Graduating from medical school is a monumental achievement, marking the end of rigorous academic pursuits and the beginning of a transformative professional journey. However, as graduates step into the vast field of medicine, a crucial decision awaits—choosing a specific medical specialty. The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) highlights the complexity of this decision by presenting over 160 medical specialties and subspecialties available for physicians in the United States.

Among the many factors one considers before making a choice, job outlook is key. Choosing a medical specialty that is in high demand can lead to easier job placement and higher compensation. So, join us in discovering some of the most in-demand medical specialties in 2023 and learn more about the opportunities they provide.

The Most In-Demand Medical Specialties in 2023


The overall job outlook for physicians and surgeons averages a 3% growth, setting a baseline for specialties that are in demand. As we explore specific medical specialties, it’s essential to recognize those that reach or even surpass this average, signifying a heightened demand for professionals in these fields. Below, we’ll explore some of the most in-demand medical specialties, the intricacies of their roles, and associated salaries.


Job outlook: 27% growth

Epidemiology plays a crucial role in public health by focusing on studying disease distribution and its causes in populations. Professionals of this specialization analyze illness patterns, identify risk factors, and develop strategies for disease prevention. Their main objective is to comprehend and mitigate the impact of health-related events on communities, contributing significantly to the development of public health policies.

Those specializing in epidemiology enjoy an estimated total pay of $87,233 per year, with salaries varying from $68,000 to $112,000 annually.


Job outlook: 4% growth

Dentistry is a specialized branch of healthcare focused on oral health, encompassing diagnosing, treating, and preventing disorders related to teeth and the mouth. Dentists address many issues, from common problems like cavities to complex surgical procedures. Their primary goal is to ensure optimal dental health for patients through comprehensive care, emphasizing both treatment and preventive measures.

Dentists earn a high estimated total pay of $182,025 annually, with salaries spanning from $137,000 to $245,000 annually.

Emergency medicine

Job outlook: 5% growth

Emergency medicine is a dynamic medical specialty that addresses urgent and acute medical conditions. Emergency physicians work in high-pressure environments, responding to emergencies such as traumatic injuries and sudden illnesses. They focus on stabilizing patients swiftly and providing immediate interventions to ensure the best possible outcomes during critical situations.

The estimated total pay for emergency medicine physicians is $248,939 per year, with salaries ranging between $187,000 and $344,000 annually.


Job outlook: 3% growth

Cardiology is the medical specialty dedicated to heart health and the circulatory system. Cardiologists are medical professionals who diagnose and treat various cardiovascular conditions, from common heart issues to more complex diseases, aiming to manage and prevent such diseases, ensuring overall patient health.

On average, cardiologists earn an estimated total pay of $324,955 annually, with salaries falling between $244,000 and $455,000.


Job outlook: 4% growth

Ophthalmology focuses on eye care. Ophthalmologists are responsible for diagnosing and treating a variety of visual problems, ranging from prescribing corrective lenses to performing surgical procedures for conditions like cataracts and glaucoma. The goal of ophthalmology is to preserve good eye health and address any concerns related to the eyes.

Physicians specializing in this field have an estimated total pay of $233,812 annually, with salaries ranging from $175,000 to $325,000.


Job outlook: 3% growth

Neurology is a specialized branch of medicine that deals with disorders affecting the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Neurologists diagnose and treat conditions such as headaches, seizures, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. The primary objective of neurology is to enhance neurological well-being and improve the quality of life for individuals with neurological conditions.

Neurologists are estimated to earn salaries ranging from $185,000 to $342,000 per year, which results in an estimated total pay of $247,187 annually.


Job outlook: 4% growth

Radiology involves using advanced imaging technologies to visualize the body’s internal structures. Radiologists interpret X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs to diagnose various medical conditions. They focus on providing accurate diagnostic imaging and guiding treatment plans for patients.

Radiologists can expect an estimated total pay of $255,574 per year, with salaries varying from $192,000 to $358,000 annually.


Job outlook: 7% growth

Psychiatry is a medical specialty that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health disorders. Psychiatrists use various therapeutic approaches like medications and psychotherapy to help patients achieve mental well-being. They offer support to individuals suffering from a wide range of mental health conditions, working towards addressing them and helping patients recover through their journey of mental health.

Psychiatrists earn an estimated total pay of $255,976 annually, with salaries falling between $192,000 and $352,000.


