How Much Do Doctors Earn?

Medscape Physician Compensation Report: 2011

The Specialist/Primary Care Split Continues -- and Not Just in Compensation

Wayne Guglielmo, MA

|Disclosures|April 28, 2011
 

Introduction

The demand for primary care doctors continues to grow, but specialists still earn the most money, according to Medscape's Physician Compensation Report: 2011. The report is based on a survey that garnered responses from over 15,000 US physicians representing 22 specialties.

The highest earning medical specialties are orthopedic surgeons and radiologists (median compensation: $350,000), followed by anesthesiologists and cardiologists ($325,000). Dermatologists report that they are happiest with their specialty (93%).

If they had to do it all over again, primary care doctors were least likely to choose the same specialty (43%), followed by pulmonologists (52%) and obstetricians/gynecologists (53%). While pediatricians were lowest on the income rung, 61% would choose the same specialty again.

These are just a few of the not-to-be-missed findings of Medscape's 2011 Physician Compensation Report, which was fielded during February 2011 and based on 2010 data.

Other key findings include:

  • Doctors in private practice spend more time seeing patients than do their employed colleagues;

  • Sex still makes a difference -- across the specialties surveyed, women doctors reported a 2010 median income of $160,000 compared with men's $225,000;

  • Income for most doctors has remained flat from 2009 to 2010, although a percentage of doctors saw increases; and

  • More than one fourth of primary care physicians (29%) spend between 13 and 16 minutes with each of their patients.

 
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Authors and Disclosures

Author(s)

Wayne Guglielmo, MA

Independent Journalist, Mahwah, NJ

Disclosure: Wayne Guglielmo, MA, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

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