Health interns and residents are paid a self-effacing salary. The salary are generally around USD 35,000 (although the upper echelons can be nearly double than that). Residency salaries tend to increase by USD 1,000 – USD 2,000 with the each passing year.
The Department of Health and Human Services funds the greater part of residency training.
From tax based finance, such funding covers resident salaries and their employee benefits through payments called Direct Medical Education payments.
There are also Indirect Medical Education payments; these are subsidies paid to teaching hospitals, directly related to the number of Medicare patients which have been admitted and treated.
Funding levels from Medicare have remained at a standstill since 1996. Arguments have been aired to the effect that that this has muffled the training of new interns.
Others argue that Medicare subsidies have simply provided surplus revenue, and that hospitals lessen their training costs by paying sub-standard salaries to their residents.
Recent research suggests that a cap on Medicare funding is not a hindering factor in the availability of training places, but rather suggest that Residency Review Committees deliberately limit the number of specialists in order to maintain high incomes in those fields.
Indeed, internships and residencies have existed far longer than Medicare subsidies. Viewed from this angle, those subsidies capped or otherwise represent something of a bonus.
Teaching hospitals, and many of them, supply funding toward resident training in order to increase the supply of resident slots. This practice alone has led to a reasonable growth of slots by around 4 percent over the past decade.
Time Frames for Common Specializations
The following list of commonly found medical specialties and subspecialties, along with the length of their health intern programs (beyond medical school). These times include internship, residency, and where applicable, fellowship:
General Surgery – Five years; Subspecialties of Surgery require an additional one to four years after the initial five year residency. They include: Vascular Surgery, Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, and Colon and Rectal Surgery. Some surgical specialties will require one to two years of General Surgery, then an additional three-five years of specialty training. Those include: Neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, and Urology.
Internal Medicine – Subspecialties of Internal medicine require an additional two-three years after the three year residency – Cardiology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Geriatrics, Hematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology, Pulmonary, and Rheumatology.
Pediatrics – Three years course. The subspecialties of Pediatrics require an additional two to three years after the three year residency. They include Pediatric Cardiology, Pediatric Endocrinology, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Pediatric Critical Care, Neonatology, Pediatric Nephrology, and Pediatric Pulmonology, Pediatric Rheumatology.
Radiology – Four-Five years. Subspecialties of Radiology require an additional 1-2 years after residency, they include: Neuroradiology, Vascular and Interventional Radiology, and Pediatric Radiology.