Job outlook: 5% growth

Pathology studies diseases through laboratory analyses of tissues, blood, and other bodily fluids. Pathologists contribute to accurate diagnoses and treatment plans by understanding the nature and causes of diseases. This specialization focuses on uncovering the intricacies of diseases, playing a vital role in the behind-the-scenes aspect of healthcare.

Pathologists can look forward to an estimated total pay of $235,554 per year, with salaries ranging from $177,000 to $330,000.


Job outlook: 3% growth

Anesthesiology is a specialized field that aims to ensure patient comfort and safety during surgical procedures. Anesthesiologists administer anesthesia, monitor vital signs, and manage pain control throughout surgery. The focus of anesthesiology is to contribute to the success of various medical interventions by ensuring patients are comfortable and pain-free during procedures.

Anesthesiologists typically earn an estimated total pay of $318,687 per year, with salaries spanning from $239,000 to $446,000.

Family medicine

Job outlook: 4% growth

Family medicine is a comprehensive primary care specialty that addresses the diverse health needs of individuals and families across their lifespans. Family medicine practitioners serve as primary care physicians, emphasizing preventive care, managing chronic conditions, and fostering overall patient well-being. Family medicine aims to provide continuous, personalized, and patient-centered care, considering the unique needs of each individual and family.

Practitioners in family medicine enjoy an estimated total pay of $240,143 annually, with salaries varying between $190,000 and $306,000.


Job outlook: 3% growth

Dermatology is the medical field that focuses on the skin—the body’s largest organ and its appendages—hair and nails. Dermatologists are responsible for diagnosing and managing a broad spectrum of skin conditions, from common dermatological issues to more complex diseases, including skin cancers. They aim to promote skin health, address cosmetic concerns, and diagnose and treat skin-related disorders.

Professionals specializing in dermatology can anticipate an estimated pay of $251,650 per year, with salaries varying from $189,000 to $352,000.

Which one should I choose?

As you navigate the vast array of medical specialties, it’s crucial to acknowledge that each offers unique challenges and rewards. The medical specialties listed above—from emergency medicine to dermatology, psychiatry to radiology—are all in high demand and provide promising career paths. Yet, the most crucial aspect to consider when contemplating your choice lies in your passion and inclination. Think about what truly resonates with you. Reflect on the aspects of medicine that ignite your curiosity and dedication. Consider your interests, strengths, and long-term career goals.

It’s also equally important to take into account each field’s intricacies and nuances. Look beyond the surface and evaluate the patient population, conditions, and medical interventions each specialty encompasses. Assess the daily challenges and responsibilities, contemplating whether you’re drawn to the fast-paced environment of emergency medicine or the investigative nature of pathology. Each specialty has its rhythm, demands, and patient interactions, so envision yourself navigating these aspects daily.

Moreover, consider the lifestyle and work-life balance associated with each specialty. Some may demand irregular hours, on-call duties, or higher stress levels due to emergencies, while others offer more predictable schedules. Balancing personal preferences with professional aspirations is key. Finally, embrace mentorship and advice from seasoned professionals in various fields to gain insights into the day-to-day reality of each specialty.

Ultimately, the path you choose should align with your passion and values, as only this way will you pave the way for a fulfilling and rewarding career.

The Bottom Line

Choosing a medical specialty can be daunting, but certain factors can serve as guiding lights. Among other considerations, job outlook is crucial in determining the feasibility and demand for a specific medical field. As you contemplate your medical path, keep an eye on the specialties highlighted throughout this discussion. These in-demand medical specialties promise fulfilling careers, opportunities for professional growth, and financial rewards.

To equip yourself with the knowledge and skills needed for any chosen specialty, explore the diverse educational pathways offered at our medical school. We are dedicated to nurturing aspiring medical professionals through a comprehensive and dynamic learning environment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are medical specialties?

Medical specialties are specific fields within the broader practice of medicine, focusing on particular organs, diseases, age groups, or treatment methods. Physicians often specialize in a particular area to become experts in diagnosing, treating, and managing conditions within that field.

Which medical specialty has the highest demand?

The demand for medical specialties can vary, but one of the medical specialties with the highest demand is epidemiology, which has an estimated 27% growth rate.

What field of medicine is the most in demand?

Epidemiology, emergency medicine, psychiatry, and pathology are among the medical fields witnessing high demand, each playing a crucial role in public health, urgent care, mental health, and disease diagnosis.

Are doctors in demand?

Yes, doctors are generally in demand, especially in certain specialties and geographic areas. Factors like population growth, aging populations, and advancements in healthcare can contribute to the ongoing demand for healthcare professionals.