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A Mid-Year Update on Physician Compensation

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Medscape Compensation Report


By Vicki Rackner MD

A 2015  Medscape Compensation Report sheds light on physicians’ earning potential.

Here are some key findings from a survey of 20,000 physicians in 26 specialties:

  • Orthopedists ($421,000) and cardiologists ($376,000) are still the top earners among physicians.
  • Physicians in private practice earn significantly more ($329,000 for specialists) than do employed physicians ($258,000 for specialists), despite the trend toward employment.
  • Male physicians earn more ($284,000) than their female counterparts ($215,000).
  • North Dakota and Alaska ($330,000) are the top-paying states for physicians, while Rhode Island ($217,000) and Maryland ($237,000) are the lowest-paying.
  • 9% of physicians have concierge or cash-only practices, the same percentage as last year, while ACO participation continues to grow.

However, it’s not what you make that’s important; it’s what you keep. Click here to read a blog post about the Myth of the Rich Doctor that addresses the disconnect between income and wealth.





So, what are your thoughts about physicians’ potential to enjoy financial independence?


Vicki Rackner MD is an author, speaker and consultant who offers a bridge between the world of medicine and the world of business. She helps businesses acquire physician clients, and she helps physicians run more successful practices. Contact her at (425) 451-3777


Will single-payer really reduce administrative waste?


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Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

There is no other comprehensive book like it to help doctors, nurses, and other medical providers accumulate and preserve the wealth that their years of education and hard work have earned them.
—Dr. Jason Dyken MD MBA

[Dyken Wealth Strategies, Gulf Shores, Alabama]


5 Responses

  1. Medicine’s Top Earners Are Not the MDs

    Although the recent release of Medicare’s physician payments cast a spotlight on the millions of dollars paid to some specialists, there is a startling secret behind America’s health care hierarchy: Physicians, the most highly trained members in the industry’s work force, are on average right in the middle of the compensation pack.


    That is because the biggest bucks are currently earned not through the delivery of care, but from overseeing the business of medicine.

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA


  2. Female Academic Physicians Earn $19,878 Less Than Males

    JAMA recently published an analysis on salary differences between male and female academic physicians. Here are some key findings from the report:

    • 34.7% of physician faculty at 24 public medical schools were women.
    • Women had lower mean salaries than men ($206,641 vs $257,957).
    • 20.2% of women were full professors, compared to 38% of men.
    • Female academic physicians earned $19,878 less than males after adjustments.
    • 17.6% of women were specialized in pediatrics, compared with 9.9% of men.
    • Women received lower Medicare payments ($38,409 vs $52,320).

    Source: JAMA, July 11, 2016


  3. Salary Update [July 2016]
    [AMGA 2016 Survey Reports Average Increase in Physician Compensation at 3.1%]

    AMGA just announced findings from its 2016 Medical Group Compensation and Productivity Survey, conducted by its consulting arm, AMGA Consulting. Findings show that 74% of physician specialties experienced increases in compensation. The overall weighted average increase in 2015 compensation was 3.1%, similar to 2.8% from 2013 to 2014.

    • Primary care specialists saw an increase of 3.6%, up from a decrease of 0.3% in 2014 (weighted average).
    • Other medical specialties saw an average increase of 3.0%, comparable to 3.2% in 2014.
    • Surgical specialties saw an average increase of 3.6%, up from 2.0% in 2014.

    Source: AMGA [7/19/16]


  4. Rich Docs?

    If doctors wanted to be wealthy, they would have become UPS truck drivers.


    When I returned to B-school years ago; one of my buds was a UPS executive. Now, I know why.

    Dr. David Marcinko MBA


  5. 2017 AMGA: Member Providers % Gov Revenue by Source

    1. Fee for Service – 31.4%
    2. Medicare Advantage – 29.3%
    3. ACOs – 18.1%
    4. Medicaid Mgd. Care – 10.0%
    5. Medicaid FFS – 7.9%
    6. Bundled Payment – 3.3%

    Source: AMGA


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