A study released by Columbia University on Thursday compares the pay of primary care physicians in six different countries, finding that the United States tops the list.

The research also checked fees for common procedures, such as that of a common orthopedic surgeon's hip replacement.

The data was compiled by Miriam J. Laugesen, of health policy at Columbia.

Normal primary care fees on average were twice as much in the U.S. - doctors received $186,582 income, to $95,585 in France and around $159,000 in UK.

"With the recession we have right now, there are a lot of questions about whether physician fees can continue to go up at the pace they have," said Laugesen.

When it came to orthopedics, surgeons’ salaries in the US were $442,450 compared with $154,380 in France, $208,634 in Canada, and $324,138 in UK, on average leading the private insurer/public funder to pay twice as much as in other countries.

The analysis suggested that participants in the ongoing debate on healthcare costs check on physician fees.