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How much do doctors make in Canada?

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Are you a medical student thinking about choosing your specialty? Maybe you’re in residency wondering where to practise. Or maybe you’re just curious about the average income of a physician in Canada.

Take me to the income tables

This article will list average physician earnings across 17 medical specialties in 10 provinces. But first, let’s define some terms.

How are physicians paid?

In Canada, physicians can be paid in the following ways:

  • Fee for service: The physician bills their provincial ministry of health a specified amount for each type of visit or procedure.
  • Alternative payment plans: Under these arrangements, the province pays physicians directly using a model other than fee for service, such as salary, sessional (payment on an hourly or daily basis), capitation (payment based on the number of patients on a doctor’s roster), or block funding (in which practice groups are paid for services beyond the clinical, like teaching, research or administration).

In the tables below, we show the “gross clinical payment per full-time equivalent.”

Gross clinical payment: This is the amount that the government pays the physician, whether it is fee for service or an alternative payment plan. From this amount, the self-employed physician will need to pay their overhead expenses (e.g., rent, staff salaries, equipment, insurance) and other deductions. The remaining is the physician’s net clinical revenue, from which they will pay personal taxes and/or corporate taxes if their medical practice is incorporated.

Here is a simplified illustration, using an unincorporated physician:

Gross clinical payment

$400,000

Overhead

-$150,000

Net clinical revenue

$250,000

Personal income tax

-$100,000

Take-home pay

$150,000

Full-time equivalent: Not all physicians work full-time, and part-time earnings can distort the calculation of average income. The “full-time equivalent” metric aims to produce statistics that are comparable between full-time and part-time, across jurisdictions and across specialties.

Tables of physician income in Canada

The figures in the following tables are from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, published in October 2020 based on 2018–2019 data.1

CIHI provides information for family medicine and a select number of medical and surgical specialties.

Note that because of the varying payment methods across Canada, there are limitations to the comparability of this physician payment information. Anesthesia data, in fact, is excluded from service counts because of concerns about the comparability of certain jurisdictions.

An asterisk (*) indicates that data were suppressed to protect confidentiality where there are four or fewer physicians; n/a indicates not applicable and/or there were no physicians for this specialty in the particular province. In general, there were not enough data for Yukon, Northwest Territories or Nunavut.

 

 

By province — Average physician gross annual income

Province

Annual income

Alberta

$446,378

Manitoba

$418,017

Quebec

$414,019

Saskatchewan

$412,317

New Brunswick

$400,929

British Columbia

$383,049

Prince Edward Island

$372,760

Newfoundland

$354,094

Ontario

$350,534

Nova Scotia

$350,391

Average

$383,806

 

 

 

By specialty — Average physician gross annual income

Specialty

Annual income

Ophthalmology

$868,107

Thoracic/cardiovascular surgery

$667,906

Neurosurgery

$593,351

Surgical specialists

$568,439

Urology

$566,348

General surgery

$536,041

Cardiology

$524,704

Otolaryngology

$520,478

Plastic surgery

$507,535

Orthopedic surgery

$503,697

Gastroenterology

$492,027

Obstetrics/gynecology

$468,331

Internal medicine

$461,714

Dermatology

$446,371

Medical specialists

$400,181

Pediatrics

$353,686

Neurology

$353,526

Physical medicine

$338,849

Family medicine

$327,502

Psychiatry

$317,230

 

 

Cardiology — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Alberta

$630,036

British Columbia

$596,136

Saskatchewan

$572,531

Manitoba

$538,601

Quebec

$517,072

Ontario

$495,132

New Brunswick

$481,015

Newfoundland

$455,341

Nova Scotia

$355,106

Prince Edward Island

n/a

Average

$524,704

 

 

Dermatology — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Manitoba

$636,230

Alberta

$612,845

Nova Scotia

$581,563

New Brunswick

$565,222

Newfoundland

$516,409

British Columbia

$500,170

Saskatchewan

$462,521

Quebec

$445,630

Ontario

$353,128

Prince Edward Island

n/a

Average

$446,371

 

 

Family medicine — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Alberta

$392,180

Quebec

$363,927

Manitoba

$362,666

New Brunswick

$337,382

Saskatchewan

$318,152

Prince Edward Island

$312,368

British Columbia

$304,398

Nova Scotia

$301,296

Ontario

$299,288

Newfoundland

$288,406

Average

$327,502

 

 

Gastroenterology — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Alberta

$536,745

British Columbia

$536,074

Manitoba

$532,975

Saskatchewan

$525,438

New Brunswick

$494,288

Quebec

$493,754

Ontario

$473,054

Newfoundland

$435,938

Nova Scotia

$343,325

Prince Edward Island

n/a

Average

$492,027

 

 

General surgery — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Alberta

$639,763

Manitoba

$624,553

Quebec

$614,316

Saskatchewan

$588,404

Prince Edward Island

$548,780

New Brunswick

$541,355

British Columbia

$530,368

Nova Scotia

$506,343

Newfoundland

$479,543

Ontario

$472,742

Average

$536,041

 

 

