A hospitalist is a physician who treats patients in a hospital setting only. Most are trained as internal medicine physicians because they must be able to treat a wide range of conditions and illnesses while a patient is hospitalized. Hospitalists in the US earn just under $203,000 per year compared to C$146,873 ($108,777 USD) in Canada. Earnings in Australia and New Zealand are similar at AU$116,180 ($86,630 USD) and NZ$117,916 ($83,504 USD), respectively. On the lower end of the pay scale among the countries reviewed in this guide is the UK at £38,916 ($43,520 USD) per year. Geographic region, professional experience, and employer affect salaries worldwide with further details explained in this guide.
How Much Does a Hospitalist Make?
Information on salaries and US dollar equivalents for hospitalists in select countries is provided in the chart below.
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Hospitalist Salary Determinant Factors
Payscale.com and country-specific employment resources provide information on salary and a career in medicine. Because the nature of a hospitalist working only in hospital settings, the greatest influencers of salary are geographic region and professional experience. Further details are provided in the following paragraphs.
1. How Much Does a Hospitalist Make by Country?
Hospitalist Salary in the US
In the US, a hospitalist earns between just under $124,000 and nearly $256,000 per year. Earnings increase steadily over one’s career and peak for those with 20 years’ or more experience. Up to an additional $50,000 can be earned in bonus pay. Geographic region within the US may also play a role in salary as hospitalists in New York indicate earning about 15% less than the national average. This is likely due to the supply of hospitalists within the area.
Hospitalist Salary in Canada
An entry level hospitalist in Canada can earn about C$60,400. Earnings increase over one’s career, peaking at more than C$397,000 for those with 20 years’ or more experience. An additional C$25,000 can be earned in bonus pay.
Hospitalist Salary in the UK
In the UK, hospitalists can earn a median annual salary of nearly £39,000. Those beginning their careers can expect a starting salary of about £24,000 per year, increasing to more than £101,000 in annual earnings. As with many healthcare positions, the National Health Service funds most hospitalists positions in the UK, leaving little variance in salary from location to location. Positions in and near London often offer higher incomes with a high cost of living stipend.
Hospitalist Salary in Australia
Entry level hospitalists in Australia earn just under AU$59,000 per year. Salaries increase moderately during the first five years of professional experience but rise dramatically over the remainder of one’s career. Earnings peak at about AU$307,000 for those with 20 years’ or more experience. Bonus potential can increase total earnings an additional AU$20,000.
Hospitalist Salary in New Zealand
Physicians, including hospitalists, in New Zealand who are completing training earn an annual salary of NZ$70,00 to NZ$175,000 per year through the District Health Board, increasing to NZ$151,00 to NZ$212,000 per year with experience. The median annual salary of an internal medicine physician in New Zealand is NZ$117,916.
2. How Much Does a Hospitalist Make According to Experience?
Experience is a strong influencer of overall earnings for hospitalists. In the US, where the starting salaries for hospitalists are well into the six-figure range, experience can boost earnings by 106% over the span of one’s career. While other countries see lower starting salaries, the growth potential with experience exceeds the US. In Canada, the difference between starting salaries and those of senior level professionals is about 557%, followed by Australia at 420%. In the UK, where earnings are lower, salaries increase 321% with experience.
3. How Much Does a Hospitalist Make According to Work Environment?
Hospitalists work only in hospital settings, making work environment less impactful on overall earnings. The hospital may directly hire staff members, including physicians, or a management company may hold a contract for hospital labor, making this structure a possible factor in salary potential. For-profit hospitals likely offer higher salaries and bonus potential compared to non-profit hospitals.
Most hospitalists work full-time hours, defined as 40 hours per week. Some hospitalists earn overtime pay for time worked in excess of 40 hours. Schedules can vary and work hours can be at any time of the day or day of the week, including evenings, weekends, and holidays, due to the 24-hour care provided in a hospital setting. On-call hours may also be necessary. Despite the variance in hours, most hospitalists express a high level of job satisfaction.
Bonuses and Benefits
As a member of the healthcare field, most hospitalists receive a full healthcare package that includes medical, dental, and vision insurance. It is common to receive paid time off for vacation and holidays as well as sick days. Some hospitalists, primarily those working in a for-profit organization, may also receive bonus pay, hiring bonus, or payment of school loans based on length of work with the organization. Other common benefits include meal allowances and payment of continuing medical education for training that is required to maintain a medical license.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a growth rate of 14% in physicians, including hospitalists, between 2014 and 2024. This is a must faster than average growth rate compared to other professions. This growth rate is due to an aging population expected to spend time in a hospital setting more frequently, as well as advancements in medicine and the ability to effectively treat illnesses and conditions.
To practice as a hospitalist, one must complete four years of medical school following his or her undergraduate education. Internships, training, and residency can add an additional three to seven years, and on-going continuing medical education are required throughout one’s career. All countries require licensure or registration with the appropriate state or regional governing body.
Hospitalists earn strong salaries worldwide that justify the level of education and training required to work in this career. There is potential to increase overall earnings significantly through bonuses. Future demand for hospitalists is expected to increase at a fast rate, which should support income levels in the coming years.