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Medscape Pulmonologist 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 Pulmonologist 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 Pulmonologist 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.

Pulmonologists are among the middle earners of all physicians. Still, pulmonologist income is up from last year's average of $331,000.

(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 Pulmonologist Compensation Report 2020

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

Male pulmonologists earn about 18% 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 Pulmonologist 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 Pulmonologist Compensation Report 2020

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

On average, pulmonologists spend 15.6 hours per week on paperwork and administration, the same as physicians overall. 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 Pulmonologist Compensation Report 2020

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

At 18%, pulmonologists 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 Pulmonologist Compensation Report 2020

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

About half of pulmonologists said their practice uses nurse practitioners to treat patients. Around 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 Pulmonologist Compensation Report 2020

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

Of pulmonologists who work with PAs and NPs at their offices, 38% said they helped increase profitability, while 59% 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 Pulmonologist Compensation Report 2020

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

Eighty-five percent of pulmonologists have no plans to stop services to Medicare and Medicaid patients, greater than the percentage of physicians overall (73%). (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Pulmonologist Compensation Report 2020

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

The large majority of pulmonologists rely on payers. About a third rely on fee-for-service and about a quarter on accountable care organizations for patient-based income.

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Medscape Pulmonologist Compensation Report 2020

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

About a third of responding pulmonologists 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 Pulmonologist 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. Among pulmonologists, making the world a better place and being very good at what they do are the top rewards.

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Medscape Pulmonologist Compensation Report 2020

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

For pulmonologists, having so many rules and regulations is the primary challenge when caring for patients.

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Medscape Pulmonologist Compensation Report 2020

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

Half of pulmonologists said they felt fairly compensated, similar to last year's percentage (52%).

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Medscape Pulmonologist Compensation Report 2020

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

If they could go back in time, 83% of pulmonologists would still choose a career in medicine. This is a somewhat higher percentage than for physicians overall (77%).

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Medscape Pulmonologist Compensation Report 2020

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

Of pulmonologists who said they would choose medicine again, three quarters said they would remain in the specialty—one of the lower proportions among physicians overall.

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Medscape Pulmonologist Compensation Report 2020

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

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Medscape Pulmonologist Compensation Report 2020

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

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Medscape Pulmonologist 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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