As a medical group administrator I'm very familiar with the differences in physician compensation. I'd just like to provide some facts on compensation. It varies greatly by specialty, by type of practice (single specialty versus multi specialty), by region of the country, and by the number of physicians in a practice. Some of the best information published on physician compensation is from the Medical Group Management Association in their annual publication on Physician Compensation and Production. For example, 2006 (national) data showed the median compensation level for a primary care physician was $171,519 while specialist compensation was $322,259. In general, the south and mid west parts of the country have higher median compensation levels than the east and the west for both primary care and specialists. A five year (national) trend shows compensation for primary care physicians increased almost 12% while specialist compensation increased just over 17% in the five years.
Family Practice specialty (with no OB) had a median compensation level of about $164,000 in 2006. A pediatrician had a salary of $174,000. A cardiologist who does invasive procedures had a median compensation of about $432,000, an orthopedic surgeon was $425,000, a general surgeon was $305,000, a neruosurgeon was $572,000, and OB was $270,000 are a few examples of the differences in compensation.
Primary care physicians are compensated less than specialists because they don't do the type of procedures or surgery that specialists do. Given the current fee for service methodology of payment by insurance companies, primary care physicians are not able to generate as much revenue as specialists in their daily office visits as a specialist performing surgeries.
posted 3 years, 11 months ago
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