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Medscape Oncologist 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. While the worst business days are over for some physicians — indeed, oncologists reported an average increase in income in 2020 — others still struggle to recover.

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2021

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

Despite 35% of oncologists reporting some decline in compensation, average oncologist income grew from $377,000 in 2019 to $403,000 in 2020. 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 Oncologist Compensation Report 2021

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

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

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2021

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

About half of oncologists who suffered financial or practice-related ill effects due to the pandemic expect their income to return to normal this year. Forty-two percent 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 Oncologist Compensation Report 2021

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

Oncologist 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. At 16.7 hours per week, this year's average is the same as the prior year's. Physicians overall spend an average of 16.3 hours per week on such tasks.

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Medscape Oncologist 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, oncologists 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 Oncologist 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%). Atypically, oncologists are seeing an average increase of about 6%, from 58 to 61 patients per week.

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2021

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

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 (to 68%, up from 55% last year) while otolaryngologists' slid the furthest (to 57%, down from 66%).

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2021

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

Despite professional challenges, most physicians find their work rewarding. Four in 10 oncologists pointed to gratitude from and relationships with patients as their main source of career satisfaction.

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2021

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

Rules and regulations continue to bog down physicians' daily work — 23% of respondents from across the profession said this is their biggest challenge. The same percentage of oncologists agreed.

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2021

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

If they had a choice, 88% of oncologists would pick medicine again, the top percentage among physicians overall. Despite the shock, safety issues, stress, and grief wrought by the pandemic, this response is similar to the prior year's (84% of oncologists and 77% of all physicians). 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 Oncologist 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. Family medicine and internal medicine are typically toward the bottom, as they are again this year.

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2021

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

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2021

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

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Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2021

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

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