Cardiologists earn some of healthcare’s highest starting salaries

Interventional cardiologists and non-invasive cardiologists take home some of the highest starting salaries in all of healthcare, according to a new recruiting report from AMN Healthcare and Merritt Hawkins.

Interventional cardiologists earn an average starting salary of $527,000, No. 2 among all specialties. Cardiologists, meanwhile, take home an average starting salary of $484,000, No. 5 on the report’s rankings. These figures do not include production bonuses or benefits.

Orthopedic surgery ($565,000) had the No. 1 highest starting salary. Urology (No. 3, $510,000) and gastroenterology (No. 4, $486,000) rounded out the top five.

Merritt Hawkins is AMN Healthcare’s physician search division. The 2022 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives includes data on starting salaries, job search engagements and other key details related to the U.S. physician and advanced practitioner recruiting market. This represents the 29th annual report Merritt Hawkins has published on this topic. Information from the 2021 report is available here.

A closer look at interventional cardiologist and non-invasive cardiologist salaries in 2022

The average starting salary among interventional cardiologists is slightly down in 2022; it was $611,000 in 2021’s report, No. 1 among all specialties, but is $527,000 this year. That decrease may be partially because the highest salary recorded for an interventional cardiologist in 2021 was $1,000,000. This year, the highest salary recorded was $668,000.

Cardiology, on the other hand, saw its average starting salary increase from $446,000 in 2021 to $484,000 in 2022.

The top 5 starting salaries in healthcare. Graphic courtesy of AMN Healthcare.

Cardiology one of the top 10 most requested specialties

The AMN Healthcare/Merritt Hawkins report focuses on physician demand based on search engagements. Cardiology is No. 8 on the report’s list of the most requested searches by specialty, behind nurse practitioner, family medicine, radiology, psychiatry, obstetrics/gynecology, internal medicine and anesthesiology. Gastroenterology and hematology/oncology rounded out the top 10.

Physician demand on the rise in 2022

Demand appears to be up across the board for physicians and advance practice professionals in the United States.

“Demand for physicians, and the salaries they are offered, have rebounded dramatically from the height of COVID-19,” Tom Florence, president of physician permanent placement for AMN Healthcare, said in a statement. “Virtually every hospital and large medical group in the country is looking to add physicians.”

This uptick in demand appears to be due to several factors, according to the report. These factors include an aging U.S. population, poor health among many Americans and a lack of healthcare providers in certain, primarily rural parts of the country.

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