We all know that healthcare professionals earn more than the average worker, but few actually realize how vast their industry really is. In fact – according to the National Healthcare Expenditure – U.S. citizens spent over $3 trillion on healthcare in 2015 alone. That’s nearly $10,000 per person! And so while it shouldn’t be surprising to learn just how loaded some doctors are, these 20 medicine moguls rank among the richest in the land. The figures that follow are only estimations – based on info from Forbes magazine – but they may make you consider changing careers.
20. Ron Paul – $3.5 million
He’s known today as a major player in the Libertarian party, but Ron Paul actually began his career as a physician. Between 1963 and 1968, the former congressman was as a doctor in the USAF and National Guard before setting up his own obstetrics practice in Texas. And today, Paul is worth an estimated $3.5 million – largely amassed through shares in companies like Goldcorp Inc. and Carona Ltd.
19. Sanjay Gupta – $4.5 million
Sanjay Gupta has to be one of medicine’s busiest professionals. Besides practicing neurosurgery in Atlanta, Georgia the doctor also teaches his trade at the Emory University School of Medicine. However, most people will know Gupta from his CNN reporting, for which he won Emmys in 2006 and 2010. And all of that – as well as his work as a best-selling author – has seen his fortune rise to an estimated $4.5 million.
18. Travis Lane Stork – $8 million
Travis Lane Stork first gained fame through The Bachelor in 2006, but Stork actually began his career with medicine in mind. In fact, the TV star was completing his residence as an ER doctor when he appeared on the reality show. And now it seems he’s quite the catch: through his work as a faculty physician in Nashville and his presenting role on CBS’ The Doctors, he’s worth around $8 million.
17. Paul Nassif – $14 million
Cosmetic surgery is a big business and practitioner Paul Nassif is one of its biggest stars. Thanks to appearances on the likes of TV’s Botched and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Nassif has gained considerable media attention as well as a hefty bank balance. And so as of now, the surgeon’s account rests at an estimated $14 million.
16. Mehmet Oz – $14 million
Mehmet Oz – better known as Dr. Oz – has earned both adulation and criticism throughout his professional career. Starting life as a cardiothoracic surgeon, Oz hosted Second Opinion in 2003 and soon established himself as a beloved TV personality. His publicized support of alternative medicine has, however, drawn the ire of other medical professionals. Nevertheless, the surgeon still rides high with a net worth of $14 million.
15. Garth Fisher – $15 million
With a client base that includes A-list stars and supermodels, Garth Fisher is one of cosmetic surgery’s most celebrated figures. And – thanks to his starring role on ABC’s Extreme Makeover – he’s also one of the most famous. Currently operating out of Beverly Hills, the surgeon has an estimated value of $15 million.
14. Robert Rey – $15 million
Born in Brazil but based in Beverly Hills, Robert Rey is another expert in the field of cosmetic surgery. Indeed, his credentials are so revered that he has appeared on over 60 TV shows – such as Dr. 90210 and Dr Phil. In addition, he has acted as medical consultant to Hollywood productions like Se7en. And through his varied work, the surgeon has garnered a net worth around $15 million.
13. Drew Pinsky – $20 million
Drew Pinksy, a specialist in addiction therapy, started his career in medicine in the mid-’80s. Following this, the physician began work as a host on radio’s Loveline before transitioning to TV with shows like Celebrity Rehab and Dr. Drew On Call. And combined with an extensive writing career, Pinsky’s mix of showbiz and healthcare has brought in a fortune of $20 million.
12. Leonard Hochstein – $20 million
Though less recognizable than other celebrity surgeons, Leonard Hochstein still has one of the most enviable salaries in the business. Since 1998, Hochstein has been operating his own cosmetic surgery center in Miami, which has contributed to his estimated net worth of $20 million. In addition, his marriage to playmate Lisa Hochstein has brought him plenty of media attention through appearances on The Real Housewives of Miami.
