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MedScape Physician Compensation Report

By May 2, 2013Commentary

Physicians are an important cog in the health system and are burdened with many obligations.  Their compensation, however, has generally been going up significantly according to a survey of around 28,000 doctors by Medscape.   (Medscape Report)   The highest paid specialty was orthopedics at $405,000, which also was the largest percent increase at 27% over 2011.  Other high paid specialties were cardiologists at $357,000 and radiologists at $349,000.  In the primary care areas, Family practice doctors averaged $175,000 and internal medicine physicians were paid on average $185,000.  The geographic spread is not great, from about $228,000 in the northeast to $259,000 in the north central.  Doctors in single-specialty or multi-specialty groups tend to be the best paid, with hospital employed doctors not far behind.  Board certification adds about $100,000 a year in overall compensation.  About half of all doctors and half of primary care doctors feel fairly compensated.  About 2% of doctors are in concierge practices, 4% are in cash only practices and 16% say they are in at least one ACO.  Nine percent say that they will take no new Medicaid and Medicare patients and 2% say they are going to stop seeing current patients in these categories.  Only 30% regularly discuss treatment costs with patients.  Around 34% spent more than 45 hours a week seeing patients.  Eighty percent said they spend at least 5 hours a week on paperwork and over half, more than 10 hours.  Only half of physicians say they would choose medicine as their career if they could do it over again.  The most rewarding parts of the job for doctors were reported to be the relationships with patients and the process of solving medical problems.

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