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Survey: Physician Compensation is Up in Most Specialties in 2016

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Earlier this month, Medscape released its “Physician Compensation Report 2016,” and according to Carol Peckham over at the publication’s website, the report is based on information collected from “nearly 19,200 physicians in over 26 specialties,” who “disclosed not only their compensation, but also how many hours they work per week, how many minutes they spend with each patient, the most rewarding part of their job, changes to their practice resulting from healthcare reform, and more.”

Regarding compensation, Medscape found that the highest earners were orthopedists at $443,000 per year, cardiologists at $410,000, and dermatologists at $381,000. “Orthopedists and cardiologists were numbers one and two last year as well at $421,000 and $376,000, respectively,” Peckham notes, adding an important clarification: “Within these specialties, there is likely to be a wide range of earnings, as both orthopedics and cardiology include surgical subspecialists, who tend to make significantly more than their generalist counterparts.”

At the lower end of the pay scale were family physicians at $207,000, endocrinologists at $206,000, and pediatricians at $204,000. This is consistent with last year’s findings, Peckham writes.

Speaking of last year, the report also compared which physician salaries were up and which ones were down, and it found that “two specialties, allergy and pulmonology, experienced a noticeable decrease in income (-11 percent and -5 percent, respectively).”

Two specialties, pathologists and plastic surgeons, held steady from last year with no movement in either direction.

But, Peckham writes, the news is good for other physicians, who “reported an increase. The greatest increases appeared among rheumatologists and internists (12 percent), followed by nephrologists and dermatologists (11 percent). This year, several specialties were in the double digits and most were above 4 percent.”

One expert told Medscape that the increase in internist salaries was a reflection on the fact “that the migration to hospital medicine has shrunk the candidate pool while, at the same time, ‘over 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, driving demand for internists, and their compensation, higher.’”

As physicians who are looking for jobs, do these findings give you optimism about your salary expectations in your next position? Are you currently satisfied with your income? What would you change about your current employment contract?

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