The Ultimate Guide for Disability Insurance for Surgeons in 2022

Physicians have a stronger need for disability insurance than most occupations. But of all the medical specialities, surgeons are at one of the greatest risks of being financially impacted by a disability.

Any number of gradual or sudden disabilities could prevent you from being able to operate on others. If you can’t precisely hold your surgical instruments or withstand long hours on your feet during procedures, your career as a surgeon could come to a halt. In which case, could your family continue their current lifestyle without your high surgeon income?

Let’s dive into the importance of disability insurance for surgeons, including why your employer coverage might not be enough and how much an own-occupation disability insurance policy might cost.

Why every surgeon needs disability insurance

According to Medscape’s 2021 Physician Compensation Report, general surgeons earn an average of $373,000 per year. Over a 30-year career, that’s over $11.1 million in potential earnings. Depending on your specialty and your opportunities for advancement, your earning potential could be much more.

Source: 2021 Medscape Physician Compensation Report

You spent years training for your career and took on hundreds of thousands in student loans.

This is why surgeons need to protect their income with sufficient disability insurance. Your very high salary (matched with a more expensive lifestyle) makes it difficult to replace your lifetime earnings.

You’ve persevered through medical school and residency, including racking up six-figure medical school debt. You’ve worked endless hours and navigated the emotional weight of literally holding a life in your hands — all to risk having an injury or illness significantly alter your career path.

Even if you can eventually recover from a long-term disability, your finances might not. You might be forced to drain your savings or risk falling behind on your home or car payments in the interim.

Unlike other professions, surgeons can’t gamble with their livelihood by forgoing or carrying minimal disability coverage. Disability insurance should be a top priority for every surgeon, but especially for those with families depending on them.

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