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What Factors Affect the Salary of a Primary Care Physician?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

Factors which may affect the salary of a primary care physician include where he lives geographically, the medical center or hospital he works for, and how many years of experience he has. Naturally, a physician who is just finished residency will probably earn well under one who has been working for many years. Different salaries may also be expected based on where within a country the doctor lives, since living expenses and payment is different in various locations.

One of the primary factors that determines the salary of a primary care physician is the length of time the doctor has been practicing medicine. As a doctor gains more experience, his or her salary goes up accordingly. How much and how quickly a person begins earning more money will depend on where the person lives and how well he performs. The type of facility he works in may also make a difference.


Doctors who work in hospitals may earn more than those who work in smaller offices. Public hospitals also tend to pay less than private ones, and doctors who start their own private practices may earn even more. The success of a doctor's practice will have a large impact on the salary of a primary care physician. Like any business, some doctors may not have many patients at first, especially if they don't have a reputation in the community from working elsewhere first. Practices that do become successful, though, often provide physicians with very healthy salaries.

The country one lives in can also have an impact on the salary of a primary care physician. Those living in the United States can be very highly paid, as in most countries. However, some nations' doctors have lower salaries than the norm, and others have much more highly paid doctors. What is considered high pay will vary from place to place and person to person.

There is no way to determine exactly how much the salary of a primary care physician will be before his career starts. There are averages for each country or location, but each doctor's career will take a unique path that will determine overall pay. On average, physicians can expect to make a handsome living if they maintain their professionalism and work toward promotion.

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