first year. Students completing their pharmacy residency at the University of Iowa Health Care were offered a stipend of $43,500 in 2011 for their initial year of training.

Dental Interns

Residents attending the Department of Veterans Affairs' one-year post-graduate residency for general dentistry in Washington, D.C., earned $45,500 a year in 2011. Students enrolled in the one-year dental general practice residency at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine in 2011 earned $44,394.


Medical resident programs also offer a wide variety of fringe benefits. Residents generally receive standard benefits offered by many employers, such as medical, dental and life insurance, paid sick leave and vacation. Depending on their specialty, residents also receive time off to attend professional meetings, participate in employment interviews or take exams. Other perks include computers or digital devices, an allowance for books, relocation assistance, meal plans and free lab coats. Many program also pay for the intern's medical license throughout the residency.

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