How Much Salary Do Medical School Residents Get Paid?

By Jay White

May 15, 2014   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

In the United States, medical students who enter their residency period can earn between $40,000 and $70,000 in their first year, and they can also expect to get a small annual percentage raise until they complete their program and obtain their specialty license. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, the average first-year resident in the U.S. earned an average salary of $50,765 per year.

<strong>Factors That Determine Salaries of Medical Residency Programs</strong>

Location is the most important factor in determining salaries for medical residents in the U.S. Medical students who are matched with a medical facility in the New York metropolitan area will earn more than their counterparts at county hospitals in Montana. Students become informed about their salary options during their internship.

A medical school may offer their students residency programs that may be similar in scope and yet vary greatly in terms of salary. Other factors that come into play when setting the salaries of medical residents include the prestige of the medical facility, the number of slots available, the demand for the specific specialty, and the likelihood of residents becoming staff physicians at that facility upon completion of the program.

<strong>Additional Funds and Benefit for Medical Residents</strong>

The salary earned by medical residents mostly goes to pay for bills. Some residency programs offer additional benefits to offset the financial burden of medical school, which leaves many students with debts greater than $200,000. Some medical schools in the University of California health system offer stipends for housing and educational costs, but these additional funding means tend to be very modest.

Medical residents do not usually have to worry about health care expenditures for themselves or their dependents. Some teaching hospitals affiliated with the municipal councils of the communities they serve are able to get subsidies for housing medical residents and their families, particularly if they are intended to pursue their careers in the medical facility running the program.

<strong>Problems Matching Students to Residencies</strong>

After medical students complete their academic and internship requirements, they enter a period of short clinical rotations to help them decide the residency program that is most suitable for their career goals. This is part of the National Residency Matching Program, which in recent years has been criticized for being an expensive endeavor that leaves some medical students without a firm residency. Since a successful match often requires relocation out of state, many students end up going deeper into debt.

Jay White

I started Dumb Little Man many years ago so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone. I hope you find something you like!

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