- Province of residence
- Medical specialization
- Years of education
1. Number of patientsThe average physician salary in Canada comes from many sources. The main one is a fee for service model that allows physicians to bill the government for each patient they see. Canadian doctor salary is comprised of a rate per service, which is claimed and submitted to the government for compensation. Under this model, the average doctor salary will depend on how many patients they are able to see in a day, what services they’re providing and the province where they operate. Family medicine doctors billed an average of $51 per service in 2019, while medical and surgical specialists billed $87 and $91 respectively. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, 72% of physicians work under a fee-for-service model. The other payment models are alternative payment plans (which usually include some fee-for-service tasks), or salaries. Under the fee for services model, a doctor’s salary in Canada per hour will differ based on the province where they work, the number of patients they see per hour, and the amount they can bill for each patient. Family physicians see more patients per day, but specialists can bill a higher rate per patient, so a doctor’s yearly salary will depend on both how many patients they can see, how many hours they work, and how much they can charge for each service.
2. SpecializationJust like your specialization will determine the rate you charge per visit, the average annual salary for a doctor in Canada will depend on your specialization. According to the CIHI, the average gross payment per physician in 2020 was $354,000. Family medicine doctors earned $287,000, medical specialists earned $370,000, and surgical specialists earned an average of $487,000. Keep in mind that these numbers are reported as the gross amount doctors bill to the provincial government — it doesn’t include the amount they pay in practice overhead, taxes, or other expenses, which can be around 20-30%. More highly specialized medical fields will demand higher salaries, but also might come with longer hours. Make sure to balance the decision about how much you hope to earn with the other factors that would influence your choice of specialization. Keep in mind that there are other factors that influence a doctor’s yearly salary within specialization – higher paying specializations often require more years of schooling, more hours, or a more stressful working environment. Some specializations may earn more in terms of doctor career salary, while earning less per hour than others.
3. LocationA main driver for salary fluctuation is the province & location a doctor chooses to practice in. While all provinces and territories use the fee for service model, there is some variability in what you are allowed to charge in each province. Even location premiums depend on your level of specialization – more highly specialized physicians will earn a higher salary and have less variation across the different provinces. For example:
- Family physicians earn an average salary of $308,000 per year in BC and $303,000 in Ontario
- Cardiologists in BC earn $599,000 per year versus $508,000 in Ontario
- Psychiatrists earn $316,000 in BC versus $281,000 in Ontario