Income of GP Doctors

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Income of GP Doctors

December 15th, 2007

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How much does the average family doctor in Singapore earn?

According to a survey by the Singapore Medical Association, General Practitioners (GPs) in Singapore take home an average monthly income of $10,524.

However the median monthly income is $13,758 – this means the average value of $10,524 is skewed more by the lower earners than the higher earners.

The bad news is that 10 years ago, the average income was $10,271. There has not been much of an increase for the past 10 years!

What I can say from this is: GP doctors are increasingly becoming less attractive (at least economically) as a profession. Students, if you want to be a doctor, work hard and aim to be specialists who can earn much much more than GPs (see my post on doctors’ pay).

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39 Responses to “Income of GP Doctors”


  1. Dentist Says:

    How about the case for dentists? Do specialist dentists earn much more than GP dentists?


  2. Dr. Sharadha Says:

    I am willing to work and do P.G. there


  3. Dr. Sharadha Says:

    I have M.B.B.S.,and a Diplamo degree inMaternity and neo natal care how to get P.G. and good job


  4. veerapan Says:

    Did you learn to spell before getting your MBBS?


  5. Luke Says:

    Countries need GPs. As GP numbers decrease pay levels increase. If too many people avoid general practice/family medicine wages WILL increase to encourage more applicants. General Practice is a great job with lots of variability during the working day. One minute you see some one suicidal, then next a happy pregnancy. The interest of the job as well as being able to have an out side life more than compensates for not earning as much as a cardio-thoracic surgeon. By the way, I’m a GP and loving it!


  6. Slave of Medicine Says:

    I think most of you have been masked from the reality. I’m a foreign grad and came to singapore as a MO. I totally aware of the issue of overworked and underpaid!!

    Well, probably this article above is true if u are working for private sector, or a specialist. But in general, the medical sector in singapore is like a field of slavery. How many percent of us actually made it through to become a registrar/consultant? even if u made it, how many of u can get into the private sector?

    Why concern on the total amount that you earn p.a? why not look at how many hours you work per week and count your pay per hour?? Believe it or not, our pay per hour is probably lesser than a nurses’ pay per hour.

    How many of you who want to do medicine, full of enthusiasm, thinking that u might make big money out of medicine actually and realise how hard a medical doctor has to work? perhaps a lot of us are/were just way too naive…

    Do you know what is on call? do you know how long does a call last for? and how much do u get out of a call??
    The definition of ON CALL:
    Start working from 7am – 5pm (your daily working hours), then continue from 5pm – 7am the next day (ON CALL); subsequently continue to work like any other day from 7am – 12pm…then you can go home if your colleague is around to cover your daily routine. Please count the number of hours that u have to work non-stop. You think you can take a nap at night when u are ON CALL? forget it!! And working for 30++ hours will give you how much in return??? SGD 110-130 (for HO) and SGD 240-340 (for MO)

    Do you think this is physiological? Do you think this is safe for patients or your own health?
    Do you think with a basic salary + call pay (taxable) that gives u SGD about 3800-4500 per month (before tax) is worth you spending millions to get the medical degree and work like a donkey for the next 10-20 years? How long do you have to work in order to pay back the amount that you’ve spent on your degree??

    If you want to work as a doctor but VERY concern about your pay and increment, i suppose you are not suitable to be in the medical profession. Ask around and find out what is it like to be a doctor before you get yourself into the puddle of mud. If you ask me how many medical doctors actually regret of being a doctor.. i would say more than 80% of us DO regret of being one… not becoz the pay is low. Our welfare and wellbeing is just being ignored by the authority. Doctor is a very nobel profession, however it is also a very inhumane profession that will cause us more harm than good… we are human after all, we are not an immortal.. Even a domestic servant will get to have their meals, toilet breaks and adequate rest on a daily basis!! these are basic human needs!! So what are we??? we are slaves!!!!!


  7. roger Says:

    wow that really sounds like a shitty life… thanks for giving us the real behind the scenes of the medical “profession”.


  8. Luke Says:

    I would suggest that if slave feels this way he should not be a doctor. We all go through tough house jobs. It is a fact of life. When I was a houseman I worked 90 hours a week and was paid less per hour than someone working at McDonalds.

    We all work hard. We all do long hours. The pay off comes when you become more senior. I now earn 170 sgd per hour. I don’t work nights and I spend my weekends either sailing or 30m underwater with a scuba tank strapped to my back.

    If you are not progressing to the appropriate level, be that consultant, professor or senior GP you need to look at your life and career and work out what is stopping you.

    The world is in desparate need of doctors in every country. You just have to open your eyes to the oportunities. But be very sure of the fact that wherever you are in the world as a houseman you will be paid peanuts and treated like a monkey!


