Are you curious who are the stupendously rich money-makers in medicine? Have you always wondered how some doctors end up billionaires, while others make comfortable six-figures?
Well, we explore the full range of medical money-making in this guide to the 10 wealthiest physicians on the planet today!
These multi-millionaire MDs have built staggering fortunes through breakthrough innovations, gigantic healthcare empires, celebrity-fueled fame, and media mogul status! Spanning pioneers and visionaries from every corner of medicine – from cosmetic surgeons and biotech entrepreneurs to titans of pharmaceuticals – we rank by net worth the 10 doctors sitting atop astonishing mountains of cash in 2024!
So whether you want tips for your practice and business or just want to be wowed by off-the-charts medical riches, check out our list of physicians who make a killing in the exam room and the boardroom!
Feel free to share with other aspiring doctors chasing success!
Top 10 Richest Doctors in the World 2024
|Richest Doctors [Names]
|Net Worth (USD)
|Source of Wealth
|Dr. Thomas Frist Jr.
|Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong
|Dr. Wu Yiling
|Chinese Herbal Medicine
|Dr. Phillip Frost
|Dr. Gary Michelson
|Orthopedic Spinal Surgeon
|Dr. Phil McGraw
|Dr. James Andrews
|Sports medicine practice
|Dr. Leonard Hochstein
|Breast augmentation surgery
|Dr. Terry Dubrow
|Dr. Garth Fisher
Top 10 Wealthiest Doctors in the World 2024 [Richest Doctors List]
Dr. Thomas F. Frist Jr. – $22.4 Billion
- Specialty: Cardiovascular Surgeon
- Source of Wealth: Founder of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA)
As the co-founder of HCA Healthcare, the largest private operator of healthcare facilities in the US, Dr. Thomas Frist Jr. is the richest doctor in the world by a wide margin with an estimated net worth of $22.4 billion.
- Founded HCA in 1968 with his father, Thomas Frist Sr.
- Served as CEO for over 2 decades, growing it into a hospital empire
- Stepped down as CEO in 1997, but remains Chairman of the Board
- HCA today operates 182 hospitals and 119 freestanding surgery centers across the US and UK
Dr. Frist leveraged his medical background to enter the business side of health care. His initial investment of $1,000 grew into the leading hospital chain which has made him a multi-billionaire.
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong – $6.1 Billion
- Specialty: Transplant Surgeon
- Source of Wealth: Founder of biotech companies, including Abraxis BioScience
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong made his fortune through founding and selling biotech companies focused on developing next generation therapies for diseases like cancer. His estimated net worth is $6.1 billion.
- Known for developing Abraxane, an important treatment for breast and lung cancers
- Sold two drug companies to Celgene and Teva for $7.6 billion total
- Used funds to build an empire of 19 big biotech companies under his Nantworks umbrella
- Bought ownership stakes in the LA Lakers and the LA Times newspaper
His latest focus is on developing immunology-based treatments for cancer and inflammatory diseases. Soon-Shiong exemplifies how physician-scientists can profoundly impact human health while also attaining great wealth.
Dr. Wu Yiling – $3.2 Billion
- Specialty: Chinese Herbal Medicine
- Source of Wealth: Yiling Pharmaceutical
Dr. Wu Yiling is the wealthiest doctor in China, with an estimated $3.2 billion net worth. He built his fortune as Chairman of Yiling Pharmaceutical, a leading Chinese herbal medicine company founded by his father.
- Took over Yiling Pharmaceutical in 1984 at age 35
- Grew it into an empire selling supplements and TCM remedies
- The company traded on the Shanghai stock market with about $1 billion in sales
- Named one of China’s model labor workers and business leaders
Dr. Wu exemplifies how traditional Chinese medicine can not just improve health but also create tremendous profitability. The TCM industry has helped make him a multi-billionaire.
Dr. Phillip Frost – $1.9 Billion
- Specialty: Dermatologist
- Source of Wealth: OPKO Health, Key Pharmaceuticals
From humble beginnings as a dermatologist in NYC, Dr. Phillip Frost leveraged business deals and biotech investments to attain an immense $1.9 billion net worth. He exemplifies physician entrepreneurship.
- Co-founded generic drug maker Key Pharmaceuticals, sold for $600M
- Serves as CEO of OPKO, a diagnostics and biotechnology company
- Known as an investor, including in emerging tech like electric vehicles
- Founded Frost Science Museum at Florida International University
In 1972 Dr. Frost made the career change that paved the way to his wealth by shifting into the business side of medicine. He has started, invested in, and sold many healthcare companies that make up the bulk of his $2 billion fortune.
Dr. Gary Michelson – $1.8 Billion
- Specialty: Orthopedic Spinal Surgeon
- Source of Wealth: Medical patents and licensing deals
As an innovator of spinal surgery techniques and devices, Dr. Gary Michelson was able to license his intellectual property for over $1 billion dollars. His estimated net worth is $1.8 billion.
- A prolific inventor with over 250 medical patents
- Best known for spinal surgery instruments and procedures
- Licensed patents to Medtronic for $1.35 billion in 2005
- Founded the Michelson Prize to create a single-shot sterilization tool
Dr. Michelson’s surgeon skills put him in a position to identify needs and invent patentable solutions. This has enabled him to secure the riches and influence to also give back through philanthropy.
Dr. Phil McGraw – $460 Million
- Specialty: Clinical Psychology/Mental Health
- Source of Wealth: Television host
Dr. Phil is famous for his long-running “Dr. Phil” TV show offering personal advice to millions of viewers. His straight-talk style and background in psychology made him one of the wealthiest doctors in America with $460 million.
