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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

Many physicians' offices closed temporarily or saw fewer patients in 2020 due to COVID-19, making it a worrisome year for physician compensation, on top of concerns about the well-being of both patients and providers. Ob/gyns' practices were not immune. While the worst business days are over for some physicians, others still struggle to recover.

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

Although 45% of ob/gyns reported some decline in compensation, average ob/gyn income was about the same in 2020 ($312,000) as in 2019 ($308,000). Similarly, average income for physicians overall varied little from 2019 to 2020, despite the hardships brought by COVID-19.

Almost 18,000 physicians in over 29 specialties told us about their income, bonuses, hours worked, greatest challenges, and the surprising impact of COVID on their compensation. 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 were included in our results.

Some totals in this presentation do not equal 100% due to rounding.

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

The large majority of ob/gyns who saw a drop in income cited COVID-19–related issues such as job loss, fewer hours, and fewer patients. About a fifth pointed to non–COVID-related factors. (Respondents could choose more than one answer.)

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

Physicians' incentive bonuses are usually based on productivity but can also be tied to patient satisfaction, clinical processes, or other goals. Our prior year's report showed that the average payment among ob/gyns who received a bonus was 14% of total salary, nearly the same percentage as this year's. (Results are shown only for specialties with sufficient sample sizes.)

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

Fifty-nine percent of ob/gyns who earn an incentive bonus achieve more than three quarters of their potential annual payment, about the same as in the prior year (60%). On average, ob/gyns ac+J11hieve about two thirds of their potential bonus, about the same proportion as do physicians overall.

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

Forty-one percent of ob/gyns who suffered financial or practice-related ill effects due to the pandemic expect their income to return to normal this year. A similar percentage believe it will take 2 to 3 years. Eighty-three percent of such physicians overall anticipate a return to pre-COVID income levels within a couple of years. Notably, 45% of physicians overall said the pandemic did not cause them financial or practice-related harm.

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

Among ob/gyns, men earn about 22% more on average than women. Income disparities persist between genders among physicians overall. Men in primary care earn 27% more than women, similar to the prior year, which showed men earning 25% more. Male specialists earn 33% more, similar to results in both 2020 (31%) and 2019 (33%).

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

On average among ob/gyns, self-employment brings in higher income than does being employed. This is also the case among physicians overall, for whom self-employment brings an average $352,000 in annual earnings while being employed commands an average income of $300,000.

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

Ob/gyn respondents reported how much time they spent on medical-related work outside of patient visits, including time devoted to paperwork, EHR documentation, administrative and managerial work, participation in professional organizations, and clinical reading. This year's average is somewhat greater than last year's (14.3 hours per week). Physicians overall spend an average of 16.3 hours per week on such tasks.

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

Physician work hours generally declined for at least some time during the pandemic, and some physicians were even furloughed. But like most physicians, ob/gyns are back to working about the same number of hours they did prior to COVID-19. Perhaps not surprising, intensivists, infectious disease physicians, and public health and preventive medicine physicians are pulling longer hours now, about 6 or 7 more per week than before.

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

While physicians who see patients generally are working about the same number of hours per week that they did pre-pandemic, they are typically seeing fewer patients due to time spent on medical office safety protocols, answering questions around COVID-19, and other factors. Pediatricians are experiencing one of the largest average declines (78 patients per week prior vs 64 now — down about 18%), followed by dermatologists, orthopedists, and otolaryngologists (each down about 15%). Ob/gyns are seeing an average decline of about 7%, from 81 to 76 patients per week.

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

Among self-employed ob/gyns, 38% believe that a drop in patient volume of up to a quarter is permanent. Seven percent said the volume is permanently reduced by just over a quarter to a half.

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

A majority of physicians overall plan to keep taking Medicare and/or Medicaid patients. However, close to a third of ob/gyns will stop treating at least some of the patients they have and not take new ones, or are yet undecided. (Respondents could choose more than one answer.)

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

Only 15% of ob/gyn respondents were planning to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2021; three times that many had yet to decide. "The stakes for the Quality Payment Program — the program that incorporates MIPS — are high, with a 9% penalty applied to all Medicare reimbursement for failure to participate," says Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, CPC, president of physician practice consulting firm Woodcock & Associates in Atlanta, Georgia. "With margins already slim, most physicians can't afford this massive penalty. It makes sense to protect your revenue by complying with — at least — the bare minimum." (Respondents could choose more than one answer.)

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

Similar to last year's report (51%), 55% of ob/gyns said they feel fairly compensated. Nearly 8 in 10 oncologists feel that they are fairly compensated, up from 67% last year — putting them at the top of the list again. Plastic surgeons' attitudes saw the largest positive change (68%, up from 55% last year) while otolaryngologists' slid the furthest (57%, down from 66%).

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

Despite professional challenges, most physicians find their work rewarding. Around one third of ob/gyns pointed to gratitude from and relationships with patients as their main source of career satisfaction. Lesser percentages said making the world a better place or being very good at what they do brings the most reward.

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

About one fifth of ob/gyns consider long hours the most challenging aspect of their jobs. Rules and regulations also continue to bog down physicians' daily work. Like 23% of respondents from across the profession, around a fifth of ob/gyns said that is their biggest challenge.

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

If they had a choice, 74% of ob/gyns would pick medicine again, similar to physicians overall (78%). Despite the shock, safety issues, stress, and grief wrought by the pandemic, this is about the same response as in the prior year (77% of both ob/gyns and physicians overall). In our 2013 Compensation Report, with almost 22,000 physician respondents, only 51% of physicians said they would choose medicine again as their career.

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

As they were in last year's report, dermatology, orthopedics, oncology, and ophthalmology are among the top of the list. Ob/gyn, family medicine and internal medicine are typically toward the bottom, as they are again this year.

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Ob/Gyn Compensation Report 2021

Keith L. Martin | May 14, 2021 | Contributor Information

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