What is the Average Salary for Doctors in Canada?


Aspiring physicians in Canada may want to consider the average salary for doctors when deciding which specialty to pursue. From general practitioners to specialists, doctor salaries in Canada vary significantly. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the major factors that determine a physician’s salary and provide an overview of top-paying specialties in the country.

Looking at doctor salary in Canada, it is clear that medicine is a highly respected and financially lucrative profession. The average Canadian medical doctor earns an annual salary of around $250,000 CAD, which is higher than the national median income of $39,000. In addition to the high salary given to doctors, many additional generous benefits such as healthcare and retirement plans are often included. This wide range of monetary compensation helps make doctoring one of the most rewarding and sought after careers in Canada. Ultimately this allows Canadian medical professionals to pursue their passions with confidence knowing they can support themselves and their loved ones.

Salary Factors for Doctors in Canada

The most significant factor impacting a doctor’s salary is geographical location. For example, doctors practicing in larger urban centers tend to make more than those practicing in rural areas or small towns. Other factors that can influence a doctor’s salary include years of experience, type of practice (private or public), and specialty area within medicine.

Doctor salaries in Canada have been subject to many misconceptions, with some people believing they’re incredibly high and others convinced they’re much lower than advertised. Despite the fact that doctors are generally paid more than average workers in Canada, the truth is that most of their income is derived from billings rather than salaries. This can vary significantly depending on the region, and is heavily influenced by factors such as type of practice, hours worked and the specialty of a doctor. Specialists tend to command higher value for their services, but all doctors have to account for additional costs such as overhead fees or malpractice insurance when filing taxes. The reality is far more nuanced than some people realize; while doctor salaries are certainly on the higher end of the scale in Canada, there are several other factors which affect how much a doctor will actually earn each year.

Top-Paying Specialties

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) reports that on average, the highest-paid physicians are those who specialize in cardiology and radiology. This is followed by orthopedic surgeons whose average income is upwards of $350,000 per year. Other highly paid specialties include anesthesia, neurology, gastroenterology, urology and plastic surgery among others.  On the other hand, family/general practitioners typically earn less than $250,000 per year on average. 

The cost of medical school

The cost of medical school has demanded more and more of doctor’s resources over the years, leading to some major issues. Not only do newly graduated doctors have a mountain of debt with which to contend, but for many, this financial burden can be overwhelming and affect their emotional wellbeing, too. This does not even take into account those who are forced to turn down jobs or limit aspects of their practice due to financial constraints. Furthermore, doctors who spent additional funds on activities such as obtaining specialty certifications often find that their subsidies fail to bridge the cost gap completely. In other words, cost of medical school is an important factor that influences a doctor’s career prospectus in the long run.

Goals as a doctor

Having the opportunity to serve people as a doctor is an amazing privilege. As a doctor, I aspire to provide every patient with excellent healthcare and to help improve their quality of life. My career goals extend beyond the delivery of medical care though, as I strive to use my knowledge and skills to educate the community on preventative medicine and healthy lifestyle choices. It is essential that everyone has access to health services, which is why I am determined to help future patients in underserved areas receive the care they deserve. Additionally, I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel and experience different cultures around the world, meaning my field of expertise expands much further than just within America. Being able to act on my goals as a doctor involves constant learning and growth so that I can effectively advocate for those who are less fortunate.


When selecting a specialty field within medicine, many aspiring physicians choose based on personal interest and passion without considering salary potential. However, it’s important to understand the different factors that play into your earning potential as a physician—including geography and specialization area—in order to make an informed decision about your future career path. By understanding both the financial incentives and professional satisfaction associated with each medical specialty field offered in Canada today, you can make an informed decision about which specialty best suits your interests and goals as a doctor.

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