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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Ophthalmologists who responded to this year's Medscape compensation survey disclosed their compensation, number of hours they work weekly, their major rewards and challenges, and more. (Note: Chart values have been rounded and may differ from the sums cited in the captions.)

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Survey respondents were asked to provide their annual compensation for patient care. For employed physicians, this includes salary, bonus, and profit-sharing contributions. For partners, it includes earnings after taxes and deductible business expenses before income tax. Ophthalmologists ranked above the middle among physicians this year at $345,000. Orthopedists were the highest earners at $489,000, and pediatricians the lowest at $202,000.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Compensation for cardiologists and oncologists has not changed since the 2016 survey. Pediatricians were the only specialists who reported a decrease this year, of 1%. All other survey respondents reported an increase, including ophthalmologists, who reported the fourth largest (12%), with plastic surgeons' and allergists' gains first and second at 24% and 16%, respectively.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Average compensation for US-trained ophthalmologists ($351,000) exceeds that of their foreign-trained peers ($247,000) by 42%. The average among all US-trained physicians surveyed is $301,000, second highest following those trained in Canada ($328,000).

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Among ophthalmologists, there is a wide gap in gender participation. Among white/Caucasian and Asian respondents, 80% and 69%, respectively, are men. Other racial groups were represented by too low a percentage of respondents to be included in this comparison.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

This year, the highest average compensation was reported by ophthalmologists in the Northeast ($452,000), Northwest ($377,000), and Great Lakes ($376,000) regions, while the lowest was found in the Southwest ($296,000), the West ($308,000), and the Mid-Atlantic ($320,000).

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Physicians who are employed earn less than those who are self-employed, trading in a higher salary for less time spent dealing with administrative and business issues.

Self-employed ophthalmologists earn 43% more than their employed peers ($401,000 vs $280,000).

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

This year, as in all previous years' reports, full-time male ophthalmologists reported higher earnings than their female counterparts. Men earned $370,000, 39% more than women, who earned $267,000.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Nearly three quarters (71%) of ophthalmologists this year say they receive employer-subsidized health insurance, and 69% are provided with liability coverage. In addition, around half get paid time off (55%) and employer-matched retirement accounts (50%). Thirteen percent reported that they receive no benefits.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

This year, among all physicians, nearly one quarter (22%) of women and 10% of men reported that they work part-time (less than 40 hours per week). Among ophthalmologists, 24% of women and 15% of men surveyed work part-time.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Over half of ophthalmologists surveyed (53%) believe that they are fairly compensated, ranking them above the middle among all physicians. At the bottom of the list are nephrologists (41%) and endocrinologists (44%). Emergency medicine physicians, at 68%, rank highest.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

This year, in addition to asking respondents if they are satisfied with their compensation, the Medscape survey asked those who were not satisfied how large an increase they feel they deserve. Thirty-seven percent of ophthalmologists believe they deserve to be earning between 11% and 25% more, while 21% believe their current income should be increased by over 75%.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

This year, ophthalmologists' participation in accountable care organizations (ACOs) increased to 30% from 22% in 2016, while 3% had concierge and 5% had cash-only practices. One third of ophthalmologist respondents reported that none of the payment models listed apply to them.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), also known as the permanent "Doc Fix," went into effect on January 1, 2017. This year's Medscape survey asked ophthalmologists if they expect to participate, and at 64%, they were the most likely to answer affirmatively.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

In this year's survey, when ophthalmologists were asked whether they would drop insurers that pay poorly, 35% said they would and about half (49%) said they would not. (The question was not applicable to 16% of ophthalmologist respondents, most likely because they are employed by hospitals or other organizations.)

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Close to one third (32%) of ophthalmologists reported that they have seen an influx of new patients over the past year as a result of the Affordable Care Act, compared with 25% in 2016.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Most ophthalmologists (87%) surveyed said they will continue to take new and treat current Medicare and Medicaid patients. Only 3% indicated that they intend to stop taking new patients, and 1% will drop current patients who are recipients. Six percent said they have not yet decided.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

This year has seen a notable increase in the percentage of all Medscape survey respondents who say they are participating in healthcare exchanges, up to 37% from 19% in 2016. Among ophthalmologists, 41% said they plan to participate in the exchanges, up from just 22% last year, while 30% do not plan to participate, up from 21%.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Among ophthalmologists, 35% reported no change in income due to health insurance exchanges, 4% said their income had increased, and 19% said that it had decreased. Forty-one percent of ophthalmologist respondents did not participate in an exchange.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

This year, 93% of ophthalmologists surveyed said they either regularly or occasionally discuss the cost of treatment with patients. Thirty-five percent reported that they do so occasionally and 58% said they do so regularly.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

When we asked ophthalmologists whether they charge patients for appointments missed without notice, 18% of solo practitioners said they do compared with 16% of respondents in single-specialty group practices and 20% of those in multispecialty groups.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Just 20% of ophthalmologists surveyed spend more than 45 hours each week with patients, down from 25% last year.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Most ophthalmologists who responded this year (57%) spend 12 minutes or less with each patient. Thirty-eight percent spend between 13 and 24 minutes, and just 4% spend 25 minutes or more. (Note: This slide applies to office-based physicians only.)

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

According to this year's Medscape Lifestyle Report, bureaucratic tasks remain the primary cause of burnout among physicians. More than half (56%) of all physicians surveyed spend 10 hours or more per week on paperwork and administration, up from 35% in the 2014 report. Well below the overall rate, 41% of the ophthalmologists polled devote 10 hours or more to such tasks each week.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

More than half (56%) of ophthalmologists who are employed indicated that they are seeking a promotion.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Gender may play some role in whether ophthalmologists seek promotion. The gap between men and women who answered affirmatively is 11%, with a higher percentage of men (59%) than women (48%) saying they are seeking promotion.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

In this year's survey, 44% of ophthalmologists cited relationships with and gratitude from patients as the most rewarding aspect of their jobs. More than a quarter (27%) named being good at what they do and doing it well. Far lower percentages chose the other available options, but only 2% said they find nothing rewarding about their jobs.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

In addition to asking what ophthalmologists find most rewarding, we asked what they find most challenging about their jobs. More than one third (35%) chose the number-one response, "having so many rules and regulations." Reimbursement difficulties placed second at 16%, followed closely at 14% by dealing with difficult patients.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

When asked this year whether they would still choose medicine if they had to do it over again, 79% of ophthalmologists answered affirmatively, ranking them in the upper half of physicians.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

Of those who would choose medicine again, ophthalmologists rank near the top: 93% would also choose their own specialty again.

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2017

Sarah Grisham | April 12, 2017 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2016

Nearly 19,200 physicians in over 26 specialties described their income, career satisfaction, hours worked, and whether they'd go into medicine again.Medscape Features Slideshows, April 2016
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