Sleep Medicine Physician Salaries


While I was still in College, I had a problem of wanting to sleep too much (Boy I miss those care-free siestas ;-)) and now in career mode, I have a problem falling asleep on time !

A good sleep has been linked with a myriad of benefits like A Good memory, Controlling body weight, and more. Little wonder then that the pillow-makers make a lot of weird and amusing pillows to help you sleep better - like the Snoozer Full Body Support Pillow, the Boyfriend's Arm Pillow for Women, the Girlfriend's lap pillow for Men - Lol !


An enterprising cosmetic surgeon, Cynthia Boxrud, MD, even has her own line of Anti-Wrinkle Pillows (Apparently, sleeping creates wrinkles on the face as the facial skin gets crushed over pillow!)
Hmmmm...Back to business, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) defines a Physician Sleep Specialist as follows:

"A physician who is a sleep specialist is certified in the subspecialty of sleep medicine and specializes in the clinical assessment, physiologic testing, diagnosis, management and prevention of sleep and circadian rhythm disorders. Sleep specialists treat patients of any age and use multidisciplinary approaches. Disorders managed by sleep specialists include, but are not limited to, sleep related breathing disorders, insomnia, hypersomnia, circadian rhythm sleep disorders, parasomnias and sleep related movement disorders."


As of 2009, Sleep Medicine is a hot new, emerging field and fellowship training guidelines are still evolving. Sleep medicine folks enjoy good lifestyles, lotsa technology and is catching the attention of International Medical Graduates since it is a new specialty that can be pursued after primary care residencies. Consider these sample figures ripped off the Internet from Job boards:


An enterprising cosmetic surgeon, Cynthia Boxrud, MD, even has her own line of Anti-Wrinkle Pillows (Apparently, sleeping creates wrinkles on the face as the facial skin gets crushed over pillow!)
Nevada: $220,000 1st year salary + profit sharing + 8 weeks of vacation as an employee (Pulmonary Sleep Medicine)
Seattle, Washington: $200,000 + "Income potential" exceeds $300,000/- a year (Psychiatry Sleep Medicine)
Boise, Idaho: $200,000 + Production Benefits - which hover around 20,000 to $30,000 a year (Pulmonary Sleep Medicine)
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri: Income guarantee 'upto' $225,000 (Neurologist Sleep Specialist)
Alabama : 'Updwards of $300,000 a year' (Neurology Sleep Medicine)

Note that Incomes will be higher or lower depending on:

1. The type of facility (Private practice will pay more money that Academic)
2. Your position (Directors will get paid more than physician-only roles
3. Type of income contract (Partnership will pay more than Performance / Production bonuses, which in turn pay more than Guaranteed income contracts, though typically you will need to work more to earn those bonuses)
4. Whether Malpractice insurance is covered by the employer and included / excluded from the pay offer

Well, now that I mention these points, remember that they will be true for any specialty for that matter :-)

How to Become a Sleep Medicine Physician Specialist in the USA ?

Most programs offer 1-year Sleep Medicine Fellowships following completion of Residencies in Psychiatry, Neurology, Otolaryngology (ENT) and Internal Medicine (Often combined with the Pulmonary Medicine / Critical Care Fellowships). But according to the AASM, in addition to the above, residents in Family Practice, Pediatrics and General Surgery are eligible for certification in Sleep Medicine too.

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