Physician Compensation: Where Do Neurologists Fit in?

Andrew N. Wilner, MD


November 04, 2011

In This Article

What Would You Do With a Million Dollars?

If you are a neurologist, you probably don't need a ready answer to that question. Based on the recent Medscape physician compensation survey, neurologists' income for 2010 ranked #16 out of 22 medical and surgical specialties. Only areas of psychiatry, HIV/infectious disease, rheumatology, diabetes/endocrinology, primary care, and pediatrics reported less income. If you think you are not fairly compensated, you have a lot of company; only slightly more than half of physicians in the Medscape survey felt that their compensation was fair.

2010 Neurologist Compensation

Income for neurologists ranged from $100,000 or less (14%) to $500,000 or more (8%).[1] Approximately 50% of neurologists earned $200,000 or more and 50% earned less than $200,000. Approximately 50% of neurologists earned the same in 2010 as 2009, but about 25% earned less and 25% earned more. Male neurologists earned more ($210,000) than women neurologists ($170,000).[1]

Survey Demographics

The survey was sent to 455,000 US physicians, of whom 15,794 (3.5%) responded. Data were collected by Medscape from 2/2/11 to 3/30/11. Respondents included physicians in the areas of primary care (23%), pediatrics (8%), psychiatry (8%), emergency medicine (6%), obstetrics/gynecology (6%), surgery (6%), anesthesiology (5%), radiology (4%), neurology (3%), cardiology (3%), oncology (2%), ophthalmology (2%), orthopaedic surgery (2%), gastroenterology (2%), dermatology (2%), urology (2%), pulmonary medicine (1%), diabetes/endocrinology (1%), HIV/infectious disease (1%), nephrology (1%), plastic surgery (1%), and rheumatology (1%).

Approximately 70% of participants were males and 30% were females. Neurology had a slightly higher percentage of male (75%) and lower percentage of female (25%) respondents. Age ranged from 28 to more than 70 for neurologists and for the whole group. More than 80% of neurologists were board certified, similar to the larger group of physicians. Practice settings for neurologists included academic/research employee (22%), hospital employee (21%), solo practice (20%), single specialty group (14%), multispecialty group (13%), partner, private practice (7%), private practice employee (3%), outpatient clinic (0%), and independent contractor (0%).[2]


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