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Doctors, Specialists, and Medical Facilities Are Overpaid, Say Many Older Adults

Most adults in the U.S. who do not work in the medical profession do not know what health care professionals are paid. In this short survey, AARP finds that although many adults age 50 and older believe some medical professionals are paid a fair amount, there is a clear perception that some health care professionals are paid too much, while others are paid too little.

Overall, about one-third of adults 50 and older believe that doctors, specialists, and medical facilities are overpaid, with adults 50–64 more likely than those 65 and older to say doctors (37% vs. 28%) and health care providers (37% vs. 26%) are being paid too much. First responders, nurses, and medical assistants are generally seen as being underpaid.

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The research is based on a survey conducted by phone and online April 2–24, 2023, of a nationally representative sample of 1,012 people aged 50-plus.  Respondents were asked to answer questions about their views on how much various health care professionals are paid.

For more information, please contact Teresa A. Keenan at For media inquiries, please contact External Relations at

Suggested Citation:

Keenan, Teresa A. How Much Are Health Care Professionals Paid? Washington, DC: AARP Research, September 2023.