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Medscape Plastic Surgeon 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 Plastic Surgeon 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 Plastic Surgeon 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.

Plastic surgeons are among the top earners of all physicians. Their income is somewhat up from last year's average of $471,000.

(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 Plastic Surgeon Compensation Report 2020

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

Male plastic surgeons earn about 13% 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 Plastic Surgeon 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 Plastic Surgeon Compensation Report 2020

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

On average, plastic surgeons spend 14.2 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 Plastic Surgeon Compensation Report 2020

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

At 28%, plastic surgeons rank at the top 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 Plastic Surgeon Compensation Report 2020

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

Twenty-nine percent of plastic surgeons use physician assistants to treat patients and 27% use nurse practitioners. Fifty-seven percent said they don't employ either role for patient care. (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Plastic Surgeon Compensation Report 2020

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

Of plastic surgeons who work with PAs and NPs at their offices, 62% said they helped increase profitability, while 36% 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 Plastic Surgeon Compensation Report 2020

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

Two thirds of plastic surgeons have no plans to stop services to Medicare and Medicaid patients, somewhat less than the percentage of physicians overall (73%). Close to a quarter have not decided. (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Plastic Surgeon Compensation Report 2020

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

The majority of plastic surgeons rely on payers. Fifty-six percent rely on fee-for-service and 12% on accountable care organizations for patient-based income. Close to half (47%) provide some services on a cash-only basis. (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Plastic Surgeon Compensation Report 2020

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

One tenth of responding plastic surgeons expect to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System option of value-based care versus none for alternative payment models.

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Medscape Plastic Surgeon 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. A somewhat higher percentage (34%) of plastic surgeons said the same, while about a quarter (26%) cited being very good at what they do as their top reward.

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Medscape Plastic Surgeon Compensation Report 2020

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

For plastic surgeons, dealing with difficult patients is the primary challenge when providing care. Difficulties getting fair reimbursement and having so many rules and regulations are also seen as contributors to a demanding profession.

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Medscape Plastic Surgeon Compensation Report 2020

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

Fifty-five percent of plastic surgeons said they felt fairly compensated, similar to last year's percentage (52%).

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Medscape Plastic Surgeon Compensation Report 2020

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

If they could go back in time, 72% of plastic surgeons would still choose a career in medicine. This is a somewhat lower percentage than for physicians overall (77%).

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Medscape Plastic Surgeon Compensation Report 2020

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

Of plastic surgeons who said they would choose medicine again, 94% said they would remain in the specialty—one of the highest percentages among physicians overall.

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Medscape Plastic Surgeon Compensation Report 2020

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

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Medscape Plastic Surgeon Compensation Report 2020

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

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Medscape Plastic Surgeon 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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