Surgeons are medical doctors or doctors of osteopathy who specialize in using surgical operations to treat diseases, physical conditions and injuries. They are among the most highly educated and highly compensated of all professionals in the United States. Surgeons, like all physicians, must typically complete a bachelor's degree program in a pre-medical field prior to entering medical school. After completing four years of medical school, a surgeon candidate must complete a rigorous period of paid residency. First-year residents are commonly referred to as interns. Salaries for surgeon interns vary from program to program.
The mean annual income for surgeons in all fields of specialization from across the United States was $225,390 as of May 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national average surgical resident salary was $56,000 per year as of June 2011, according to the Simply Hired website. First year surgical residents, typically referred to as surgeon interns, earned an average annual salary of $49,000 as of June 2011, according to Simply Hired.
The income of surgeon interns income can be significantly impacted by the regional area where they train. Surgeon interns who trained in New York state earned average salaries of $57,000 per year as of June 2011, according to Simply Hired. Florida-based interns earned average annual wages of $45,000. Surgeon interns in Illinois earned average salaries of $51,000, while those who trained in Oregon earned average salaries of $48,000 per year.
Salaries for surgeon interns are determined at the program level. Different programs offer different wage scales. The surgical residency program offered by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas listed an annual salary for first year residents, or interns, of $50,459 for the 2011-2012 academic year. Interns in the surgical residency program at Oregon Health & Science University received $48,310 for the 2010-2011 academic year. Interns in the general surgery residency program at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin received $50,302.30 for the 2011-2012 academic year.
Salary is only one component of a surgeon intern's total compensation package. Different programs offer additional benefits that may add significantly to the value of the program. The Marshfield Clinic offers interns 15 paid vacation days per year in addition to seven paid days to attend professional conferences. Interns at Oregon Health & Science University receive an allowance to help defray the cost of university sponsored group insurance programs. Interns at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have their malpractice insurance provided by local hospitals.
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas: Residency Program: Benefits
- Oregon Health & Science University: Residency - Salary and Benefits
- Marshfield Clinic: General Surgery Residency Program
- Simply Hired: Average Surgeon Internship Salaries
- Simply Hired: Average Surgical Resident Salaries
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2010 29-1067 Surgeons
- American College of Surgeons: So, You Want to be a Surgeon
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Physicians and Surgeons