There is a general belief that medicine offers one of the richest professions in the world. This, inadvertently, allows doctors to rank among the richest set of people. Not many people would argue against this with the fact that doctors, in general, are financially comfortable. However, it does not mean that becoming a doctor is easy or that it requires very little effort for a doctor to move from being “comfortable” to “super-rich”.
Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon serving as an associate professor of neurosurgery at the Emory University School of Medicine and an associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He is, however, better known as CNN’s multiple Emmy award-winning chief medical correspondent where he has made numerous news headlines as a media personality on health-related issues. He might be the last on the list, but he happens to be the only one here who was considered for the US Surgeon General position. Sanjay withdrew his name from consideration due to his career and family.
Travis Stork earned his medical degree with honours from the University of Virginia before beginning an emergency medicine residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. While still doing his residency, he appeared on the 8th season of The Bachelor where he gained fame. After the show ended, the doctor returned to complete his residency before beginning his practice in the emergency departments at Vanderbilt and another hospital in Colorado. During this time, he featured as a frequent contributor on Dr. Phil before later serving as the host of the syndicated daytime talk show, The Doctors, from 2008 to 2020.
Based in Beverly Hills, California, Paul Nassif is a Lebanese-American plastic surgeon who specializes in facial plastic surgery with a speciality in rhinoplasty. The whole of America and the world recognizes Nassif for the perfect nose job that he delivers on the E! reality series Botched which he co-hosts with Dr. Terry Dubrow.
Garth Fisher is a top American plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills who specializes in aesthetic/cosmetic plastic surgery of the face, nose, breast, and other parts of the body. Best Doctors in America, an authoritative list of the most prominent physicians in the nation, have him as one of the top plastic surgeons in the United States for facial cosmetic and breast surgery. As a result, the doctor’s list of clientele includes the creme de la creme of Hollywood. He has also gotten to feature as a plastic surgeon on Extreme Makeover, the popular ABC reality TV show.
Plastic surgery is the speciality to be in if you have the intention of becoming rich as a doctor because Roberto M. Rey Jr. is yet another millionaire doctor in the field of plastic surgery. The Brazilian-American is famous for featuring on the E! reality series Dr. 90210. He has served as a medical correspondent for The Insider and NBC4 news and has also appeared in TV shows like The View, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Dr. Phil.
Leonard Hochstein is a Russian-born Miami-based plastic surgeon who specializes in breast enhancements, facial rejuvenation, body contouring, and various other aesthetic procedures. Dr. Hochstein learned his craft under renowned doctor Ralph Millard before establishing his own practice which quickly became one of the most successful in Miami.
James Andrews is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the repairing of damaged ligaments. With sports being a billion-dollar industry and him having performed surgery on many high profile athletes from around the world like Drew Brees, Michael Jordan, and Jack Nicklaus among others, it is no surprise that he features on this list of the richest doctors.
Terry Dubrow is an American plastic surgeon who received his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine before completing a residency in general surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and completing his fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the UCLA Medical Center. The California native has since gained fame for his work alongside Dr. Paul Nassif as the co-host of Botched. He has further appeared in other reality TV shows like The Swan and Bridalplasty.
Dr. Oz is a Turkish-American cardiothoracic surgeon who made it big after appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show. He has since launched his own TV show called The Dr. Oz Show which made him even more famous. Dr. Oz, who has gained wide criticism for being a proponent of alternative medicine, is also an author. He has written a good number of books that have been New York Times bestsellers.
Dr. Phil has a degree in Psychology and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. There is every chance you might have seen him on TV as he appeared several times on the Oprah Winfrey Show in the late 1990s before establishing his own self-titled TV program. He has since penned several best-selling relationship books and worked as an executive producer on TV shows like The Bull and The Doctors. He is also the co-founder of the telemedicine app, Doctors on Demand.
Gary Michelson was a practising spinal surgeon for over 25 years. During this time, he developed instruments and procedures that enabled spinal surgeons to be more precise and effective when treating spinal ailments that previously had low success rates. Over 950 issued or pending patents worldwide related to the treatment of spinal disorders has Michelson as the sole credited inventor. In 2005, he sold many of his patents to medical device company Medtronic for $1.35 billion.
Wu Yiling followed in his father’s footsteps to become a doctor. His father practiced Chinese traditional medicine and Wu later became one of the most influential practitioners in the country, establishing the Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd in 1992. The company, which has largely contributed to his wealth, sells herbal drugs for a number of medical conditions including those that treat heart disease and the flu.
An interesting fact about Philip Frost is that he never quite practiced medicine other than during his time in service. After receiving an M.D. degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1961, Frost served as a lieutenant commander, U.S. Public Health Service at the National Cancer Institute before becoming a professor of dermatology at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Years after his career in teaching dermatology, he decided to establish a pharmaceutical company, Ivax, which he later sold for $7.8 billion to rank among the richest doctors in the world.
Patrick Soon-Shiong is a transplant surgeon who specializes in the treatment of cancer. The South African-American gained fame and fortune after inventing Abraxane, a drug that effectively treats lung, breast, and pancreatic cancer among others.
Soon-Shiong, who serves as a visiting professor at Imperial College London and Dartmouth College, and an adjunct professor of surgery and executive director of the Wireless Health Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, is also the founder of a network of healthcare, biotech, and artificial intelligence startups called NantWorks.
Thomas F. Frist Jr. is the son of a prominent Nashville internal medicine specialist. He followed in his father’s footsteps to study medicine, receiving an MD from Washington University in St. Louis. Frist then served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force before co-founding the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) in 1968 with his father and Jack C. Massey, the former owner of KFC.
HCA, which he has served in different capacities over the years, as president, chairman, and chief executive officer (CEO), currently owns and operates 185 hospitals and 1,800 sites of care in 21 states in the U.S. states and London. While Frist Jr has since stepped down from the board of directors of the company, his sons Thomas Frist III and William Frist are board members.
Recap of the List of the Richest Doctors in the World
15. Sanjay Gupta
14. Travis Stork
13. Paul Nassif
12. Garth Fisher
11. Roberto M. Rey Jr.
10. Leonard Hochstein
9. James Andrews
8. Terry Dubrow
7. Dr. Oz
6. Dr. Phil
5. Gary Michelson
4. Wu Yiling
3. Philip Frost
2. Patrick Soon Shiong
1. Thomas Frist