Anesthesiologists seem to have the best of both worlds. We contribute significantly to the welfare of humanity while at the same time we are paid very well for that privilege. That at least is the findings from a survey conducted by Payscale.com. The site asked respondents if they felt their jobs made the world a better place. They then correlated the answers with income data. The information was then compiled into a list of the top 25 most meaningful jobs that pay well.
Our profession came out near the top at number three. Eighty-eight percent of anesthesiologists felt that they made the world a better place. That's not surprising considering that our job is to alleviate pain and suffering. Who wouldn't consider that making the world better? At the same time the average salary of anesthesiologists is $283,600. Not a bad chunk of change for improving people's lives.
As a matter of fact the top five on Payscale.com's list are all physicians. Number one is neurosurgery, with an average salary of $381,500 and a positive survey response of 97%. The second place profession is cardiothoracic surgery, with a salary of $353,900 and a response of 91%. Rounding out the top five are dermatology, because who doesn't appreciate a more beautiful complexion, and OB/GYN, because we all love healthy newborn babies.
So consider this another feather in the cap for anesthesiology. While it's admirable to volunteer to help the world's poor like Mother Teresa or the Peace Corps, that's just not realistic for most of us who have families to support. Like them, anesthesiologists also contribute to the general welfare of society but with the added incentive of a substantial income. In addition, of the top three, anesthesiology has the shortest residency training period and the best lifestyle. Is it any wonder anesthesiology is one of the best jobs in America?