  9. $$$ Says:

    i think what slave wants to tell us is that if you are more into money, choose some other profession such as finance field so you don’t get too shocked by what lies ahead.
    the health problems that come with the chronic lack of sleep, overwork and stress might not be worth the “journey” to becoming a 170sgd/hour doctor.


  10. roger Says:

    @luke: if you don’t mind, how long did you take to reach your current financial state? and what specialty are you in?


  11. hospadmin Says:

    To Roger
    Ignore the biased comment of slave of medicine. The medical profession is not like what he described. If not, NUS need not reject top students from medicine faculty.

    To Luke
    I agree that slave of medicine should quit and not tarnish the reputation of the medicine faculty.

    To $$$,
    I agree that students should go into medicine because of desire to help the poor and needy patients and not because of money.
    However, it is difficult to choose the correct student into medicine and people do change over time.

    To conclude, doctors are well paid in Singapore and top foreign doctors should consider working in Singapore to ease the medical manpower shortage
    but they should be responsible and not publish biased comments about working in Singapore as these biased comments may deter us from recruiting foreign doctors for the need of an aging nation.


  12. observer Says:

    I believe that the HOs and MOs who are currently working will be able to tell whether “slave” is telling the truth. If what slave says is really “irresponsible and biased”, then his fellow MOs should step forward to chastise him. But if he is telling the sad unspeakable truth that is the life of MOs, then his fellow MOs should also stand up for him, and stand up for themselves. This is all I can say.


  13. nono Says:

    No no. Whether “slave” told the truth is not important. He will be chastised nonetheless. This is the way Singapore works.


  14. Observer Says:

    Is what “slave” describe about “On Call” true? What he says is really hard to believe.

    Imagine what will happen if we employ a maid and we demand the maid to work non-stop from 8am one day to 12pm the following day several times in a month. Will we be hauled to court for maid abuse??

    We can’t possibly be treating our doctors worse than maids, right?

    If maids are human beings, so are doctors who should be equally entitled to adequate rest after a certain hours of work, adequate time for food at acceptable hours and fulfilment of basic human physiological needs.

    Doctors like to tell us to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Is it a healthy lifestyle to work non-stop for 30 hours or more without proper rest in-between, taking meals at irregular hours etc?

    It’s hard to imagine how a doctor who has to make life and death decisions many times in a night can be expected to remain mentally sharp, alert and error-free after more than 24 hours of sleep deprivation. Will patient safety be compromised?

    How many people will entrust their precious lives to an exhausted doctor who hasn’t slept for 24 hours? Will you dare to board a flight if the pilot told you he hasn’t slept for 24 hours or more?

    It’s really irresponsible of “slave” to publish this type of biased comments to frighten away foreigners from coming to work in our hospitals. In a civilized nation like Singapore, it’s only obvious that we treat all our workers humanely, like human beings, and not like “slaves”. I hope interested applicants from overseas will not be deterred by biased comments from “slave”.


  15. singaporean Says:

    My god
    That hospadmin is back in the disguise of observer.
    I thought he/she said that he will not be back.
    This forum is so interesting with people having multiple nicks screwing each other.


  16. slave supporter Says:

    it is true…everything slave says is true


  17. tenyearseniordoctor Says:

    dear all,

    what slave described is true to a certain extent. It all depends on the department , the hospital , the colleagues etc.

    and as one advances in seniority , life usually gets better unless one chooses a tough specialty. I have been a doctor for 10 years and am quite happy now , being able to control my hours and enjoy a good worklife balance.

    I used to feel like a slave as a HO and later as a senior slave as a MO. but life is much better now.

    there is always light at the end of the tunnel


  18. student Says:

    dear tenyearseniordoc, could you kindly share some examples of tough specialties and not-so-tough ones as well? thanks.


  19. tenyearseniordoctor Says:

    surgical specialties are usually very tough to get in , tough on social life and health . But the rewards are very great in the future when one goes private. Plastic surgery, eye and ENT would be the preferred places to go .

    Internal medicine is slightly less tough but rewards are not as great. In my opinion, cardiology , dermatology and oncology would be what I would have wanted to do.


  20. lokun locum Says:

    Hi All!! Why not be a locum dr? 60-120/hr. Can chose the place and time to work, earn about 11-12K/month. If dr wife doing same thing, you can lead a very comfortable life….


  21. foreign doc Says:

    Dear lokun locum, can you please tell how long it will take for a MO to reach the position of locum?


  22. foreign doc Says:

    when can u do locum in singapore and what is the qualification needed?


  23. foreigndoc Says:

    is there any area in medical field in singapore where i can work only for office hours?which speacility is recommended? how is gp’s life in singapore? and how experienced must u be to be a gp?


