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Medscape Public Health and Preventive Medicine 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 Public Health and Preventive Medicine 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 Public Health and Preventive Medicine 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.

Public health and preventive medicine physicians are among the lowest earners of all physicians. Still, PH/PM physician income is up from last year's average of $209,000.

(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 Public Health and Preventive Medicine Compensation Report 2020

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

Male PH/PM physicians earn about 21% 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 Public Health and Preventive Medicine Compensation Report 2020

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

About 4 in 10 PH/PM physicians said their practice uses physician assistants to treat patients, while close to 6 in 10 said they use nurse practitioners. Around 3 in 10 said they don't employ either role for patient care.

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Medscape Public Health and Preventive Medicine Compensation Report 2020

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

Of PH/PM physicians who work with PAs and NPs at their offices, 41% said they helped increase profitability, while 58% 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 Public Health and Preventive Medicine Compensation Report 2020

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

About two thirds of PH/PM physicians have no plans to stop services to Medicare and Medicaid patients, somewhat less than the percentage of physicians overall (73%). One third haven't decided. (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Public Health and Preventive Medicine Compensation Report 2020

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

The majority of PH/PM physicians rely on payers, but the percentage in fee-for-service arrangements (26%) is down to about half that of last year (51%). The percentage of PH/PM physicians in ACOs (12%) and cash-only practices (10%) is fairly similar to that of last year (both were 15%), while the percentage in direct primary care is unchanged at 11%. (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Public Health and Preventive Medicine Compensation Report 2020

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

No responding PH/PM physicians expect to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System option of value-based care. Nearly one third expect to participate in alternative payment models.

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Medscape Public Health and Preventive Medicine 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. Forty-four percent of PH/PM physicians cited making the world a better place while 24% said being very good at what they do is the top reward.

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Medscape Public Health and Preventive Medicine Compensation Report 2020

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

For PH/PM physicians, having so many rules and regulations is the primary challenge when caring for patients. Nearly a quarter mentioned other challenges to their daily work, with some noting workplace politics. (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Public Health and Preventive Medicine Compensation Report 2020

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

Sixty-five percent of PH/PM physicians said they felt fairly compensated, down from last year's percentage (73%).

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Medscape Public Health and Preventive Medicine Compensation Report 2020

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

If they could go back in time, three quarters of PH/PM physicians would still choose a career in medicine. This is about the same percentage as for physicians overall (77%).

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Medscape Public Health and Preventive Medicine Compensation Report 2020

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

Of PH/PM physicians who said they would choose medicine again, 83% said they would remain in the specialty—around the middle of the pack compared to physicians overall.

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Medscape Public Health and Preventive Medicine Compensation Report 2020

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

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Medscape Public Health and Preventive Medicine Compensation Report 2020

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

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Medscape Public Health and Preventive Medicine Compensation Report 2020

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

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Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2020

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