Advanced Medical Certification

Shopping Cart

No products in the cart.

View All Courses

The Top 10 Medical Specialties That Everyone is Talking About

The Top 10 Medical Specialties That Everyone is Talking About

Photo of Greta

by Greta Kviklyte

Life Saver, AMC
Co-authored by Kim Murray, RN, M.S.

posted on Mar 23, 2016, at 9:41 pm


SO – YOU’RE CONSIDERING A CAREER as a physician or you already are one. Now what?

There is a seemingly countless number of medical specialties out there, how do you choose which best suits your skills, character and interests? Some medical specialties are more popular than others for several reasons, including salary and responsibilities of the job. Below, we’ve listed the top 10 medical specialties that are growing in popularity right now! These are listed in no particular order.

The Top Medical Specialties

1. Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic surgery is an operation performed by a medical specialist such as an orthopedist or orthopedic surgeon, who is trained to assess and treat problems that develop in the bones, joints and ligaments of the human body (

Top 10 Medical Specialities that Everyone is Talking

What: Orthopedic surgeons treat several conditions that affect the bones, muscles, ligaments, joints, tendons and nerves. They work alongside other health care providers and physicians.

Orthopedic surgeons treat a wide range of conditions. Some of these include: dislocations, bone tumors, osteoporosis, spine disorders, arthritis and fractures.

Where: Orthopedic surgeons typically practice in hospitals or in their own private practice.

Salary: An orthopedist working in a hospital makes on average anywhere from $148,804 and $312,979, while one who works in a nonprofit organization makes on average $260,000 to $505,000 (

2. General Surgeon

General surgery is the treatment of injury, deformity and disease using operative procedures (

What: General surgeons are physicians who have been educated and trained in preoperative, operative and postoperative care of patients. They have an extensive knowledge of emergency and intensive care, wound healing, resuscitation, anatomy, immunology and pathology. While general surgery is a popular choice as a medical specialty, there are further specific specialties within general surgery, such as pediatrics, neurological and vascular.

Where: General surgeons work in hospitals, small private clinics and surgical outpatient centers.

Salary: A general surgeon makes on average anywhere from $249,700 to $336,000 per year in the U.S.

3. Cardiologist

A cardiologist is a doctor with special training and skill in finding, treating and preventing diseases of the heart and blood vessels (

What: A cardiologist works closely with patients on a personal level, reviewing medical history and comprehensive body tests such as blood pressure, weight and examining your lungs to diagnose your symptoms and create an individualized treatment plan. Cardiologists perform several unique tests such as echocardiograms, ambulatory ECGs and cardiac catheterizations.

Where: Cardiologists can work in locations such as private practices, universities, research centers and hospitals.

Salary: A cardiologist in the U.S. makes about $385,628. This can range from $260,000 to $400,000 depending on work experience.

4. Plastic Surgeon

A surgeon who specializes in reducing scarring or disfigurement that may occur as a result of accidents, birth defects or treatment for diseases, such as melanoma. Many plastic surgeons also perform cosmetic surgery that is unrelated to medical conditions (

What: Plastic surgeons almost always have a further specialty within the field of plastic surgery that require different types of training and expertise. In general, plastic surgeons must have special knowledge and skills in the design and operation of grafts, flaps, free tissue transfer and replantation. They must also be proficient in understanding complex wounds and tumor surgery. There is also emphasis on the need for a high-competent understanding of ethics and surgical judgment necessary.

Where: Plastic surgeons work in hospitals, outpatient clinics and private practices.

Salary: A plastic surgeon’s salary is highly dependent on years of work experience, but averages to about $323,434 per year in the U.S. This can range, however, from $230,000 to $820,000.

5. Radiologist

A physician specialized in radiology, the branch of medicine that uses ionizing and nonionizing radiation for the diagnosis and treatment of disease (

What: Radiologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disease using medical imaging techniques like x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds and PETs. They must have a comprehensive understanding of radiation safety, the effects of radiation on the human body, and be able to properly interpret quality radiological imaging examinations.

Where: Most radiologists work as a part of a clinical team in a public or private hospital, private radiology practices and hospitals.

Salary: A radiologist’s salary, like a plastic surgeon’s, depends on experience but currently averages at about $216,577 per year in the U.S. Ranging from $150,000 to over $425,000.

6. Oncologist

A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer (

What: An oncologist oversees patient care from a cancer diagnosis throughout the entire course of treatment. They have several responsibilities such as explaining the diagnosis and stages, discussing treatment options and helping with cancer-related pain management. They work closely with a team of specialists, including pathologists, radiologists and oncology nurses. Within the specialty of oncology, there are further specific specialty areas, which include surgical, radiation, pediatric and medical oncologists.

