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March 20, 2023

Cardiologist Salary: How Much Do Heart Doctors Make?

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Dr. Shefiu Lanre Shittu

President of Daily Care Solutions

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Cardiology is a highly specialized medical profession that treats and prevents cardiovascular disease.

Despite the financial rewards of the profession, however, cardiologists face numerous challenges, including regulatory burdens, long hours, and administrative tasks.

This article will explore the various aspects of cardiologist salaries and the rewards and challenges of pursuing a career in this dynamic and essential medical field.

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The Average Income for Cardiologists in 2021

According to recent data, cardiologists continue to rank with the three highest-earning medical specialties.

In 2021, cardiologists reported being paid, on average, a salary close to $500,000, demonstrating an impressive increase of approximately 7% from the previous year’s average earnings of $465,000.

With the rise of chronic heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions, the demand for experienced cardiologists has grown considerably in recent years, driving up compensation rates to reflect the profession’s significant value.

2021 Income for Cardiologists Compared to 2020

Recent data indicates that cardiologists experienced a modest increase in their average income, rising approximately 7% from the prior year.

While this growth placed cardiologists in the middle of the pack among the 29+ medical specialties surveyed, it’s still noteworthy. It reflects the industry’s continued demand for top-tier cardiology expertise.

The Average Incentive Bonus for Cardiologists

The annual Medscape survey revealed that a majority of physicians, approximately 57%, received a bonus as an incentive in the past year.

In cardiology, this bonus averaged $85,000 in 2021, representing an impressive boost from the previous year’s average of a little over $70,000.

Do Cardiologists Feel They Are Compensated Fairly?

Despite the recent bumps in regular pay and incentives for cardiologists, only slightly over half of them (57%) feel they are fairly compensated for their work. This figure places them somewhere in the center of physicians surveyed regarding feeling rewarded for their efforts adequately.

One potential reason for this feeling of being compensated unfairly could be attributed to the ways used to tally up their salaries.

For instance, production incentives that penalize spending extra time with a patient, or other measures that don’t feel meaningful or relevant, could negatively impact the perception of being fairly compensated.

Do Cardiologists Supplement Their Income With Extra Work?

Approximately 3 in 10 cardiologists have taken on additional work, primarily by adding responsibilities to their existing medical workload. Some have even pursued side hustles outside of their primary job in healthcare.

While this figure is slightly lower than the percentage of physicians in general (36%) who have taken on extra work, it’s still a notable proportion.

Cardiologists’ motivation to take on extra work may be partly due to an interest in early retirement, a desire for greater financial independence, and significant student debt.


Other Considerations Impacting Cardiologists

Let’s take a look at some of the other factors that impact cardiologists daily.

Job Satisfaction

Despite physicians’ numerous challenges since 2020, a recent report suggests that cardiologists are experiencing high job and specialty satisfaction levels.

According to the report, 81% of cardiologists surveyed would again choose a career in medicine, the highest among all physicians surveyed.

Furthermore, the vast majority of cardiologists surveyed indicated they would choose their specialty again, placing them in the top third of physicians.

Administrative Responsibilities for Cardiologists

Cardiologists face a significant administrative workload, with an average of a little over 16 hours spent each week performing administrative work.

However, this figure puts these doctors in the middle third of all doctors surveyed, indicating that while they face a substantial administrative burden, it is not the highest among medical specialties.

The average amount of time reported by cardiologists is slightly higher than that reported by physicians overall, which a little over 15 hours spent each week.

Do Cardiologists Plan to Drop Insurers That Pay the Least?

A recent study found that 17% of physicians surveyed reported that they could or would drop pay-paying insurers if given a choice. In comparison, 83% said they could not do so for various reasons, such as ethical or business considerations.

However, the survey results also highlighted that the yes/no splits varied between cardiologists and other physicians, indicating the complexity of the situation.

cardiologist on computer

The Most Rewarding Part of Cardiologists’ Jobs

The best and most rewarding parts of their career for cardiologists are multifaceted, with relationships with patients and thankfulness from patients topping the list for 34% of those surveyed.

Another 23% of cardiologists found that diagnosing and finding the right answer for the diagnosis was the best part of their work. In comparison, 21% felt satisfied with helping others and improving the world.

The Most Challenging Part of Cardiologists’ Jobs

Cardiologists face numerous challenges in their profession, and a recent survey highlights some of the most significant areas of difficulty. According to the study, the most challenging aspect of their work is the burden of rules and regulations, cited by 26% of cardiologists surveyed.

This figure is consistent with the experience of physicians overall. Moreover, it highlights the complexity and often frustrating nature of navigating the regulatory landscape in healthcare.

Another significant challenge cardiologists face is the demanding nature of their hours, with 21% of respondents highlighting this as a considerable obstacle. Given the critical nature of their work, cardiologists often work long hours. In addition, they must be available around the clock to respond to emergencies and urgent situations.

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Cardiology is Highly Specialized With Significant Earning Potential

Cardiology is a highly specialized medical profession that offers significant earning potential and numerous intangible rewards.

While the field presents its share of challenges, including regulatory burdens, long hours, and administrative tasks, the satisfaction of positively impacting patients’ lives makes it genuinely fulfilling.

The opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in cardiology are abundant, and the demand for top-tier expertise remains high.

At Daily Care Solutions, we understand the challenges medical professionals face in cardiology and other specialties.

That’s why we provide locum tenens jobs that offer flexibility, competitive pay, and the opportunity to work in various clinical settings.

Click Here to Contact Daily Care Solution To Learn How We Can Help You Take the Next Step in Your Career.

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Dr. Shefiu Lanre Shittu

President of Daily Care Solutions

Internal Medicine physician with over 10 years of experience in medical staffing solution. Completed medical education and residency in Columbia University. Provided expert oversight to private groups and hospitals. Contracted services organization and Take charge of establishing three hospitalist programs from inception to completion. Develop the scope of practice and negotiate contracts with other departments and specialties. Perform a wide range of tasks including contract negotiations, revenue cycle and human resource management, process improvement, and introduction of interdisciplinary rounding. Drove key efforts toward the reduction of cost of running programs by approximately 15-20%. Identified staffing needs while creating unique staffing plans for programs.

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