Orthopedic Surgeon Hourly Pay Less Than Lawyers, Dentists

Written by  Laura Dyrda | Thursday, 16 February 2012 17:08
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A recent report comparing the salary of orthopedic surgeons to other professionals, such as dentists and lawyers, researchers found orthopedic surgery is less lucrative than the common perception of the profession, according to a Medscape report.
While the report found that orthopedic surgeons reached a cumulative earning of $10.7 million — far above lawyers ($8.3 million), certified registered nurse anesthetists ($7.3 million) and dentists ($6.8 million) — when controlling for the cost of training and hours worked, the total comes out considerably less.

According to the report, debt for orthopedic surgery students has increased by $34,000 for public schools and $40,000 in private schools over the past five years. Since 1984, the medical school tuition has raised in public institutions by 165 percent and in private institutions 312 percent.

At the same time, Medicare reimbursement has been on a downward trend for the past few years and managed care contracts are increasingly present in the market, which stagnates orthopedic surgeon salaries, according to the report. When hourly income was calculated, orthopedic surgeons received $88 per hour, compared to $130 for lawyers, $99 for dentists and $93 for nurse anesthetists.

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