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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

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

Doctors' most critical concerns are those involving life and death. Still, while confronting this crisis, salary and income are important to one's career and livelihood.

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 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 Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

The data for this year's Compensation Report were collected prior to February 10, 2020, and reflect physician salary and income prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Physicians told us about their incentive bonuses, income, hours worked, greatest challenges, what gives them satisfaction, and more.

Survey respondents reported their compensation for patient care. For employed physicians, that includes salary, bonus, and profit-sharing contributions. For self-employed physicians, it includes earnings after taxes and deductible business expenses, before income tax. Only full-time salaries are included in our results. This report includes responses from more than 17,000 physicians in over 30 specialties.

Oncologists are among the middle earners of all physicians. Still, oncologist income is up from last year's average of $359,000.

(Note: Label values on charts have been rounded, but rankings and calculations are based on raw data to avoid rounding errors.)

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Male oncologists earn about 17% more than their female peers. Among all specialists, men earn 31% more than women, similar to last year's figure of 33%. There is a 25% gender pay gap among primary care physicians, the same as in last year's report.

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Among all physicians, the average time spent seeing patients is 37.9 hours per week.

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

On average, oncologists spend 16.7 hours per week on paperwork and administration, similar to physicians overall (15.6 hours). Intensivists top the list regarding such tasks, followed by internists, infectious disease physicians, and physiatrists. Ophthalmologists and anesthesiologists reported the least amount of time. (Results are shown only for specialties where sample sizes are sufficient.)

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

At 16%, oncologists rank toward the middle of physicians potentially losing money on denied or resubmitted claims. One study found that, on average, 63% of denied claims are recoverable, but healthcare professionals spend about $118 per claim on appeals. (Results are shown only for specialties where sample sizes are sufficient.)

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

About half of oncologists said their practice uses nurse practitioners to treat patients. About one third said they use physician assistants, and a similar proportion said they don't employ either role for patient care. (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Of oncologists who work with PAs and NPs at their offices, 36% said they helped increase profitability, while 53% said these employees have had no effect on profitability. Physicians overall who use PAs and NPs were evenly split (47% each) on whether these employees have increased profitability or have had no effect on it.

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Sixty-five percent of oncologists have no plans to stop services to Medicare and Medicaid patients, somewhat less than the percentage of physicians overall (73%). About a third are undecided. (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

The large majority of oncologists rely on payers. Forty-one percent rely on fee-for-service and 18% on accountable care organizations for patient-based income. (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

A far larger percentage of oncologists expect to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System option of value-based care versus alternative payment models.

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

About a quarter (27%) of physicians overall noted gratitude from and relationships with patients as the main factor for their career satisfaction. Close to a third (31%) of oncologists said the same. About a quarter (27%) cited making the world a better place and 22% said being very good at what they do is their top reward.

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

For oncologists, having so many rules and regulations, working with the EHR system, and difficulties getting fair reimbursement are the top challenges when caring for patients.

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

About two thirds of oncologists said they felt fairly compensated, up from last year's percentage (53%).

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

If they could go back in time, 84% of oncologists would still choose a career in medicine. This is a somewhat higher percentage than for physicians overall (77%).

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Of oncologists who said they would choose medicine again, 96% said they would remain in the specialty—one of the highest percentages among physicians overall.

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2020

More than 17,000 physicians told us about their salary, incentive bonus, and denied claims, and how they feel about their career in medicine.Medscape Features Slideshow, May 2020
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