Rheumatologists are one of the lowest earners out of all the medical specialties, new income figures reveal.
The findings are from the longitudinal survey of thousands of doctors known as the MABEL (Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life) survey.
The survey collected data on the median hourly income for 2015 across 31 specialties from 3296 specialists and 2922 GPs.
The data obtained by the limbic revealed the top highest earners were orthopaedic surgeons ($262 p/h) radiologists ($238 p/h) and opthamologists ($235 p/h).
The findings contrast to previous comparisons of doctors’ incomes based on Australian tax returns, in which male neurosurgeons and cardiologists ranked in the top three highest earning professionals.
In the survey, gastroenterologists ranked fourth earning $225 p/h.
A category labelled ‘other surgery’ – a group of 74 surgeons including 10 neurosurgeons – placed 10th earning $184 p/h.
Cardiology ranked 16, with median hourly income of $158 and respiratory medicine placed 21 on $141 p/h.
Rheumatology ranked 23 on $136 p/h.
The three lowest ranking specialties were endocrinology ($124 p/h) rehabilitation medicine ($123 p/h) and general practice ($102 p/h).
The survey also shows non-GP specialists are earning more and working fewer hours compared to a decade ago.
The mean number of hours worked fell from 45 to 42 between 2008-15.
The mean annual income rose $20,000 from $377,436 to $397,567 over the same period.
The MABEL survey is run by the University of Melbourne and funded by the NHMRC.
The University of Melbourne and MABEL research team does not guarantee the accuracy of the data collected by the survey.