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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians have been struggling with the intense challenge of caring for patients while trying to protect their own and their families' health and well-being.

A doctor's most critical concerns will always be those involving life and death, but salary and income are still important to one's career and livelihood.

(Note: Values in charts have been rounded and may not match the sums noted in the captions.)

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

The health impact of COVID-19 has been grave, and the financial fallout is widespread.

Many physician offices have closed or have greatly reduced their hours. Hospitals, clinics, and large groups throughout the nation are laying off staff and cutting salaries. Specialties that relied upon elective procedures have lost much or most of their business. Those include, but are not limited to, orthopedics, plastic surgery, dermatology, cardiology, and ophthalmology.

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

For the purposes of this survey, results are shown for physicians who identify and are verified as hospitalists. The term "hospitalist" generally refers to physicians responsible for monitoring, coordinating, and optimizing the care of acutely ill patients in a hospital. Typically, hospitalists tend to be internists, family physicians, and pediatricians.

Hospitalist primary care physicians earn 11% more than their non-hospitalist counterparts, according to this year's report. Hospitalist compensation was also up from last year's report ($242,000).

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

Three of every 10 hospitalists are women, a smaller representation compared with non-hospitalist primary care physicians.

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

This year's percentages are similar to last year's, as Asian physicians represent the largest percentage of hospitalists.

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

For the fourth consecutive year, more than half of all hospitalists are between the ages of 35 and 49. Nearly three quarters of hospitalists are under the age of 50, compared with about half of non-hospitalist primary care physicians.

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

Health insurance, liability coverage, dental and vision plans, and a retirement plan with match are the most frequently provided benefits for hospitalists. Fewer hospitalists received paid time off this year compared with those represented in last year's report (46%).

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

This marks the third straight year that more than half of hospitalists said they are happy with their compensation, and the percentage is fairly similar to last year's (65%). Nearly half of non-hospitalists feel fairly compensated, the same as last year.

Alok S. Patel, MD, a pediatric hospitalist at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, said that given the disparity between specialties, geography, and hospital settings, he feels fairly compensated. "Hospitalists shouldn't be surprised by compensation differences between private and public hospitals, or even in between competitive cities. I'd love to see more transparency on how compensation is agreed upon."

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

For the fourth straight year, mortgages are most often a source of hospitalists' debt. Car loan payments and student loans are also high on the list. Graduate school tuition for a child, business loans, and alimony are at the bottom.

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

Hospitalists spend slightly more time seeing patients compared with their non-hospitalist counterparts. For physicians overall, primary care physicians spend an average of 37.6 hours per week with patients, while specialists spend 38 hours.

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

Hospitalists also have a slight edge over non-hospitalists regarding the number of hours they spend on paperwork and administration. On average, all physicians spend 15.6 hours per week on these tasks.

Patel said the hospitalist average matches his time spent on paperwork. "In fact, I spend more time charting, on a phone, or on a computer in another capacity than I do with patients on any given hospital shift. And I know I'm not alone in this."

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

For the past few years, about half of hospitalists have said that they are aiming for a promotion. According to this year's results, however, only one third said they are seeking upward mobility in their career. That percentage is similar for non-hospitalists.

Patel speculates that the decline may be due to a shift away from traditional promotion-based career tracks. "I know many hospitalists working on a per-diem basis, on contracts with private groups, with locum tenens agencies, or part-time, where promotions wouldn't necessarily apply to them."

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

Of those hospitalists who said they are seeking a promotion, the percentages for men and women are similar. The same is true for non-hospitalists.

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

Our survey shows that 90% of hospitalists are either satisfied or very satisfied with their own job performance. This is similar to last year's results for hospitalists as is the level of non-hospitalist job satisfaction.

"Personally, I like the flexibility of being a hospitalist and the ability to pursue independent projects outside of the clinical setting," said Patel. "My job also offers me a dynamic variety of challenges and the ability to interact with many specialties. I'm satisfied."

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

Having so many rules and regulations is an often challenging part of the job for both hospitalists (30%) and non-hospitalists (27%). For hospitalists, dealing with difficult patients was also challenging, less so for their non-hospitalist peers (28% and 16%, respectively).

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

Nearly 3 in 10 hospitalists note being good at what they do and finding answers as the most rewarding part of their jobs. For non-hospitalists, gratitude from and relationships with patients is most rewarding.

"For me, the biggest reward is a combination of working through difficult diagnoses with a team and the educational component — whether it is teaching residents or patients, or learning something new myself," said Patel.

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

Much like physicians overall (77%), a large majority of hospitalists and non-hospitalists would choose to go into medicine again as a career if given the chance to do it again.

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

Of the physicians who said they would choose medicine again, a slightly higher percentage of non-hospitalists said they would choose the same specialty.

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Hospitalist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | July 10, 2020 | Contributor Information

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