- Rose to fame through Oprah after legal consulting work
- Professional experience focused on forensic psychology
- Launched Dr. Phil syndicated TV show in 2002
- The show earned 9 Daytime Emmy nominations
While the majority of Dr. Phil’s wealth has come from television, he first gained exposure by consulting on legal cases. He then leveraged his media appearances to become the host of his top-rated program.
Dr. James Andrews – $100 Million
- Specialty: Orthopedic Surgeon
- Source of Wealth: Elite sports medicine practice
Dr. James Andrews earned the nickname the “surgeon to the stars” for operating on elite athletes like Michael Jordan, Drew Brees, and Jack Nicklaus. His estimated $100 million net worth comes from his prolific surgical practice.
- Perfected Tommy John elbow surgery and ACL knee repair
- Serves as team doctor for NCAA and many pro sports teams
- Patients include Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Drew Brees, and others
- Featured in SI, and ESPN for expertise in treating athletic injuries
By achieving status as the top sports orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Andrews has not only impacted many careers but also built significant wealth treating pro athletes through consulting deals.
Dr. Leonard Hochstein – $20 Million
- Specialty: Plastic Surgery, Breast Surgery
- Source of Wealth: High-profile surgery practice
Miami-based Dr. Leonard Hochstein has attained fame and fortune through his plastic surgery work focusing on breast augmentations. His net worth is estimated at over $20 million.
- Performed over 30,000 breast surgeries, with the policy of “no limits”
- Known for working with models, contestants of Miss Universe
- Recent TV fame from “Real Housewives of Miami” reality show
- Luxurious “Hochstein Med Spa” brings in wealthy clients
Dr. Hochstein exemplifies how cosmetic surgeons can leverage visibility and an elite clientele to build significant wealth through their medical skills.
Dr. Terry Dubrow – $30 Million
- Specialty: Plastic Surgeon
- Source of Wealth: Television appearances and luxury surgery practice
With over 25 years of experience as a top plastic surgeon to the stars, Dr. Terry Dubrow has also built fame through television shows like “The Swan” and “Botched”. He has an estimated net worth of $30 million.
- High priced surgeries and luxury spas earn him over $30 million/per year
- Reality TV shows let him promote work to millions
- Known for “The Swan” (2004) and “Botched” (2014-2022)
- Views television as a platform to advocate for surgery
Dr. Dubrow is a prime example of a cosmetic surgeon leveraging reality television to build a national reputation and a highly lucrative medical aesthetics brand.
Dr. Garth Fisher – $15 Million
- Specialty: Plastic Surgeon
- Source of Wealth: Celebrity Surgical practice
Based in Beverly Hills, Dr Garth Fisher earns over $15 million per year through his elite plastic surgery practice operating on celebrities like Kim Kardashian.
- Pioneer of “celebrity surgeon” brand and lifestyle
- First surgeon featured on “Extreme Makeover” (2002)
- Artist who expresses aesthetics through sculpture
- Luxury Fisher Plastic Surgery brand attracts entertainment clientele
As one of the first reality TV doctors, Dr. Fisher pioneered the concept of surgeons directly promoting their services. He showed how catering to elite clientele could transform plastic surgery into a multi-million dollar industry.
FAQs on Richest Doctors:
- Who is the richest doctor in the world?
The richest doctor in the world is Dr. Thomas Frist Jr. with a net worth of $22.4 billion. He founded Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) which operates hospitals and clinics.
- How did Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong make his billions?
Dr. Soon-Shiong developed new cancer and immunology drugs and he sold two of his companies to pharmaceutical companies Celgene and Teva for a combined total of $7.6 billion.
- What type of medicine does the richest doctor in China practice?
The richest doctor in China is Dr. Wu Yiling who is the chairman of a Chinese herbal medicine company called Yiling Pharmaceutical. His net worth is $3.2 billion.
- How did Dr. Phillip Frost go from a dermatologist to a billionaire?
Dr. Frost moved into the business side of medicine, co-founding a generic drug maker called Key Pharmaceuticals which sold for $600 million. He now is the CEO of the biotech company OPKO Health.
- What medical innovation made Dr. Gary Michelson over $1 billion?
Dr. Michelson invented several innovative tools and procedures for spinal surgery. He licensed many of his over 250 medical patents to Medtronic for $1.35 billion.
- What TV show made Dr. Phil McGraw extremely rich?
Dr. Phil rose to fame on Oprah Winfrey’s shows before starting his daily TV show called Dr. Phil in 2002 which earned him $460 million so far.
- How did Dr. James Andrews become the “surgeon for pro athletes”?
Dr. Andrews earned fame and wealth for pioneering Tommy John and other surgeries that revived the careers of injured athletes like Michael Jordan and Drew Brees.
- How does Dr. Hochstein earn millions doing breast augmentations?
Dr. Leonard Hochstein performs over 30,000 breast surgeries that start at around $15,000 each, leveraging his visibility on shows like Real Housewives of Miami.
- Why did Dr. Terry Dubrow start starring in reality TV shows?
Doing shows like The Swan (2004) and Botched (2014) allowed Dr. Dubrow to promote his plastic surgery work to millions of viewers.
- How did Dr. Garth Fisher pioneer being a “celebrity surgeon”?
Dr. Fisher was one of the first ever plastic surgeons selected for reality TV on Extreme Makeover (2002), catering to and self-promoting to elite entertainment clientele.
While most doctors make a comfortable living, the professionals profiled here exemplify how medical practitioners can build immense multi-million dollar and even billion-dollar fortunes.
Whether through surgical innovations, biotech entrepreneurship, running hospital networks, or media-savvy self-promotion, these 10 doctors show how lucrative medicine can ultimately be at the highest levels.
Their stories demonstrate the range of wealth-building pathways accessible from a medical background. Ultimately passion and skill are still the drivers, but the potential financial rewards can indeed be tremendous.