By Christine Whitmarsh, RN, BSN
Forbes.com recently released lists of the best and worst paying medical specialty areas. The list of top-paying medical specialties is doctors working in orthopedic surgery, cardiology, urology, gastroenterology, radiology, otolaryngology, anesthesiology, hematology-oncology, general surgery, and dermatology. On the lower end of the pay scale are pediatrics, family practice, internal medicine, psychiatry, emergency medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, and pulmonology. Many of these practice areas should be familiar to those who are following the swelling shortage of physicians. Practitioners are desperately needed in areas such as family practice, internal medicine, and emergency medicine. The American Medical Association (AMA) forecasts a need for an additional 35,000 to 40,000 primary care physicians alone by 2025.
Efforts are being made within the medical industry and in congress to even out the salary playing field while offering incentives to residents who commit to working in these areas. For instance, the AMA, the American Academy of Family Physicians and other organizations have proposed offering scholarships and loan forgiveness to students who work (and continue working) as primary care providers in underserved areas as well determining medical school funding based on the number of primary care providers the schools graduate into the workforce.
Fortunately, for Locum Tenens physicians and locum physician job holders, the salary playing field is leveled by competitive (and above average) salaries in all specialty areas. The shortage also bodes better for locum tenens physicians, with new physician travel jobs being made available daily. Physicians in all stages of their careers are needed the most for locum tenens jobs and general practice assignments in rural and inner city areas.
Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.