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Physician Compensation Surveys

By July 31, 2015Commentary

Two recent surveys suggest there is still a wide gap between primary care and specialist compensation.   (Comp. Surveys)  The Medical Group Management Association surveyed 70,000 physicians, primarily in group practice settings, and found that median (note this is not average, but median which can be pulled up or down significantly by a few outliers) primary care physician compensation was $241,273 in 2014, an increase of 3.56% over the prior year.  On average, 10.83% of this amount was derived from performance on quality measures and only 25% of doctors reported being 100% compensated based on productivity.  Median specialist pay was $411,852, growth of 2.39%.  Some individual specialties reflect the primary care/specialist gap even better (remember these are medians).  Family medicine–$221,000; internal medicine–$238,000; pediatrics–$226,000; ob/gyn—$317,000; radiology–$492,000; interventional cardiology–$506,000; orthopedic surgery–$568,000 and (yes, it is brain surgery), neurosurgeons–$747,000.  A second survey, by Merritt Hawkins, based on several thousand physician recruiting assignments, found that while family practice and other primary physicians were the most needed doctors, average salary offered to primary care physicians was $198,000; while for urologists, for example, it was $412,000.  It still pays, literally, to be a specialist!

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