Medical residents can spend several years in training following the completion of their Doctor of Medicine, or M.D., degree. This residency period resembles internships in other professions and allows doctors to learn a particular medical specialty like radiology. Radiologist interns, or residents, are paid for their work, but they make substantially less than a physician who has completed his full medical residency.
Radiology interns, like other medical residents, earn an annual stipend for the work they do while they learn their specialty. Most radiology residencies take about five to six years to complete, and the salary paid to the resident generally increases each year throughout the duration of the residency. Certain residencies also offer interns the opportunity to pursue research fellowships. Stipends paid for research fellowships generally run higher than those paid to the resident while they're in training.
The amount that's paid to a radiology resident varies according to the institution for which the resident works. Generally, interns work at hospitals or university hospitals, but they also can work in specialty clinics as well. Salaries typically range from about $45,000 to about $60,000 per year. For example, first-year radiology residents at the University of Maryland Medical Center made $50,093 from 2011 to 2012, and fourth-year residents earned $56,683 during the same time period. Those pursuing a fellowship following the fourth year made $58,571 to $63,604 annually. Similarly, residents at the University of Massachusetts Medical School earned salaries ranging from $50,695 to $59,226 from 2009 to 2010.
Radiology residencies typically include a benefits package. Even though the intern is in training, he works year-round at a lower rate of pay than other physicians. Benefits provide one way to offset this lower rate of pay. For instance, the University of Maryland Medical School offers residents three weeks of vacation leave during the year and several days of holiday leave. Life and health insurance are included as part of the package, as is disability insurance. Because institutions want to attract the best and brightest doctors, benefits packages provide a potential way to do that.
The overall job outlook for physicians and surgeons is expected to be positive through 2018. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for physicians and surgeons could grow by 22 percent through 2018. The bureau notes that physicians who specialize in one particular area of medicine like radiology made median salaries of more than $340,000 per year in 2008.
2016 Salary Information for Physicians and Surgeons
Physicians and surgeons earned a median annual salary of $204,950 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, physicians and surgeons earned a 25th percentile salary of $131,980, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $261,170, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 713,800 people were employed in the U.S. as physicians and surgeons.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Physicians and Surgeons
- Univeristy of Maryland Medical Center: Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program
- University of Massachusetts Medical School: Radiology Residency Program
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Physicians and Surgeons
- Career Trend: Physicians and Surgeons
Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.