Where: Oncologists work in hospitals and specialized medical centers.

Salary: An oncologist’s salary in the U.S. is around $235,929 per year. This can range from $50,000 to $250,000.

7. Critical Care Physician (Intensivist)

Critical care (sometimes called intensive care) physicians provide comprehensive care for patients with severe illness or injury (

What: A critical care physician has responsibilities that include the diagnosis and treatment of extreme clinical conditions and human disease. Because of the nature of the job, critical care physicians need to be competent in a broad range of intense conditions, technological procedures, medical devices and have a strong background in ethics and social issues as the job requires end-of-life decision-making and counseling. Like many other medical specialists, critical care physicians work with a team, including internal medical physicians and critical care nurses.

Where: Critical care physicians work in hospital-based settings, usually intensive care units.

Salary: A critical care physician in the U.S. is around $215,000 per year. This, like many other medical specialties, depends heavily on experience and can range from $180,000 to $320,000.

8. Dermatologist

A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin problems (

What: A dermatologist is a medical doctor who undergoes several additional years of training in order to specialize in the largest organ of the human body: the skin. They treat a variety of conditions including acne, psoriasis, eczema, skin infections, mole management, sunspots and cancer. Areas also include hairs, nails, mouth and genitalia. Dermatologists are experts in skin knowledge and have a strong background in medical science training. They work closely with medical students, resident medical officers and work alongside other health care professionals such as nurses and pharmacists.

Where: Dermatologists work in several locations, including public hospitals and private practices.

Salary: A dermatologist’s salary in the U.S. has a huge range depending on work setting, location and level of skill. They can earn anywhere from $200,000 to $2 million per year. It is one of the highest paying salaries in the medical field.

9. Urologist

An urologist is a physician who has specialized knowledge and skill regarding problems of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs (,

What: Urologists specialize in the treatment of conditions that involve the male and female urinary and reproductive systems. They treat disorders that affect the ureters, kidneys, adrenals, bladder and urethra. Some common conditions treated include cancer, kidney stones and stress incontinence. There are further specialized fields within urology, which include neurology, endourology, urologic oncology, pediatric urology and andrology. Urologists work alongside other health care professionals, such as radiologists, oncologists, nephrologists and gynecologists.

Where: Urologists work in hospitals, outpatient centers or private clinics.

Salary: The average salary of a urologist in the U.S is $343,576. The range can be anywhere between $300,000 to $400,000.

10. Gastroenterologist

A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive system (

What: Gastroenterologists diagnose, treat and prevent conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract and liver. They treat disease and injury that impact the esophagus, colon, pancreas, gallbladder, stomach, bile ducts and liver. These specialists have a complete understanding of digestion, and commonly treat conditions such as ulcers, pancreatitis, colitis, colon cancer, nutritional issues, irritable bowel syndrome and heartburn.

Where: Like many other medical specialists, gastroenterologists work in hospitals, surgery centers or private clinics.

Salary: A gastroenterologist in the U.S. makes an average of $343,928 per year. This can range anywhere from $290,000 to $400,000 depending on level of experience.

Check out this infographic:


ten medical specializations
Which of these sound most appealing to you?

Like this list? Check out our other blog “Top 5 Health Care Trends to Watch Out For in 2016!”

Follow AMC on Instagram!

All information found from:

About Greta

Greta is a dedicated life saver and a distinguished expert in the field of medical content creation and editing. Her impressive array of certifications in ACLS, CPR, PALS, and BLS underscores her commitment to excellence in the medical field. With over four years of invaluable experience in medical education, Greta plays an indispensable role within the Advanced Medical Certification team, shaping the way healthcare professionals around the world acquire and apply vital knowledge.

Greta's profound expertise serves as the driving force behind the development and distribution of medical content that has significantly enhanced the capabilities of countless healthcare practitioners across the globe.

In addition to her medical qualifications, Greta holds a prestigious academic distinction in Marketing and Global Business from Vilnius University. Her academic journey has been enriched by immersive studies in Slovakia and Portugal during her time as an exchange student, providing her with a global perspective that complements her medical expertise.

Beyond her professional commitments, Greta possesses a genuine passion for global exploration, with a particular focus on immersing herself in diverse cultures and appreciating the intricacies of the natural world. While residing in Vilnius, Lithuania, she continues to make substantial contributions to the field of medical education, leaving an indelible mark on the sector.

Reach out to Greta at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *