Internal medicine deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of adult diseases. Compared with family medicine, internists do not deliver babies or care for children. Their focus is only on adults.
Internal medicine is one of the pillars for primary care. They are often the first point of contact for many patients who have a health concern. Many patients will stick with the same doctor for their life!
Internal medicine physicians have a flexibility unlike any other primary care field. We’ll talk about that in the training section.
Just how much do internal medicine doctors make? The national average for starting right out of residency is $156,000. The median average salary is $182,005. It’s a little strange that the average reporting starting salary for family physicians was a little bit higher. But I’m sure there were some confounds to the study.
Majority of internal medicine physicians reported earning between $163,989 and $205,702. The maximum salary reported was $238,000. If you accept a hospitalist position, you can earn $250,000 and work half of the year!
In another post, we’ll give you some insight into different practice models that will let primary care physicians earn a higher salary while providing better patient satisfaction.
Residencies in internal medicine are 3 years long which is the same for most of the other primary care specialties as well. The benefit of internal medicine over the other primary care specialties is that there are much more fellowships for you to specialize in afterwards. Do you see all of those categories on the right of the page there? Most of those are accessible only to internal medicine physicians.
Nephrologists. Gastroenterologists. Infectious Disease. Critical Care. Cardiology. Neurology. Endocrinology. Rheumatology. Did I miss anything? All of these specialties began with a 3 year residency in internal medicine. The fellowships for these fields range from a couple years extra to many years extra! See their respective posts for more details.
In the most recent match, 377 programs offered a total of 4,999 spots in internal medicine residencies. That’s nearly twice as much opportunity than available family medicine spots.
Internal medicine doctors are specialists in adult medicine. Their residency is the gateway to a multitude of fellowship opportunities that will let you specialize in a distinct field which will undoubtedly increase your salary. If you’re a primary care enthusiast but not interested in delivering babies or taking care of children, take a look into this field and see if it’s the right fit for you.