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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

The Medscape Physician Compensation Report is the most comprehensive and widely used physician salary survey in the United States. In this year's report, almost 20,000 physicians in more than 30 specialties responded to Medscape's salary survey. Orthopedists who responded provided salary information, hours worked, time spent seeing patients, and what they find most rewarding and challenging about their jobs. (Note: Label values on charts are rounded, but rankings and calculations are based on raw data to avoid rounding errors.)

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

Survey respondents were asked to provide their compensation for patient care. For employed physicians, that includes salary, bonus, and profit-sharing contributions. For partners, it includes earnings after taxes and deductible business expenses before income taxes. Only full-time salaries are reported.

Orthopedists are the top earners of all physician specialties, although their income is somewhat down from last year's average income of $497,000. As more baby boomers become senior citizens, certain specialties will experience more demand for medical services. "Those over age 65 make up 14% of our population, yet they are driving the vast majority of healthcare services and are accessing healthcare services in greater numbers," says Travis Singleton, senior vice president of Merritt Hawkins, a leading physician search/recruitment firm.

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

Paperwork and administration is a growing burden for physicians in all specialties. Of physicians overall, 38% spent 10-19 hours per week on paperwork and administrative tasks, compared with 45% of orthopedists who did that much. Thirty-six percent of physicians overall spent 20 hours or more per week on such chores; 28% of orthopedists were saddled with that burden.

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

Nearly three quarters of orthopedists' benefit packages have stayed the same. More orthopedists' benefits have gotten worse than have improved.

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

As with most other specialties, self-employed orthopedists earn more than those who are employed. Income for both groups has been rising in general. Self-employed physicians tend to be older as a group than employed physicians and so have had more time to build up their practices, which may contribute to their higher income.

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

Solo and group orthopedic practices lose about the same percentage of revenue to overhead, but in general, larger medical practices benefit from economies of scale, which lead to a lower overhead percentage.

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

Orthopedic practices (33%) use PAs about the same as do physicians overall (36%), but use NPs less than do physicians overall (29% vs. 50%). The numbers of practicing PAs and NPs are projected to grow by 4.3% and 6.8%, respectively, from 2016 to 2030, while the number of physicians is projected to grow 1.1% in that timeframe.[1] (Note: Physicians were able to choose more than one response.)

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

Our survey shows that 92% of orthopedists were either very satisfied or satisfied with their own job performance. "Doctors take great pride in what they do, even under difficult circumstances, and I would imagine that we all feel we do the best we can in spite of the challenges," says Carol Bernstein, MD, psychiatrist at NYU Langone Medical Center.

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

The percentage of orthopedists in fee-for-service arrangements (53%) is somewhat greater than that of last year (47%). The percentage in ACOs (23%) is similar to that of last year (19%).

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

Although Medicare reimbursement is lower than that of many private insurers, the large majority of orthopedists are not planning to cut back on these patients. In 2016, over 56 million people were enrolled in the Medicare program—most because of their age, while the others were Medicare beneficiaries due to various disabilities.[2]

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

Among all specialists, 37% expect to participate in MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Payment System) and 9% plan to participate in APMs (alternative payment models). Somewhat more primary care physicians expect to participate in MIPS (42%) and APMs (12%).

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

Orthopedists' attitudes toward their compensation have improved since our 2014 report. At that time, 45% of orthopedists said that they were satisfied with their compensation.

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

For orthopedists, as for physicians overall (both 26%), having so many rules and regulations is the most challenging part of their job. Orthopedists (22%) found difficulties getting fair reimbursement more challenging than did physicians overall (13%).

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

Physicians overall (29%) found gratitude from and relationships with patients to be the most rewarding part of their jobs. An even greater percentage of orthopedists cited that as the most rewarding factor.

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

The large majority of orthopedists—and 77% of all physicians—would choose to go into medicine again as a career, if they had to make the choice.

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

Of the physicians who said they would choose medicine again, 79% said they would choose the same specialty. A high percentage of orthopedists noted that they would remain in their chosen specialty.

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

According to American Medical Association data,[3] the single-specialty group is the most common practice type, with 42.8% of physicians working in these settings in 2016. The multispecialty group is the second most popular form of practice setting, comprising 24.6% of physicians.

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2019

Leslie Kane, MA | April 29, 2019 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2019

Almost 20,000 physicians in over 30 specialties told us how much they earn, whether they are satisfied with their jobs, and whether their income has gone up or down.Medscape Features Slideshows, April 2019
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