The Starting Salaries for Doctors and Specialists

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Beginning doctors and specialists still earn decent wages.
Beginning doctors and specialists still earn decent wages. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Because of the extensive and pricey schooling required to become a doctor, which includes eight years of school and up to eight years of internship and residency, starting salaries for doctors and specialists are among the highest in the nation. Starting salaries vary depending on the type of doctor or specialist.

General and Internal Doctors

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that as of May 2010, family and general practitioner doctors began with salaries at less than $86,600 in the 10th percentile. Internists, or doctors who specialize in treating diseases and injuries to the internal organs, began at salaries of less than $87,570 in the 10th percentile.

Pediatricians and Obstetricians

Pediatricians, or doctors who work with infants, children and young adults, earned less than $86,340 as a starting wage in the 10th percentile as of 2010, reports the bureau. Doctors who specialize in pregnancy, childbirth and diseases of the female reproductive systems, known as obstetricians and gynecologists, earned less than $101,130 a year in the 10th percentile.

Surgeons and Anesthesiologists

Surgeons are doctors who treat diseases and injuries with surgical methods. According to the bureau, they began with salaries of less than $115,910 a year in the 10th percentile as of 2010. Anesthesiologists work closely with surgeons, administering anesthetics before, during and/or after surgery and earning less than $120,660 as a starting salary.

Other Doctors and Specialists

Psychiatrists are physicians who work with patients suffering from mental disorders, which includes giving prescription medicine when necessary. As of 2010, they earned starting salaries of less than $65,530 in the 10th percentile, according to the bureau. Other types of specialists, including dermatologists, gastroenterologists, ophthalmologists, radiologists and cardiologists, earned less than $53,510 a year as a starting salary in the 10th percentile.

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