How much do Forensic Physicians earn? Is it the same for Psychiatrists and Psychologists?
No sound data exists. There are a few private surveys conducted by private directories of expert witnesses. The numbers are national averages. The samples are small. They include all expert practices, not just forensic medicine (med-legal, not just pathology!). I focus on psychiatry or forensic psychology but the information is consistent with most other medical specialties. Annual income reported is not identified as full time or part time.
I believe forensic psychiatrists do not make as much income as they could, by which I mean billable hours, not fee. That is the point of my services. That said, limitations include geography, competition, willingness to travel, an area of expertise which is in high demand vs. low demand. Among forensic psychiatrists and psychologists, I have seen billable rates span $300/hour to $1,200/hour (testimony rates are the high end).
Two questions impact income: what is your billable rate? How many hours do you want to work in forensic practice? The answers determine how much money you can make. Your billable rate should be similar to that of your equally qualified peers. As you come across other experts in your field who provide their billing rate–for example, in a deposition you are reading, you might take a note. This is another good reason to join professional organizations for forensic experts in your field.
I recommend you don’t intentionally try to undersell your competition. Your services are not available on Groupon. Further, your rate reflects your experience.Undervalue yourself, because you want more work, and it will be easier for others to assume it is the correct reflection of your experience even if it is not.