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The 10 Highest-Paying Cities for Physicians

Inflation has take a toll on physician income, but these metro areas top the list for compensation.

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Financial pressures from inflation and a nationwide staffing shortage of clinicians has taken a toll on the healthcare industry throughout 2022—including physician pay in virtually every area of the country. Average doctor compensation actually decreased by 2.4% in 2022, which is a reversal of the 3.8% salary increase experienced in 2021. The numbers come from Doximity’s annual compensation report.

The report listed the top-paying metro areas, which don’t always align with cities with higher median incomes. In general, areas with more academic or governmental medical facilities pay less and those with a higher number of private institutions pay more. Three cities that were in the top 10 in 2021 repeated their appearance on the 2022 list. The remaining positions went to new cities.

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Physician compensation trends in 2022

Like last year, inflation outpaced the real income of physicians. In June 2022, the 12-month inflation rate soared to a 40-year high of 9.1%, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. As a result, physicians on average lost real income.

The gender gap between earnings for male and female physicians also remained persistently high at 26%, a slight improvement over the 28% gap reported in 2021. Female doctors, on average, made $110,000 less than male physicians. The stubborn pay gap may be a contributing factor to the growing burnout among women physicians.

Cities with the largest 2022 pay increases

The cities with the highest increases in compensation have changed significantly from last year's list. Only Sacramento, CA repeats its appearance on the top 10. Oklahoma City, OK is the only metropolitan area to see pay increases greater than 5%.

The following cities had the biggest pay increases in 2022:

  1. Oklahoma City, OK — 6.3%
  2. Baltimore, MD — 4.6%
  3. Salt Lake City, UT — 2.9%
  4. Indianapolis, IN— 2.5%
  5. San Jose, CA — 2.4%
  6. Providence, RI — 2.4%
  7. Louisville, KY— 2.2%
  8. Riverside, CA — 1.8%
  9. San Diego, CA — 1.5%
  10. Sacramento, CA — 1.1%

Top-paying cities in 2022 for physicians

For 2022, the top-paying cities for physicians and average annual salaries were:

  1. Charlotte, NC — $430,890
  2. St. Louis, MO — $426,370
  3. Oklahoma City, OK — $425,096
  4. San Jose, CA— $418,600
  5. Minneapolis, MN — $411,677
  6. Sacramento, CA — $411,257
  7. Phoenix, AZ — $409,185
  8. Indianapolis, IN — $408,199
  9. Salt Lake City, UT — $408,044
  10. Atlanta, GA— $407,863

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the lowest-paying city for physicians was Washington, D.C., with an average yearly salary of $342,139.

Was this helpful?
  1. 2022 Physician Compensation Report. Doximity.
  2. 2021 Physician Compensation Report. Doximity.
  3. Physician Burnout Through the Female Lens: A Silent Crisis.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.