Cardiologists’ average salary rises to $438K, No. 4 among all specialties

Cardiology’s average salary is $438,000, according to the 2020 Medscape Physician Compensation Report. This continues a steady rise in pay for the specialty—the same report recorded cardiology’s average salary as $430,000 in 2019, $423,000 in 2018 and $410,000 in 2017.

Cardiology ranked No. 4 among all specialties, topped only by orthopedics ($511,000), plastic surgery ($479,000) and otolaryngology ($455,000).

Medscape’s data included responses from more than 17,000 physicians representing dozens of specialties. Four percent of all responses came from cardiologists.

The pandemic’s impact

Compensation data was collected in February 2020, before the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had completely upended the U.S. healthcare system. However, Medscape did provide some eye-opening statistics on how this historic time has changed healthcare providers all over the country.

Revenue is down 55%, for instance, and patient volume is down 60%. Also, 9% of independent medical practices have been forced to at least close temporarily—and some won’t be reopening.  

Medscape also emphasized that, even during a global pandemic, it remains important for physicians to track financial compensation.

“Doctors’ most critical concerns are those involving life and death,” according to the report. “Still, while confronting this crisis, salary and income are important to one’s career and livelihood.”

Additional information

While 61% of cardiologists reported feeling “fairly compensated,” 92% said they would choose cardiology again if they had the opportunity to do it all over.

Also, just 16% of cardiologists are women, one of the lowest figures for any specialty. In the last five years, that number has only increased from 12% to 16%.

To put that statistic in comparison, Ob/Gyn and pediatrics tied with the highest percentage of women—at 58%.

Cardiologists also reported spending 16.9 hours per week on paperwork and administration, tied for No. 6 among all specialties.

The full report is available on Medscape’s website.