After reviewing the Medscape Physician Compensation Report for 2016, there is plenty of good, encouraging news to share! This report is based on data gathered from nearly 20,000 physicians around the country. This year’s report is full of exciting information for seasoned physicians who have been practicing for some time as well for young doctors who have many potential years of earning ahead. In short we are seeing positive trends in compensation and overall job satisfaction.
According to the Medscape report the top three overall earners this year are orthopedists, cardiologists, and dermatologists. And while there is a wide range of compensation across the 26 specialty categories included in the survey, all specialties came in at an average annual income of over $200,000. This year the lowest earners were endocrinologists, pediatricians, and family physicians. Those may be the lowest earning physicians but it is important to remember that doctors earn much more on an annual basis than average, even among professionals. The majority of physicians’ compensations increased since last year. When asked about the high increase in internist salaries, Travis Singleton, Senior Vice President of national physician search firm Merritt Hawkins, commented 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.”
The North Central region of the country, which consists of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota, reported the highest paid earnings for physicians; the average salary being $296,000.00. In the past there have been problems accessing rural and poor areas; now physicians are able to reach these areas and rural markets are able to add more compensation. Other factors like the recent oil boom in North Dakota has also driven the demand for doctors in this region.
According to the study more men are self-employed than women and are usually younger doctors. Many of these younger physicians prefer being self-employed so they can set their own schedules and not have to spend as much time in meetings and focused on organizational issues that effect large groups. On the other hand, a lot of employed doctors are happy to not have to deal with the business responsibilities of being self-employed even if it means on average slightly less compensation. Most self-employed specialists make considerably more money than employed specialists.
Over half of physicians in all different practices feel fairly compensated and would choose medicine again if they had to do it over. Being well compensated leads to job satisfaction, which speaks to a profession that continues to provide many with a strong sense of satisfaction in their profession. Overall, now seems like a great time to be in the medical field.
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