The High Salaries: How Much Doctors Earn in Canada’s Biggest Cities

Doctors in Canada’s largest cities typically earn a very good salary. According to 2017 figures from Doximity Dx, an online network for doctors, physicians in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal earn a median income of over $208,000, $220,000 and $199,000 respectively. However, earnings vary significantly based on specialty, experience, location and other factors.

General practitioners in Vancouver earn a median of $210,000 according to Doximity Dx. Family physicians in Toronto pull in $216,000 on average while those in Montreal make $208,000. Anesthesiologists, surgeons and specialists in areas like orthopedics, cardiology and oncology tend to earn more. For example, anesthesiologists in these cities make $325,000 (Vancouver), $322,000 (Toronto) and $316,000 (Montreal) on average. Surgeons earn $540,000 (Vancouver), $567,000 (Toronto) and $511,000 (Montreal) per year.

Location plays a considerable role in determining a doctor’s pay. Salaries tend to be higher in private practice compared to hospitals. Doctors in Vancouver and Toronto, where the cost of living is very high, typically earn a higher median income than in Montreal. Established doctors with several years of experience also generally earn significantly more than new physicians. For example, an experienced specialist earns on average $500,000 per year in Vancouver and Toronto while a new specialist makes closer to $300,000.

Other factors that boost a doctor’s salary include obtaining additional certifications, working extra hours on nights, weekends and holidays,moonlighting at other hospitals or clinics, teaching medical students, publishing research papers, and building a loyal patient base. Some doctors are also able to increase their pay through bonuses, profit sharing and obtaining hospital privileges which provide higher reimbursement rates.

To earn a high salary as a doctor, gaining substantial experience, specializing in a high-paying field, working in private practice versus a hospital, and living in a city with a higher cost of living are some of the most effective strategies. While doctor salaries in Canada’s largest cities are quite generous, earning potential really depends on the individual, their specialty, work environment, experience and other personal and professional factors. With time and effort, most doctors are able to achieve a high income, but salaries vary widely in the early years of a medical career.

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