Compensation: Are Physicians Better Off Now Than 6 Years Ago?

Carol Peckham


April 01, 2016

In This Article


These are difficult times for physicians, with pressures coming from many directions, including changes in the way they are paid, consolidation of healthcare systems, technology requirements, and a growing elderly population. Burnout rates are high among physicians—46%, according to this year's Medscape Physician Lifestyle Report.

But there are signs that things may be getting better, and it isn't all about the money. In this year's Medscape compensation report, more physicians are saying they would choose medicine again than they did 2 years ago; the highest percentages are among family physicians and internists, who tend to earn less than most physician groups.

More women are entering the profession, and according to a 2013 survey, they are more optimistic than men are and tend to believe that health reform and electronic medical records will improve patient care.[1] And their income is rising at a higher rate than that of the men. The trend toward higher employment numbers, particularly among younger doctors, may be taking some of the stress off the profession. In this year's report, those who were employed were far more satisfied with their income than those who were self-employed. The future of healthcare is still in question, but there are signs that we may be arriving at least at a breathing point.


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