The average doctor made $119,500 income before taxes in 1986, according to a recent American Medical Association report, an increase of 6.5 percent over the previous year.
This figure represents income after payment of professional expenses -- but before federal and state income taxes -- of all doctors engaged in patient care except residents, interns and doctors employed by the federal government.
The AMA study found that in 1986, about a quarter of all physicians made less than $70,000 in income and a quarter earned more than $150,000.
Radiologists had the highest income, $168,800, with general surgeons in second place at $162,400. General and family practitioners had the lowest average, $80,300. Pediatricians averaged $81,800.
The study found that in addition to variations in income by type of speciality, there were wide variations by region and city. Doctors in New England had the lowest average income, $107,100. Doctors in the area that includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana had the highest, $129,000.
Looking at rural and urban areas nationwide, the study found that physicians in metropolitan areas with under 1 million population had the highest income, $125,400. Those in metropolitan areas exceeding 1 million population were next at $117,500. Doctors in rural areas were lowest at $113,000.
The study found the average doctor sees 119.3 patients per week. This includes seeing patients at the doctor's office, in the hospital and at nursing homes.