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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

How much are residents earning in 2019, and are they satisfied with that compensation? How much debt are they carrying? More than 2200 residents in 30-plus specialties told us how much they earn, the number of hours they work, how much scut work they have, and their relationships with attendings, nurses, and physician assistants. All participants were enrolled in US medical resident programs. (Note: Label values in charts are rounded, but rankings and calculations are based on raw data to avoid rounding errors.)

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

Average resident salary continues to trend upward, according to our report. Over the past 2 years, the average salary has climbed 3% annually to this year's level of $61,200.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

Among the highest-paying specialties for residents were medical geneticists, allergy & immunology, and HIV/infectious diseases. Emergency medicine and family medicine were at the low end of the pay scale this year.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

Average salary in the sixth through eighth year of residency ($67,800) shows a notable increase from compensation received in the first year ($55,200).

Alexa Mieses, MD, a board-certified family physician and recent graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine family medicine residency program, says it makes sense that salary is commensurate with years out of medical school. This means that specialties with longer residencies (ie, neurosurgery) will probably have a larger salary than her own specialty, which requires about 3 years of training. "It looks like salary only increases annually to more or less keep up with the cost of inflation," she says.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

On average, male residents receive higher salaries than their female counterparts, by a very small margin. The earnings gap among physicians is much larger, where, according to the most recent Medscape Physician Compensation Report, men earned 25% more in primary care and 33% more in various specialties.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

More than half of residents in their sixth through eighth year of residency feel fairly compensated, an increase from last year when the tally was 35%. For the second straight year, more than half of first-year residents also felt fairly compensated.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

Among residents who were dissatisfied, their chief reason is their feeling that compensation doesn't reflect the number of hours they work. Nearly three quarters of residents said their compensation isn't comparable to that of other medical staff, such as PAs and nurses; by gender, 76% of men and 66% of women felt this way.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

More than one third (35%) of residents said they feel they should make 26%-50% more in compensation. This was similar to the response in last year's resident report. Of physicians seeking a paycheck with an increase of 51% or more, 29% were men and 17% were women.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

Benefits remained largely unchanged from last year's report, with health insurance and paid time off garnering the largest responses. Among the rarer benefits for residents were expenses for childcare and a housing allowance. Funds for book allowance have dropped over the past few years, from 65% in 2015 to 53% this year.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

More than 90% of all residents say future earnings have an influence on their specialty choice. More men than women say potential earnings have a strong influence on their choice of specialty (96% and 88%, respectively), similar to last year's responses.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

Nearly half of primary care residents said they plan to subspecialize, with a similar percentage indicating that they plan on working in primary care. Ten percent said they will subspecialize but are still undecided about the specialty.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

Nearly half of medical students owe more than $200,000 in medical school loans, with 24% having debt of $300,000 or more. Meanwhile, 22% of residents say they have no debt at all.

Mieses says she is "unfortunately" not surprised by the data. "Many physicians enter medical school with tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt from undergrad," she says. "Pile on top of that even more after 4 years of medical school and you may end up with an insurmountable amount of debt."

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

Residents continue to work many hours per week. Nearly identical percentages of residents said they are working 61-70 hours per week and more than 70 hours per week. Another 22% said they spend 51-60 hours on patient care. In comparison, physicians out of residency spend about 40 hours per week seeing patients, according to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2019.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

Residents continue to spend most of their time at hospitals. More than a quarter (26%) spend over 70 hours per week there, another 19% spend 61-70 hours per week, and 22% spend 51-60 hours.

"One major reason why residents work so much is because residency training is often hospital-based, and many hospitals rely on residents to staff the clinical services available," says Mieses. "The same is true for clinics affiliated with residency programs. Without residents, many large academic centers could not function."

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

More than half of residents spend 1-5 nights on call per month, with another 27% spending 6-10 nights. This aligns closely with last year's results.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

Most residents appear to be satisfied with the training they receive. Nearly one quarter felt that they get more training than needed, and only 2% indicated that they have too few hours of training.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

More than half of residents are performing 1-10 hours of scut work (defined as unskilled tasks) per week. One quarter have 11-20 hours, while 10% are spending 21-30 hours on scut work.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

Similar to last year's results, most residents feel that they receive the appropriate degree of supervision. Only 8% of residents think they have too much supervision.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

The majority of residents feel that they are getting a quality education. More than three quarters said they are very or somewhat satisfied, while the percentages of those feeling dissatisfied or neutral were equal.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

Most residents are also satisfied with the way attending physicians treat them. Seventy-nine percent say they are very or somewhat satisfied with their attendings' treatment. Only 11% said they were somewhat or very dissatisfied. Said one resident, "Attendings themselves are very busy and feel overworked, so they are not interested in teaching."

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

Nearly all residents noted a positive relationship with their attending physicians. Eighty-nine percent ranked that relationship as very good or good, with another 9% grading it as fair. Only 1% of residents said the relationship was poor or very poor.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

Residents work closely with nurses and PAs. The majority (83%) of residents graded these relationships as very good or good. Fifteen percent said the relationships were fair and only 2% indicated a poor or very poor working relationship.

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

There's a slight difference between residents who plan on being employed and those who wish to be self-employed. Twenty-seven percent say they will probably become employed while 22% say they plan to own their own practice. A third still aren't sure of their future path.

Mieses calls herself an "academic at heart" and will focus on clinical care as one part of her next job, along with teaching med students and residents. "Some prefer to provide clinical care 100% of the time in private practice, and that's great too," she says. "There is something for everyone in medicine."

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019

Keith L. Martin | July 17, 2019 | Contributor Information

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