  24. sapphiremd Says:

    hi everybody, i noticed a lot of reactions here. i agree with tenyearseniordoc. anywhere you go, you always start from the bottom. as a physician, i also went through the process and stages to get where i am now. seriously, from where i am… we not only go on 24 hours shifts.. but during my residency training, we have 36 hours shifts.. yes! that is very physically unfit and mentally draining… who said being a physician is an easy job? you have to be willing to work under pressure.


  25. Daniel Says:

    I have to say the oncall bit was true. My friend who worked in NUS literally worked over 120 hours a weeks for 3 months in a row without a day break just because they were lack of doctors. However as many has pointed out, the prospect of being a doctor improves significantly as one gain seniority. However, this is true only to the singapore system as there is a parallel private sector that employs doctor of various level of experience. If you are working in other developed country, UK for example (where I am at the moment), you will face massive competition to get into specialty training. If you ended up failing again and again, you get stuck doing a middle grade post where you still work long hours for little pay… It’s kinda limbo in the real world.


  26. so why Says:

    Daniel, so why did you leave?


  27. so why2 Says:

    Daniel, did u join NUS in the first place ?


  28. mun yee Says:

    Hello.. I was actually looking to working in Singapore or Australia after graduating and currently considering if i should do mbbs in a not so famous university due to financial problem, or do pharmacy in a famous and better university getting and Australia Certificate. It’s been a great dilemma for me, I was told that doctor will have a brighter future than anything else. Please help! =)


  29. Not doctor Says:

    I’m not a doctor but it’s too obvious that the ranking is: medical specialists, dentists (dental surgeons), GPs and then finally pharmacists far behind. But everyone says dentistry offers the most bang for the buck and sweat.


  30. mun yee Says:

    Ic ic, I cannot go for dentistry due to some financial problems. So I will have to pick either pharmacy or mbbs. Is it really working like a slave as describe above? Also I’m actually from Malaysia, so there are many many issues regarding being a doctor that I heard. I also know to be a specialist here is almost impossible unless my family is very rich to send me to study abroad. And I have other things that I wish to do in life other than just working my ass off everyday. Will pharmacy offer a stable income and job as well?


  31. Not doctor Says:

    Yes, I think it offers a stable career, but being a doctor is definitely better, as I mentioned above. Good luck!


  32. Karen Says:

    To say this from a consumer’s point of view. The fat that many doctors do change over time. I see doctors who are very dedicated to help the poor but they also have to face the reality that medical costs are rising. I have many friends who are doctors. Being a GP is the hardest. But I also see that specialists may not have a nice time either as people tend to look for the hospitals where the medical fees are lower. When I was in high school, we have already been warned of the hardships of being a doctor. Even if you make a lot of money with a sound reputation, you hardly have time for yourself. The cost of covering your college fees is very high too. If you are on scholarship and you have a strong desire to help the needy and the sick, then this profession will be suitable.


  33. adam Says:

    i am a GP currently working in NZ (originally from malaysia and did my housemanship in singapore). i usually start my work at 8am and finish at 5pm with 1:13 weekends. my average earning is NZD 25k per month ie NZD 300k per year. i have MRCP as well as FRNZCGP/FRACGP. i prefer to be a GP rather than a medical specialist due to way better social life for GPs as well as variety of medical problems that you see. anyway, working in singapore is like living in hell. my friend told me once that it is better to work in malaysia than working in singapore


  34. locum Says:

    locum is best


  35. steven Says:

    Guys,
    I’ve go thru most of the stuff put up here.
    i got a few questions( yet again)
    i got M.B.B.S. M.D(Anesthesiology) degres from India. 1 yr experience, post m.d..( both the colleges i got my degrees from are nit on SMC list)
    Wat are my work options at singapore?
    not eligible for a fellowship unless 3 yrs post M.D.
    my wife got a clinical research assistant in molecular biology at NUH. (singapore)
    please help!
    how do i get into the system?


  36. Mo Lu Cui Says:

    Hi Adam,

    Just out of curiosity, is NZD 25k the gross monthly salary ? What is the take home pay after tax monthly ? 300k NZ$ sounds fantastic :-)


  37. Elizabeth Says:

    Hello there,

    I am looking to employ a GP with injectable experience in Aesthetic treatments. I’m willing to sponsor to correct person to live in Australia. The position offers good salary & 50% of billings, accommodation is included in this package. The practice is in Eastern Suburbs of Sydney – Australia and it has been established for over 20 years. If you are interested please email me your interest together with CV [email protected]

    Elizabeth


  38. Elizabeth Says:

    Correct email is [email protected].


  39. Dr.Saima Bano Says:

    hi,i am M.B.B.S from Dow medical college Karachi Pakistan and candidate of (F.C.P.S partII) fellowship of college of physicians and surgeons Pakistan as well as M.R.C.O.G part II candidate.how can i get a job in Singapore and what will be the salary? thanks.

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