100+ stats on physician compensation

Patsy Newitt - Print  |

Here's how physician compensation and physician specialties stack up in more than 100 key statistics.

Note: Several surveys were used to compile this report. More information is provided at the end of the report. 

Median compensation:

1. Anesthesiologists: $453,683 (2.57 percent decrease from 2020)

2. Cardiologists (general): $518,750 (2.63 percent decrease from 2020)

3. Dermatologists: $506,276 (1.59 percent increase from 2020)

4. Endocrinologists: $274,402 (0.22 percent increase from 2020)

5. Emergency room physicians: $380,099 (0.58 percent increase from 2020)

6. Family medicine physicians: $273,291 (1.27 percent increase from 2020)

7. Gastroenterologists: $538,908 (0.74 percent decrease from 2020)

8. General surgeons: $439,196 (2.69 percent decrease from 2020)

9. Internal medicine physicians: $288,558 (0.05 percent decrease from 2020)

10. Neurologists: $325,278 (1.25 percent increase from 2020)

11. OB-GYN: $357,266 (0.66 percent decrease from 2020)

13. Hematology and medical oncology: $462,644 (1.39 percent decrease from 2020)

14. Ophthalmologists: $416,333 (1.14 percent decrease from 2020)

15. Orthopedic surgeons: $626,297 (0.89 percent decrease from 2020)

16. Pediatricians: $255,352 (0.81 percent decrease from 2020)

17. Psychiatrists: $299,250 (0.54 percent decrease from 2020)

18. Pulmonary disease (with critical care): $418,382 (1.41 percent decrease from 2020)

19. Rheumatologists: $278,416 (0.48 percent increase from 2020)

20. Urologists: $500,698 (2.82 percent increase from 2020) 

Highest-offered signing bonuses:

Lowest-offered signing bonuses:

Physician signing bonuses:

Highest-paying states for physicians and surgeons by mean annual pay:

1. Maine: $279,700

2. Montana: $271,560

3. South Dakota: $269,100

4. Alaska: $266,200

5. Wyoming: $263,540

6. Hawaii: $263,200

7. Indiana: $260,540

8. Wisconsin: $258,470

9. Nevada: $251,840

10. Georgia: $251,300

Top five reasons physicians' finances worsened in 2020:

1. Lost revenue or increased expenses due to COVID-19 

2. More time spent on uncompensated tasks 

3. Lower reimbursement 

4. Higher overhead 

5. Greater technology costs

 

Top 15 nonmedical side gigs for physicians:

1. Real estate: 21 percent

2. Investing and/or investing advice: 19 percent

3. Advice or consulting: 12 percent

4. Teaching: 11 percent

5. Writing: 8 percent

6. Sports: 5 percent

7. Business consulting: 5 percent

8. Social media influencing or blogging: 4 percent

9. Cooking or food preparation: 3 percent

10. Playing music or singing: 3 percent

11. Life or career coaching: 3 percent

12. Photography: 3 percent

13. Podcasting and blogging: 2 percent

14. Software and electronics: 2 percent

15. Raising, breeding or training animals: 2 percent

Mean compensation for men and women:

Mean incentive bonus:

1. Orthopedic surgeons: $116,000

2. Ophthalmologists: $87,000

3. Otolaryngologists: $72,000

4. Urologists: $72,000

5. Cardiologists: $71,000

6. Radiologists: $69,000

7. Gastroenterologists: $60,000

8. Anesthesiologists: $55,000

9. OB-GYN and women's health: $48,000

10. General surgeons: $47,000

Lowest-earning physician specialties in 2020:

1. Preventive medicine: $234,587

2. Pediatrics: $243,253

3. Medical genetics: $252,930

4. Medicine/pediatrics: $256,118

5. Endocrinology: $259,748

Highest-earning physician specialties in 2020:

1. Neurosurgery: $746,544

2. Thoracic surgery: $668,350

3. Orthopedic surgery: $605,330

4. Plastic surgery: $539,208

5. Oral and maxillofacial surgery: $538,590

Change in malpractice premiums from 2019-20:

The specialties where physicians are most likely to report net worth exceeding $5 million:

1. Internal medicine: 9 percent

2. Radiology: 7 percent

3. Cardiology: 7 percent

4. Orthopedic surgery: 7 percent

5. Anesthesiology: 6 percent

Ten findings on physician income by practice type:

1. Physician owners: $276,000

2. Nonowner physicians: $265,000

3. Employed at an inpatient hospital: $274,000

4. Private practice: $268,000

5. Hospital-owned practice: $297,000

6. Solo practice: $242,000

7. Two-physician group: $259,000

8. Three to 10 physician group: $287,000

9. Eleven to 50 physician group: $281,000

10. More than 50 physicians: $286,000

Statistics are based on the following:

Median compensation is from the American Medical Group Association's "2021 Medical Group Compensation and Productivity Survey," a 2021 report based on 2020 data. The nationwide survey includes data from 398 medical groups, representing more than 190,000 providers from 168 physicians, advanced practice clinicians and other specialties. 

Signing bonuses are from Merritt Hawkins' "2021 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives." The review is based on a representative sample of 2,458 permanent physician and advanced practitioner search assignments that were ongoing or conducted by Merritt Hawkins/AMN Healthcare's physician staffing companies from April 2020 to March 2021.

States with the highest pay come from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics' occupational employment statistics survey.The survey data, released March 31, comes from information gathered in May 2020 and shows the mean annual wage for physicians.

Financial state statistics, malpractice premiums and income statistics by practice size and ownership are from Medical Economics' 92nd physician report. Medical Economics collected data from physicians who responded to email invitations during the first quarter.

Nonmedical side gigs are from Medscape's "Side Gigs: A Growing Trend as Physicians Seek Extra Income." The publication conducted an online survey of 1,804 physicians who had side gigs beyond their medical practices.

Incentive bonuses are from Medscape's "Physician Compensation Report 2021." Medscape researchers surveyed about 18,000 U.S. physicians in more than 29 specialties. Data was collected Oct. 6, 2020, through Feb. 11, 2021.

Lowest- and highest-earning physician specialties comes from Doximity's annual "Physician Compensation Report," which includes survey responses from over 135,000 licensed U.S. doctors.

 

Specialties with the highest net worth are from Medscape's "Physician Wealth & Debt Report 2021." The report includes responses from 17,903 physicians gathered between October 2020 and February 2021.

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