Background info

I’m a medical school professor at a Canadian medical school and was interested in potentially seeking a job in the US. Currently I make around $160k CAD pre tax ($124k USD) although our taxes are generally higher.

I’m tenured and has been a full professor for a few years now. (About 15 years in total of work experience as assistant and associate professor after post doc) Also ONLY PhD not an MD (not clinical)


  • What are the differences between medical school professor jobs in Canada vs USA? (Salary, work life balance, culture, position openings)

  • Is it true in the USA medical school profs are paid mainly in grant money (soft cap?) and a small base salary (hard cap)?

  • Are there certain areas I should be looking at since I’m open to any part of the US as long as it pays similar (or preferably more)?

That’s basically my main question right now but if you have any further additional info it would be much appreciated since I basically know nothing about applying for jobs as Ive been at the same place for my entire career.

  • 2
    You might want to split this into multiple questions, lest it be closed for needing "more focus."
    – Buzz
    Dec 25, 2021 at 22:56

1 Answer 1


I can only answer one of these questions, and that is that yes, USA medical school professors are paid mainly in grant money (soft cap) and a small base salary (hard cap). I don't have much expertise on this subject, so I would recommend looking at the other answers, but from what I know and have heard this is true.

  • Med schools must be different than regular schools since most US schools pay their professors for 9 months and encourage them to find funding for their summer months. NSF technically only allows 2 months of total time to be paid to a prof from NSF grants, which seems to be enforced by some program officers more than others. I don’t know if teaching summer courses is at you regular rate or something else.
    – Bill Barth
    Dec 28, 2021 at 15:11

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