- Physician resident salary growth has remained stagnant since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with residents earning $64,200 on average in 2022, according to a report from Medscape.
- From 2015 to 2019, salaries rose from $55,400 on average to $61,200. From 2020 to 2022, they rose from $63,400 to $64,200, according to the report.
- A quarter of residents surveyed by Medscape said they still have more than $300,000 in debt from medical school, and half of respondents said they owe more than $200,000, the report found. One in five residents reported having no debt.
Residents training in hospitals make significantly less than the doctors they work alongside, though some have spoken out or taken action to change that through union activity.
So far in 2022, interns and residents at four hospital systems across the country have won representation with the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR-SEIU). That compares to five election wins in 2021, one in 2020 and two in 2019, according to the union.
Residents make progressively more money as they continue training, with those in their sixth to eighth year making 17% more than those in their first year of residency, according to the Medscape survey based on responses from over 1,000 U.S. medical residents collected from March through May of 2022.
But just 27% of residents surveyed said they feel they're being fairly compensated for their work in 2022, compared with 62% in 2015.
Residents cited pay not reflecting hours worked nor being comparable to other staff, like nurses and physicians assistants. They also said their pay does not reflect their skill or the cost of living.
Some 36% of respondents said they think their salaries should be 26% to 50% higher.
Two-thirds said they work more than 50 hours a week, and a quarter said they work more than 70 hours, in line with last year’s report.