Doctors’ incomes show wide disparity between specialties and genders


Medicine remains one of the the most financially lucrative careers in Australia, but physicians lag behind surgeons in the remuneration league tables, new figures show.

The Australian Taxation Office has released statistics for the average taxable incomes of all Australians for 2015-16, with the top three highest earning occupations all taken by medical practitioners.

Surgeons took the top spot, claiming Australia’s highest average taxable income of $393,467.

Second on the list are anaesthetists with an average income of $359,056.

Internal medicine specialists ranked third with an average annual income of $291,140.

Other high earning occupations on the ATO list included financial dealers ($263,309), judicial and legal professionals ($198,219) and mining engineers $166, 557)

In comparison, Australia’s average income was $59,215 with junior doctors earning an average of $90,211.

Data broken down by medical specialty revealed stark gender pay gap, borne out most markedly in cardiology and gastroenterology.

Across selected specialties, the annual taxable incomes were:

Cardiologist $266,805 (female) and $484,086 (male)

Clinical haematologist $184,698 (F) and $289,596 (M)

Medical oncologist $216,821 (F) and $339,109 (M)

Endocrinologist $174,158 (F) and $279,549 (M)

Gastroenterologist $288,047 (F) and $424,483 (M)

Rheumatologist $188,552 (F) and $268,362

Thoracic medicine specialist $198,392 (F) and $333,696 (M)

Also noteworthy was the underrepresentation of women across some physician specialties, most pronounced in cardiology (135 females compared to 697 males) and gastroenterology (85 females to 321 males).

In contrast, endocrinology had almost equal representation (females 156 to males 148) as did clinical haematology (135 female to 159 males).

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