Top 10 Countries with the Highest Salaries for Doctors

stethoscope on top of pile of money

Doctors get paid exceptionally well which is only fair when you consider the lives they save and many years of very expensive education they have to go through. It is often thought that doctors who practice in the United States get paid too much, but what if we compared them to the rest of the world? The USA pays its doctors high salaries, but they aren’t the only ones.

Here are the top 10 countries with the highest salaries for doctors.

10. Denmark

Denmark, which is the only Scandinavian country to make it onto the list, is somewhat of an oddity. The Danes actually pay GP’s more than specialists, with specialists earning $91,000 and GP’s an average of $109,000 per year. Although, the specialists are hardly going hungry it’s still a bit strange.

9. Switzerland

The definition of a neutral country consistently makes its way onto the list of best places to live. And it’s not just down to the generous quality of life and pay which for doctors is an impressive $130,000 for specialists and $116,000 for GP’s. It is also an amazingly beautiful country surrounded by breakthtaking mountains. They also make really nice chocolate and watches!

8. Ireland

Yes, the Emerald Isle comes in at number eight with specialists earning an excellent average $143,000 and GP's $90,000 per year. Although the pay isn't as high as some of the other countries on the list, most specialists conduct both public and private work. Depending on the specialist they could charge $200 or more for a 10 or 20-minute consultation. So, the amount of money that specialists earn is usually considerably higher than $143,000. So, if you’re an English speaking doctor, Ireland could be the perfect place to get a great paycheck as long as you don’t mind the weather.

7. France

Yes everyone loves France, Paris, Croissants, cheese and wine. But, in addition to their lovely food and beautiful cities, they also pay their doctors quite well and have a Pharmacy on practically every street. Specialists earn an average of $149,000 and GP’s roughly $92,000 per year. So, if your French is impeccable - because if you have ever been to Paris, then you know how much they love their language, and you want to enjoy the finer things in life - France could be the perfect place to make your living as a doctor.

6. United Kingdom

UK doctors, although often hop over to Australia to work, make a salary worth sticking around for. Unfortunately in the UK, doctors are often overworked and understaffed in hospitals. Specialists here can expect to make a yearly salary of $150,000 while general practitioners will see $118,000. The UK is one of the countries on this list that offers the greatest amount of financial support to its medical students.

See Also: Top 10 Countries with the Highest Paid Salaries for Nurses



5. Canada

Canada arrives on this list with specialists earning an average of $161,000 a year while general practitioners earn $107,000 a year. Canada struggles with many of its doctors going to the USA to practice because of higher wages and faces a doctor shortage. This means many doctors are faced with high amounts of patients and often frustrated patients because of wait times.

4. Belgium

The heart of the EU jumps onto the list at number four with specialist making an average of $188,000 per year and GPs’s a not so impressive $61,000. And although it is a beautiful country with medieval towns and cities, it’s not all good news. Belgium doctors work the longest hours of any doctors in Europe an average of 51 hours per week. The taxes are also quite high in Belgium so you might want to think twice before you jump on a plane if you are a fluent Flemish or French speaker.

3. United States

The USA comes in at number three, much to the surprise of many who think these doctors make the most. A specialist can expect to make $230,000 a year while a general practitioner makes roughly $161,000. Unfortunately, this country is expected to have a significant shortage of doctors in the next 15 years due to higher practice costs and lower insurance reimbursement rates. Doctors here also worry about being sued for malpractice and the cost of malpractice insurance is skyrocketing.

2. Australia

The land Down Under comes in at number two in terms of highest paying doctors with specialists making roughly $247,000 and general practitioners making $91,000. A lot of UK doctors flock here due to better working conditions in hospitals and the better support systems that are offered. Australian staffing levels are higher than most countries and there is a big focus on teaching and education. Doctors will find part of their working hours devoted solely to learning new techniques and teaching others.

1. The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a doctor’s dream workplace offering high salaries, great working conditions, shorter hours, and plenty of holidays. The amazing healthcare system ensures everyone has a family doctor, and long waiting times are unheard of; it is no wonder doctors are more than happy to work here. As for pay, the average yearly compensation for specialists is $253,000 while general practitioners make roughly $117,000. This country remains one of the top countries to be a doctor year after year.

After years of medical school and student loans to pay off, is being a doctor worth it? Looking at these first-rate salaries in some of the best places to live in the world, I think so. Where would you want to call home if you decided to go into medicine?


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development