MD/PhD Salary: How Much Do MD/PhDs Make in 2024?

If you are an MD/PhD in the United States or plan to become one, you need to have the proper expectations about your salary.

The national average for MD/PhDs is around $112,400 per year.

The salary is fairly smaller than for MDs and specialists because MD/PhDs often work in research and non-profit settings, rather than practice medicine.

Accordingly, MD salary bonuses may not be eligible.

This article breaks down the average salary, points you to the cities with the highest average MD/PhD salary, and shows how to retain as much as you can from your income.

Key Takeaways

  • The average income of MD/PhDs in the United States is around $119,000.
  • MD/PhDs earn the most in Richmond, CA, with $141,686 per year on average.
  • MD/PhDs tend to rely on grant funding for extra pay.

How Much Do MD/PhDs Make in 2024?

According to Glassdoor, MD/PhDs in the United States make between $89,000 and $166,000 annually (an average of $119,000).

The salary can vary depending on experience, location, work setting (clinical practice, hospital practice, university teaching, or research), and other factors.

Other sources have a similar estimate of that range. Here are a couple of them:

Based on these three sources, the mean MD PhD yearly average is $112,400.

MD PhD Salary by State/City

The national average is below the $120,000 mark. However, we identified 10 cities that exceeded the national average, as well as the $130,000 mark.

City Annual Salary Monthly Pay Weekly Pay Hourly Wage
Richmond, CA $141,686 $11,807 $2,724 $68.12
Bellevue, WA $139,615 $11,634 $2,684 $67.12
Santa Clara, CA $134,651 $11,220 $2,589 $64.74
Pasadena, CA $133,878 $11,156 $2,574 $64.36
Belgrade, MT $132,299 $11,024 $2,544 $63.61
Federal Way, WA $132,253 $11,021 $2,543 $63.58
Palmdale, CA $132,216 $11,018 $2,542 $63.57
Washington, DC $132,175 $11,014 $2,541 $63.55
Stamford, CT $131,642 $10,970 $2,531 $63.29
Glendale, CA $131,006 $10,917 $2,519 $62.98

Source: ZipRecruiter (2024)

Is There a Gender Pay Gap between MD/PhDs?

Reliable sources like Medscape and Glassdoor didn’t provide official information about the pay gap between male and female MD/PhDs.

However, according to Medscape’s 2024 Physician Compensation Report, male physicians earn around $400,000 a year, compared to only $309,000 for women. That’s around 22.75% less.

The same applies to PCPs, where male practitioners earn around $295,000 per year, compared to women who earn an average of $253,000 (approximately 14% less).

Female specialists earn an average of $333,000 annually, which is 23% less than male specialists who earn around $435,000.

So, while there is no official data regarding the pay gap between male and female MD PhDs, the data above strongly suggests that there is one.

What Bonuses Do MD/PhDs Get?

Bonuses for MD/PhDs in the United States aren’t typical. Their compensation structure tends to be more base salary-driven than bonus-heavy.

There are two reasons for this:

Academic Focus

MD/PhDs often work in academic settings like universities and research institutions.

Although possible, such institutions typically don’t have the same profit-driven bonus structures that some for-profit companies do.

Grant Funding

Some MD/PhD programs rely on grant funding for their salaries and research projects. As such, bonus structures would not be well-suited to those funding models.

However, there are some instances where MD/PhDs might receive bonuses. These include but aren’t limited to:

  • Performance-based Bonuses: Some institutions might offer performance-based bonuses for exceptional achievements.
  • Industry Roles: MD/PhDs who move into industry positions, such as in pharmaceutical companies and biotech startups, might receive bonuses as they gain experience.

These bonuses follow the same structure as other MDs or PhDs in those fields, including sign-up, retention, performance, and annual bonuses.

How Can MD/PhDs Achieve Financial Wellbeing?

MD/PhDs often make less money compared to MDs because of the general lack of bonuses, necessitating careful planning to achieve financial well-being.

Here are a few factors to consider:

Tax Planning

You must plan your taxes correctly to keep away from legal issues that may hurt your income. If you have issues with planning your taxes, Physicians Thrive can help you.

Getting the Best Contracts

Negotiating the best contract is a skill that you can learn to get the best possible package. Find out how Physician’s Thrive can help you negotiate your contract.

Paying off Your Loans

Seven years in medical school to become a physician-scientist can quickly pile up your student loan. You must clear your debts early to start making money.

Since MD/PhDs usually work in non-profit organizations, Public Service Loan Forgiveness can be a good aid.

Final Words

Without bonuses, managing your finances and living expenses as an MD/PhD can be trickier than for other medical specialties.

As such, you’ll need all the help you can get to retain your money.

That’s where Physicians Thrive can be handy. We’ll help you plan your taxes, negotiate your contracts, and help you through acquiring different insurances like life and disability insurance.

We offer many more services to help physicians thrive. If you require any sort of help in the medical field, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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