11. Ben Carson – $26 million
Neurosurgeon Ben Carson is famed for his pioneering work separating conjoined twins, but he’s since gone from medicine to the political elite. After making an unsuccessful presidential candidacy bid in 2016, Carson was named secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development by president-elect Trump’s administration. But aside from these high-profile careers, the retired doctor made much of his estimated $26 million fortune through book sales and shares in companies like Kellogg’s.
10. Terry Dubrow – $30 million
Alongside fellow practitioner Paul Nassif, Terry Dubrow gained fame on reality shows like Botched and Real Housewives. Before hit he our screens, though, he was an established cosmetic surgeon and he still runs a clinic out of Orange County. And now, coupled with his reality star wife Heather’s fortune, Dubrow is sitting pretty with an estimated $30 million in the bank.
9. James Andrews – $30 million
Professional athletes need the help of trusted doctors and – for many years – James Andrews has been sport’s surgeon of choice. Throughout his career, the orthopedic professional has operated on the NBA and NFL’s finest including Peyton Manning, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal. And certainly, his estimated $30 net worth is on a par with the sports stars he services.
8. Phil McGraw – $400 million
Perhaps the best-known celebrity healthcare professional in America, Phil McGraw owns a media empire worth an estimated $400 million. Thanks to the patronage of Oprah Winfrey, the clinical psychologist launched his own talk show Dr. Phil in 2002, which also spawned spin-off The Doctors in 2008. And because of his extensive TV portfolio, McGraw earned a whopping $88 million in 2016 alone.
7. Katie Rodan – $550 million
While healthcare is by all means a healthy profession, the money it makes has nothing on the pharmaceutical industry. Indeed, dermatologist Katie Rodan saw her profits soaring after she co-developed acne treatment Proactiv in 1995. And so as of 2017, Rodan – who also has a private practice in Oakland, California – has an eye-opening net worth of $550 million.
6. Kathy Fields – $550 million
Good things often come in pairs and Katie Rodan built her pharmaceutical empire through friend and fellow dermatologist Kathy Fields. After meeting in Stamford in 1984, the pair formed a 50/50 partnership to establish Rodan + Fields. The company ended 2015 with $627 million in revenue, and just like Rodan, Fields has now amassed a $550 million fortune.
5. Gary Michelson – $1.6 billion
Innovation can lead to hefty financial remuneration and Gary Michelson’s pioneering contributions to spinal surgery set him apart from his peers. Now, with over 300 patents to his name, the former surgeon is one of medicine’s most prolific inventors – and he’s acquired a $1.6 billion fortune as a result. These days, Michelson has retired from healthcare and invests his money in numerous philanthropic causes.
4. John Kapoor – $1.7 billion
Chairman of both Akorn and Insys Therapeutics, John Kapoor is one America’s wealthiest pharmaceutical entrepreneurs. And certainly, his $1.7 billion net worth is proof of this chemist’s talent in the business world. Nevertheless, his success has been met with criticism – especially in regard to his painkiller Subsys. The drug has recently been blamed for deaths and has levied accusations of irresponsible prescriptions.
3. Phillip Frost – $3.8 billion
During a stint working as a Professor of Dermatology at the University of Miami in 1971, Phillip Frost developed a device to aid biopsies. The invention was his first foray into the business world and led to a long career in the pharmaceutical industry. Currently serving as CEO and chairman of Opko Health, Frost’s wealth now rests at an estimated $3.8 billion.
2. Thomas Frist – $8.1 billion
Following his father’s lead into medicine, Thomas Frist first gained experience in healthcare as an Air Force flight surgeon. Subsequently, he co-founded the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) – a company that operates 280 hospitals and clinics worldwide. And although he no longer holds an executive role within HCA, Frist still hangs on to a jaw-dropping $8.1 billion fortune.
1. Patrick Soon-Shiong – $8.8 billion
With an estimated net worth of $8.8 billion, Patrick Soon-Shiong is not only America’s richest doctor, but the wealthiest healthcare professional in the world. He began his career as a surgeon, but the South African-born physician soon moved into pharmaceuticals via companies Abraxis and American Pharmaceutical Partners. These days, Soon-Shiong splits his time between various profit and non-profit organizations dedicated to cancer research.