Number of active physicians in the U.S. in 2017, by specialty area

Specialty areaNumber of physicians
Psychiatry51,403
Surgery48,921
Anesthesiologists46,971
Emergency medicine48,851
Radiology44,643
Cardiology30,271
Oncology (cancer)18,055
Endocrinology, diabetes, & metabolism7,254
All other specialities182,977
Total specialty479,346
© Statista 2017

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About This Statistic

This statistic depicts the number of active physicians in the United States as of April 2017, ordered by specialty area. At that time, there were 46,971 anesthesiologists active in the United States.


Active physicians in the U.S.

A physician in the United States can be trained in medical education or also be an international medical graduate that has obtained a license to practice within the state. There are three organizations in the U.S. that deal with certification including the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Medical Association. In 2014, in the United States, anesthesiologists, psychiatrists, and surgical doctors were amongst the most active physicians. Anesthesiologists are able to provide care in often acute situations, for example, preoperative examination, airway management, and surgical team consultations. In the United States, the number of anesthesiologists has often been too low and so it has become more common for physicians to have residency positions in anesthesiology.

By state, the District of Columbia has the highest number of active physicians per 10,000 civilians in the U.S. with 74.7 physicians for every 10,000 people in 2013. Doctors in Northeastern and Eastern parts of the United States have a tendency to earn the least across the country. The number of primary care doctors is only slightly higher than those of non-primary care. Primary care includes physicians that are family doctors, general practitioners and internists, general pediatrics, and geriatricians. Around half of U.S. citizens that visit a physician, go to a primary care physician. However, family practice, pediatrics, and internal medicine are among the lowest paid salaries for physicians. Specialties such as orthopedic surgeons, urology, and invasive cardiology earn some of the highest wages in the country.

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