Surgeons Reign Supreme

With little variation among regions, surgical subspecialists earn the most among all physicians.

By UO Staff | Spring 2010 | Vital Stats


Physician compensation is an important factor that affects the decision to enter into the medical profession, choice of medical specialty, practice location, and it can drive productivity. The American Medical Group Association’s 2009 (AMGA), compensation survey (based on 2008 data) compares physician compensation by geographic region.

As expected, specialists earn more than physicians in family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics. Orthopedic surgery, radiation therapy, and obstetrics and gynecology rate among the highest-paid specialties. Physicians practicing family medicine earn an average annual compensation of $197,655, while neurological surgeons are on top, earning an average of $548,186 annually. Earnings can vary according to number of years in practice, the number of hours worked, and professional reputation. Survey data shows that earnings can also vary regionally from a low of $480,676 in the East to a high of $570,076 in the West in a specialty such as cardiac and thoracic surgery. more »



Physician Compensation Worldwide

From a global perspective, who's earning more - American or foreign physicians?

By UO Staff | Fall 2009 | Vital Stats


United States general practitioners and specialists are among the highest paid physicians in the world, according to a 2007 Congressional Research Service report.

However, a direct cross-country comparison is challenging due to the varying standards of living provided by the same salary in different locations. Here are two ways of making the comparison:

One analysis adjusts salaries by purchasing-power parities. In this comparison, the numbers are adjusted to allow $1,000 to buy an equal amount of goods and services in every country, making it possible to appreciate the standards of  living (Average Compensation in U.S. Dollar Purchasing Power, columns 2 and 4). General practice physicians rank at the top in this comparison, with specialists not far behind.

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The Picture is Clear

Radiology the leader in MGMA's 2008 survey

By UO Staff | Summer 2009 | Vital Stats


Radiology tops the list of starting salaries for physicians according to the Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) 2008 Physician Compensation and Production Survey. While nuclear medicine radiology tops the charts with a starting median salary of more than $478,000, diagnostic noninvasive radiology comes in at fourth on the list with a median starting salary of $360,000. Radiology holds up well for established radiologists who practice either nuclear or diagnostic radiology, with both subspecialties in the top three. Established diagnostic radiologists earn median salaries of more than $450,000 followed closely by $413,000 for their colleagues in nuclear radiology. more »




Blame Shortage on Salaries

Study shows lack of primary care physicians correlates to lower pay.

By UO Staff | March/April 2009 | Vital Stats


Salary disparities among medical specialties play a major role in the shortage of primary care physicians, a recent JAMA study shows.

Dr. Mark Ebell, a professor and assistant to the provost at the University of Georgia, compared 2007 starting salaries for various physician specialties with the percentage of medical school graduates choosing those specialties. He found a direct correlation between salary and the popularity of a specialty.

Ebell found the same relationship in a study he conducted nearly 20 years ago. Since then, the salary disparities have grown and the shortage of primary care physicians—including those in family medicine, pediatrics, or general internal medicine—has become more pronounced. In the past decade, the number of U.S. medical school graduates entering family practice residencies has dropped 50 percent. more »




Physician Compensation Remains Flat

Although finiancial growth is typically a medical career goal, gains have barely registered since 2003.

By UO Staff | September/October 2008 | Vital Stats


Specialty physicians’ overall compensation remained flat in 2007, (increasing just 0.31 percent, adjusted for inflation, or 3.16 percent without inflation) according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2008 Report Based on 2007 Data. Among specialists, invasive cardiologists’ compensation declined (0.18 percent loss) even before inflation. However, noninvasive cardiologists’ compensation increased 11.72 percent. Compensation for EM physicians and hem/onc also failed to keep up with inflation. more »




Women Physicians Lack Equality

While the number of women physicians practicing in the U.S. has grown, their salaries lag behind their male peers’

By UO Staff | September/October 2008 | Vital Stats


According to the American Medical Association (AMA), the number of women in medicine has grown by roughly 140 percent in the past three decades. But in an early 2008 report to the AMA Board of Trustees on “Gender Disparities in Physician Income and Advancement,” AMA Chairman Edward L. Langston reported that despite the growing numbers of women in medicine, female physicians consistently lag behind their male counterparts in professional advancement and annual compensation. more »




Universal Health Care Not the Answer?

Survey finds that 20 percent of physicians will leave medicine if Universal Health Care coverage is implemented in 2009

July/August 2008 | Vital Stats


In a survey of almost 1,400 physicians by physician recruiting firm, 20 percent of respondents say they’ll stop practicing medicine if the next U.S. president enacts universal health care insurance coverage. Although 62 percent say they will continue practicing the way they do today, 11 percent say they would change occupations and 9 percent said they would retire.

“These physician survey results signal to government officials and insurance industry executives that they must not discount physicians’ potential response as healthcare reform is implemented,” President David Roush says. “Any type of reform that further reduces their autonomy and income-earning potential will exacerbate the growing U.S. shortage of physicians.” more »




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