Internal medicine — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Alberta

$543,859

British Columbia

$501,302

Manitoba

$482,733

Saskatchewan

$479,918

Quebec

$473,709

Prince Edward Island

$441,945

Ontario

$435,314

New Brunswick

$433,927

Newfoundland

$417,383

Nova Scotia

$364,887

Average

$461,714

 

 

Neurology — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

British Columbia

$444,785

Alberta

$405,662

Newfoundland

$392,689

Manitoba

$359,329

Saskatchewan

$354,665

Quebec

$337,644

Ontario

$336,423

Prince Edward Island

$327,331

New Brunswick

$306,529

Nova Scotia

$291,601

Average

$353,526

 

 

Neurosurgery — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Saskatchewan

$685,601

Ontario

$682,470

British Columbia

$631,050

Manitoba

$611,891

Quebec

$528,809

New Brunswick

$426,387

Nova Scotia

$346,416

Alberta

n/a

Newfoundland

*

Prince Edward Island

n/a

Average

$593,351

 

                          

Obstetrics/gynecology — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

British Columbia

$553,938

Saskatchewan

$544,630

Alberta

$535,663

New Brunswick

$534,507

Manitoba

$515,889

Prince Edward Island

$507,484

Quebec

$463,913

Nova Scotia

$440,668

Ontario

$429,228

Newfoundland

$386,186

Average

$468,331

 

 

Ophthalmology — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Alberta

$1,281,835

Manitoba

$1,155,215

Prince Edward Island

$1,102,193

Saskatchewan

$1,042,511

Newfoundland

$986,733

British Columbia

$948,889

Nova Scotia

$894,090

Quebec

$806,974

New Brunswick

$788,867

Ontario

$732,848

Average

$868,107

 

 

Orthopedic surgery — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Newfoundland

$610,037

Alberta

$591,644

Manitoba

$570,222

Saskatchewan

$564,935

Prince Edward Island

$530,675

Quebec

$518,519

British Columbia

$507,193

Ontario

$468,121

Nova Scotia

$458,025

New Brunswick

$455,125

Average

$503,697

 

 

Otolaryngology — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Alberta

$685,842

Saskatchewan

$551,313

Manitoba

$547,804

New Brunswick

$544,137

Nova Scotia

$524,969

Ontario

$513,759

British Columbia

$502,963

Newfoundland

$489,334

Quebec

$473,085

Prince Edward Island

*

Average

$520,478

 

 

Pediatrics — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Alberta

$415,642

British Columbia

$407,190

New Brunswick

$407,181

Quebec

$389,360

Saskatchewan

$380,864

Newfoundland

$377,576

Nova Scotia

$349,750

Manitoba

$340,065

Prince Edward Island

$316,030

Ontario

$311,744

Average

$353,686

 

 

Physical medicine — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Manitoba

$418,797

Saskatchewan

$393,282

British Columbia

$384,657

Alberta

$380,398

New Brunswick

$350,524

Quebec

$323,886

Ontario

$317,184

Nova Scotia

$228,854

Newfoundland

*

Prince Edward Island

*

Average

$338,849

 

 

Plastic surgery — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Alberta

$690,406

Manitoba

$680,863

New Brunswick

$613,682

Saskatchewan

$580,126

Quebec

$544,910

Nova Scotia

$523,305

British Columbia

$511,739

Newfoundland

$505,098

Ontario

$427,524

Prince Edward Island

*

Average

$507,535

 

 

Psychiatry — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Prince Edward Island

$383,066

New Brunswick

$376,725

Quebec

$362,943

Saskatchewan

$357,601

Manitoba

$346,271

Alberta

$330,516

British Columbia

$306,722

Newfoundland

$293,696

Nova Scotia

$291,728

Ontario

$277,710

Average

$317,230

 

 

Thoracic/cardiovascular surgery — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Alberta

$896,253

Saskatchewan

$773,270

Manitoba

$763,915

Ontario

$684,298

British Columbia

$658,754

Quebec

$622,165

New Brunswick

$543,040

Nova Scotia

$537,489

Newfoundland

*

Prince Edward Island

n/a

Average

$667,906

 

 

Urology — Gross annual income by province

Province

Annual income

Alberta

$708,224

Manitoba

$703,710

New Brunswick

$661,044

Prince Edward Island

$652,470

Saskatchewan

$646,167

British Columbia

$604,743

Nova Scotia

$590,945

Newfoundland

$582,699

Quebec

$532,025

Ontario

$527,546

Average

$566,348

1 How to find this information: Go to https://www.cihi.ca/en/physicians-in-canadaScroll down to “National Physician Database” and download “Data tables (ZIP).” Go to the file titled “NPDB-historical-payments-data-tables-1999-2018-en-web.xlsx”; see Table D2 (“Average payments”), click on Row 3 (“Type of average payment”) and select “Average gross clinical payment per full-time-equivalent physician” from the dropdown.

The above information should not be construed as offering specific financial, investment, foreign or domestic taxation, legal, accounting or similar professional advice, nor is it intended to replace the advice of independent tax, accounting or legal professionals.