Fresh GP Doctors Make $10k


Non-specialist doctors who join medical groups as general practitioners earn a starting pay of $10k/mth, with a 13th-month bonus thrown in. In other words, these salaried medical professionals make $130k/yr fresh out of training.

This is according to an article in yesterday’s Straits Times, which highlighted the trend of young doctors joining medical groups instead of starting their own private clinics.

Starting a solo practice requires $150k or so, said a doctor who’s with a medical group. And the income may or may not be better.

“… a highly successful solo practitioner can earn ($20k/mth) or more, but a less successful one may make $8k to $9k or less, said (another doctor).”

Even locums make $70/hr.

See also our 2007 articles on Doctors’ pay and Income of GP Doctors.


About Author


  1. Absolutely
    I am ashamed of my colleagues who quit the public sector for higher salaries.
    I hope the government can tax private doctors more to discourage them from leaving public hospitals.
    The money can be used to help the poor and needy patients in the public hospitals.

  2. Perhaps some might have mis-read the article. For starters, “fresh GPs” is NOT the same as “fresh Drs”. For a typical locally-trained medical student to become a GP, he/she needs to undergo 5 years of medical school (possibly much more gruelling than other undergraduate degrees), followed by another 5 years of service in the public sector, followed by a specialist exam (the amount of time that each Dr takes to pass this exam varies from person to person) before he/she is able to specialise in family medicine, i.e. become a GP. That’s at least 10 years of training altogether, with the opportunity cost of earning MUCH less than their peers in other fields during those training years.

    Also, I believe that it’s important to consider the actual number of working hours a Dr puts in, instead of just looking at a monthly pay. Doctors typically report for work at around 7am everyday and leaving at 7pm. They also work 6-7 days a week, and this is NOT inclusive of the times where they’re required to go on call, where they work up to 36-hour shifts, sometimes as often as 3 times a week. And remember, when you’re making life and death decisions for the most part of your job, it’s an extremely intense environment to be in and even taking a 10min lunch break can be considered a “bonus”.

    And remember, Drs are humans. They also need to support their parents and start up their own families, not just monetarily but also physically and emotionally. Often, a huge part of the decision to leave for private practice has to do with a Dr’s quality of life. Not many people have the emotional and physical stamina to cope with the lifestyle described above, especially as one gets older and has greater family commitments. Thus, I definitely agree that staying in a public hospital is a courageous and self-sacrificial decision. However, I certainly do not think any Dr should be judged negatively or even faulted for not sticking it out in public healthcare.

    Doctors are humans too, just like you and I.

  3. Hello clarify
    Can I clarify that to be a GP, u just need to complete housemanship of 1 yr after medical school.
    Family medicine is still not recognised as a specialty in singapore because there is fear that greedy gp will charge specialist rate and cost of healthcare will go up.
    So while a gp is very well paid in Singapore, it is very impt for students to enter medicine not for the primary purpose of becoming rich but to help the poor and the sick!

  4. Yes we hear you, and its what we’ve known all along. Yes we know that it’s a thankless job that pays poorly. GP is not a specialty can? please wake up.

    I’ve long known that its a lousy paying job compared to many others and recently I was smugly vindicated when I learnt the pay of a specialist in oncology who’s almost 40. He makes the same amount as what I made when I was 28. It’s rather sad that so few people out there don’t know the truth. LOL

  5. I went through the “chart” you provided.

    1st yr law – frontload 5.5, prefrontload 4.5
    2nd yr law – frontload 6.3, prefrontload 5.2
    3rd yr law – frontload 7, prefrontload 5.8
    4th yr law – frontload 8, prefrontload 6.5
    5th yr law – frontload 9.5, prefrontload 7.5
    6th yr law – frontload 11, prefrontload 8.5

    We were on the topic of frontloading of bonuses, so clearly (and logically), the breakdown you provided of frontload is the annual wage divided by 12. Using these calculations:
    1st yr $66k
    2nd yr $75k
    3rd yr $84k
    4th yr $96k
    5th yr $114k
    6th yr $132k

    Still way less than the jobs I have in mind. Go figure and do your research and talk to more people. The salary scales you provided above of lawyers is the same as what the government pays local farmer grads for certain civil service jobs.

    Majority of law grads do not make partner after 6th yr lah. Aiyo.

    Like you said, your guess is as good as aunty selling drinks in the food court, so let’s wait for the bonus announcement if any and then we’ll talk again.

  6. What this means is as recent as less than a yr ago, lawyers are paid less than what the government pays the unprivileged local farmer grads in the civil service (not referring to the scholar AO payscale). The figures above are also in line with the pay scales of quite a few professions, which have long been thought of to be “poor paying”.

    The only way to really become rich is to be a business owner. Didn’t you guys know that by now?

  7. 4.5k prefrontload only applies to the highest paying firm among the big 4. Hundreds of small and medium sized firms pay between 3.5 – 3.8k prefrontload.

  8. If every or even majority of lawyers make partner after sixth years, why would there be such a large of drop outs who end up as in house counsels? What a hoot.

  9. so, to summarise, neither lawyers or doctors make big money.
    as long as u r a slave you make less than those who OWN you.
    only biz owners / firm partners/ clinic owners do.


  10. Business owners can make the most money in terms of potential, although there are a small number of salaried jobs that make way more than the pay above.

    6th year into employment would mean a Singaporean guy is 31. $132k at 31 is peanuts. There are one or two jobs (one of which I’m doing) that pay $100k+ ballpark at 23, by 25 ballpark $120k, and by 28, ballpark $180k, and by 32, ballpark $300k.

    Traders of average performance can take home $500k at 25. 🙂

  11. bubble burster on

    I wonder how stupid exactly the NUS medicine students/grads are. They’re still knee deep sucked into their delusions about how much their education is really worth (based on what THEY ARE TOLD) by the people who are providing it, and then told they’re “subsidised” by another amount and then told they have to then pay back with a bond of servitude in exchange for getting…..*drumroll*….nothing.

    They’re so deeply deluded and the whole saga here shows how lacking in critical thinking abilities they are.

  12. to bubble: no, it merely shows how badly trolled you are. you need to understand it’s just sarcasm. chill out man.

  13. It’s no longer uniquely Singapore. It’s now ‘Your Singapore’ and the ads run in foreign countries. So it’s foreigners’ Singapore in other words. Citizens come last. Foreigners are a class above. Get it?

  14. Actually Malaysian fresh medical grad only earn $2.7k + $600 Housing allowance. That’s pay for house officer. When goes to MO, pay basic only increase by $1k and nothing change. We still pay tax to Sg Gov though~~

  15. I am also curious about how much the income of a private psychiatrist or private child psychiatrist could be in Singapore?

  16. Anyone knows if an overseas medicine grad can jump into being a GP straight after attaining the doctor of medicine? Would there be a salary difference for local grads vs overseas grads? Thanks.

  17. No you can Unless you are a specialised GP ie a family.medicine specialist. No difference for local and oversea grad. But if you are foreigner your license only fully registered after 4 years.

  18. What will be the pay for a doctor trained in China but of an african citizenship? What are the requirements to be allowed to work in Singapore for this graduand let’s say like is there a state entrance exams or board exams to sit for? Thank you.

  19. do you really think all the salary stated above is really big money??housing agents can make such money…get off your delusions that you are singapore is a pretentious little island…lol

Leave A Reply