Top 10 Countries with the Highest Salaries for Doctors

Doctors, especially surgeons, attract big pay cheques compared to most other professions. When you consider the difficulty of getting into medical school, the cost of education, the sacrificial eight-plus years of rigorous study, and the countless lives doctors save on a daily basis, we may say the high salaries are well deserved.

You most likely doubt the first sentence – “Doctors, especially surgeons, attract big pay cheques compared to most other professions”. And you are most likely asking the following: “So, where are the best places for doctors to find the biggest cheques for their well-deserved skill?”

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Listen, that question is what we will answer in this article today. Be prepared to be surprised by some of the countries that make this list based on the available data from the OECD.

10. New Zealand 

Australia typically has an edge when it comes to high-paying salaries for most professions over New Zealand. But when it comes to medicine, New Zealand is clearly the place to be. While there are no available figures for average salaries, specialists in the country can expect to earn an average take-home of $138,261. Operating a mixed public/private healthcare system, New Zealand is a popular immigration destination for English-speaking doctors, so if you’re thinking of making the move, then your bank balance might appreciate it.

9. Israel

Israel prioritizes public service and the development of pioneering technologies in the country. As a result, it operates an advanced healthcare system. In order to attract and retain the best medical minds, hospitals and clinics are willing to dish out the big bucks, too, with general practitioners earning an average of $74,920 per annum and specialists looking at around $147,421.

8. Germany

As Europe’s modern economic powerhouse, Germany is well placed to offer attractive salaries, and doctors are no exception. The average yearly take-home for specialists sits at around $149,990, funded in the majority by a complex, multi-payer health system. If your German-speaking skill is up to scratch, you may want to consider heading to Germany as a doctor.

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7. The Netherlands 

Just across the border from Germany lies the Netherlands, where doctors can expect to find significant compensation for their exploits. The average salary for a general practitioner is $112,500, while specialists of all types are looking at a potential take home of $171,900. According to the Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI), the Netherlands boasts the best healthcare system in Europe. So not only could you be enjoying lucrative financial benefits, but professional ones, too.

6. United Kingdom 

Since the creation of the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948, the United Kingdom has always prided itself on its free-to-access healthcare system and its quality of delivery. Despite the uncertainty around Brexit, repeated attempts to privatise aspects of the service, and serious recent contract disputes over working hours, the UK continues to pay doctors a very healthy salary. General practitioners earn an average of $85,250, while specialists are looking at around $174,000 per year.

5. Republic of Ireland 

Ireland is another potentially lucrative destination for English-speaking doctors. The country has transformed itself from a traditionally agricultural nation into a tech-driven economic tiger in recent decades. The country already maintains a government-funded public health system, with the private sector also rapidly growing; the average salary for a specialist – particularly in larger urban areas such as Dublin and Cork – comes in at $186,900.

 4. Iceland

There’s more to the ‘land of ice and fire’ than dark winters, Game of Thrones tourism and salmon exporting. Much like other Nordic governments, Iceland boasts a high-quality, government-funded healthcare system that is the envy of many other nations. In a country where salaries are among the highest in the world, it’s no surprise that there is plenty of tax income left for doctors: general practitioners receive an average of $182,000 per year, while specialists can attract $202,000.

3. The United States of America 

Many pioneering procedures, surgeries and study take place in the United States, making it a highly attractive destination for professional reasons; teaching hospitals such as Johns Hopkins, are among the most revered in the world. General Practitioners – known as family physicians – can attract a yearly income of around $208,600, while specialists can earn far more.

2. Switzerland

Compile any global salary list and it’s likely that Switzerland will make an appearance on it; as one of the most stable economies in the world, salaries across many of the country’s sectors are notably high. Unsurprisingly, this attracts many medics but you’ll need a decent working knowledge of either French, German or Italian to make the move successfully. It’ll be worth it, though, with average yearly salaries of $237,100 for general practitioners and $258,000 for specialists.

The number country with the highest salary for doctors is

1. Luxembourg

Like Switzerland, much of Luxembourg’s wealth is derived from its lucrative financial sector; it’s not only bankers and accountants who have access to the big bucks. According to the OECD, doctors earn a whopping average take home of $357,300, although due to its small population of just over half a million people, you might face stiff competition for jobs.

Clearly, life as a doctor in these countries is well worth all the stress, hard work and education. So if you’re considering going into the profession – or if you’re already qualified – you may want to consider taking your skills overseas. Where would you want to go practice if you decided to study medicine? Let us know in the comments below. If you are yet to subscribe to our channel, this is likely a good time to subscribe. Until next time; YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!

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