Grey’s Anatomy is one of the most successful medical shows of all time, inspiring many to take on Medicine as their life path. But for those who are still on the fence about following in the footsteps of the doctors at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital, maybe a comparison of how much each doctor would earn in real life will be the financial nudge you need.
Meredith Grey – General Surgeon: $292,633/year
General Surgeons are doctors specialized in using surgical procedures to either diagnose or treat medical conditions. This is the reason why Mer gets so many interesting cases – she works on every part of the body.
In reality, a general surgeon would make around $292,633 per year. As a general surgeon, you will be able to do more than just hone your skills with a scalpel. General Surgeons can perform more than just surgeries on any part of the body. They also make definitive management of patients’ issues, leading to better life qualities in both long and short terms.
Plus, there are always huge job opportunities for general surgeons, due to the flexibility of their specialty. So while you won’t have as many life-shattering instances like Meredith Grey, you can always expect a huge paycheck.
Cristina Yang – Cardiothoracic Surgeon: $97,299 to $528,575/year
Cardiothoracic surgeons work on the heart, lungs and other cardiothoracic, or chest organs. So yes, Cristina Yang works on some of the most essential parts of the body. I mean, you really cannot live without your heart or lungs now, can you?
Due to the importance of their work, cardiothoracic surgeons are paid a lot of money, about $97,299 and $528,575 annually, plus generous benefits packages. At the moment, cardiothoracic surgeons are more important than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it only attacks and collapses the patients’ lungs and respiratory system.
As a cardiothoracic surgeon, you aren’t going away to Sweden to be the Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery anytime soon; your work is just too important for any hospital to let you go just yet. However, the job is incredibly competitive, even for Grey’s Anatomy doctor Cristina Yang, so be prepared!
Alex Karev and Arizona Robbins – Pediatric Surgeon: $425,412/year
Pediatric Surgeons focus on treating children, just like on the show. Specifically, they treat children from their newborn stage through late adolescence. Being a Pediatric Surgeon means you will be responsible for the lives of tiny babies.
A lot of birth defects can be discovered and treated during pregnancy, with some only being treated during this fragile stage. Thus, pediatric surgeons are highly paid, going up to $425,412 per year. This probably explains Arizona and Karev’s seemingly endless funds to deal with their legal expenses.
Aside from highly competitive payment, what attracts young doctors to become pediatric surgeons is the research carried out in the field. Most pediatric researchers go into how a condition happens in newborns, or how to prevent or diagnose them as soon as possible, thus assuring the life quality of newly born babies in both long and short terms.
Derek Shepherd and Amelia Shepherd: Neurosurgeon: $400,000/year
There’s nothing more complicated than brain surgery. On the show, both Shepherd doctors work on more than just the human brain, they also work on spinal and nerves-related conditions and issues as well.
Neuron diseases tend to be one of the most debilitating diseases to heal, with some even top scientists haven’t found the cure for. To be able to work on technically challenging operations on the fascinating and complex anatomy of the human brain and nerve system, neurosurgeons need to be the top surgeons in medicine.
Understandably, neurosurgeons’ salary is extremely high, going at $400,000/year. Although, neurosurgeons should focus more on medicine and less on drama, unlike the Shepherd siblings.