Like other physician specialties, the internal medicine doctor salary in Canada is mostly determined by the services you provide. Under the fee for services model you charge the government for each patient you see and what procedure or service you did with that patient. As an internal medicine doctor you’ll receive premiums for working weekends or nights, seeing certain subsets of the patient population, or working in underserved areas.
But exactly how much does an internal medicine doctor make? It really depends on the type of patients you see and the work that you do. Here’s an overview of certain factors that will affect your pay along with the overall averages for an Internal Medicine doctor salary in Canada.
Salary vs. Fee For Service Billing
Although 97% of doctors in Canada use the fee for services model in some way, some physicians, including internal medicine doctors, receive a salary instead of billing per procedure. In some provinces, like Ontario, models like Family Healthcare Communities are designated service providers that pay doctors a salary to provide continuing care to their patients. Although these options are mainly used with family doctors, many internal medicine specialists are still taking advantage of blended forms of payment. That being said, it’s more likely you’d be working under the FFS model in which you get reimbursed for the procedures and services you provide. For more on internal medicine billing see our guide on Internal Medicine Billing.
Despite being able to bill an amount that is relatively similar across all provinces, there are some differences in internal medicine doctor salary based on where you live. In addition, many provinces across Canada offer special visit premiums or remote work premiums in order to recruit doctors to underserved or rural areas. In some Ontario programs doctors can earn as much as an additional 80-110k over a four year term, and in some parts of rural Alberta, you can earn an additional premium just by living in a certain area.
Fees are similar across provinces whether you work in an inpatient or outpatient consultation setting, however, other factors – such as the rent on office space, the cost of paying administrators to do work, the age of your average patient and the types of procedures you perform and bill for – will impact the amount you earn as internal medicine doctor salary over the year. CMA data shows that the majority of internists work in either an academic medicine setting or a hospital, with smaller percentages operating in private practice or as part of a primary care centre. Different types of practitioners will have different procedures to bill for and different special visit codes to use, which will impact your overall salary.
Billing from a hospital setting where you are frequently seeing patients at irregular hours may earn you additional income for your services overall. So can seeing certain subsets of patients – for example, doctors in Alberta can add a billing premium for patients whose BMI is over 40, or Ontario doctors can bill different amounts for patients under 16 or patients who are in a nursing home.
Whether you’re a locum or a full time practicing physician, under the fee for service model you bill for the services you perform – and some of these can earn more than others or receive billing premiums on top of the normal amount. The average amount per procedure for internal medicine doctors in Canada is $85.50, but whether you earn more or less will depend on where you practice and the types of patients you see. In general, the most commonly billed procedures by internists are consultations (both inpatient and outpatient) but you may earn more or less if you perform more specialized assessments, such as ones for diabetes, preceding colonoscopies, or related to palliative care.
The amount you work will vary whether you are part time, full time, working as a locum, or nearing retirement, but on average, internal medicine doctors work about 53 hours a week (according to the CMA) and about 73% of them provide on-call services. Internal medicine doctors in Canada earn around $150 per hour, performing just under two services in that time.
There are plenty of options for locums and part time physicians in internal medicine as well, and taking advantage of these options – whether it’s working a reduced work week or taking on a locum role in additional to your regular medical practice – can affect the amount you earn.
So how much does an internal medicine doctor make?
According to the CMA, the average internal medicine doctor in Canada earns $407,000 per year, but this varies between the provinces – in recent years, the average internal medicine doctor salary (gross billings) under the fee for services model is $487,000 in Alberta, $399,571 in B.C., and $353,875 in Ontario. Internists in Canada also typically pay an additional 21%, on average, on operating expenses, putting their take-home earnings in the 280-385k range. Keep in mind that this doesn’t include any taxes you’d need to pay.
Internal Medicine Doctor Salary Overview
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While the internal medicine doctor salary varies slightly, overall the amount internists earn across Canada remains steady – so whether you’re giving medical advice in a busy emergency room, working from an academic practice, or providing specialist services in your own clinic, working as an internist can be both intellectually and financially rewarding – which makes it a great specialty for new and older physicians alike!