Want to work in one of the hottest specialties of medicine? Become a neurointerventional radiologist. Radiologists use diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging, to examine the inside of the body. The exact field of neurointerventionists encompasses the vascular and central nervous systems, including the brain, heart, spine and veins. Neurointerventional radiologists earn the second-highest income for medical specialists, according to the Radiological Society of North America.
The American Medical Group conducted a salary survey in 2008, says the Radiological Society of North America, in which over 44,200 medical providers were polled. It was discovered that neurointerventional radiologists earned a median salary of $478,000 a year, putting them in second behind cardiac/thoracic surgeons, who were pulling in $507,143 a year.
On the Rise
The 2008 figures for neurointerventional radiologists were an improvement on 2007's figures, according to the Radiological Society of North America. Radiologists in this field earned $463,219 in 2007, making the 2008 numbers a 3.19 percent increase. In fact, the 2007 salary median was a an improvement over 2006 as well, when the median salary was $440,004 a year.
The need for highly skilled neurointerventional radiologists has sparked a bidding war, according Radiology Today. There was a time, the article points out, when a $200,000 salary could attract a radiologist to a hospital but not anymore. Starting salaries have climbed to between $450,000 to even $500,000 a year in order to attract prospective radiologists, putting these physicians in an earning category that was once reserved for cardiologists and neurosurgeons.
Quality of Life
It isn't just money neurointerventional radiologists are entitled to, Harvey continues. It's an entire "quality-of-life" package. Because these physicians work hard, they expect to be compensated, meaning the average vacation time is between eight and 12 weeks a year. Some radiologists work 12-hour shifts, and for these, the vacation time can be as high as 26 weeks a year.