Survey Shines Light on Pediatric Dermatologists' Earnings

Richard Franki

April 14, 2021

Pediatric dermatologists earned a mean of about $351,000 in 2019, but what else is known about the member physicians who were recently surveyed by the Society for Pediatric Dermatology?

 

For one thing, the median total compensation for the 162 pediatric dermatologists whose survey responses were included in the final data set was a somewhat lower $335,000, the SPD said in its 2020 Pediatric Dermatology Physician Compensation Report.

Getting back to the mean, average earnings were highest, over $505,000, among those working in hospitals/health systems, followed by independent group practices at $436,000, while those working in academic hospitals/health systems – the most popular type of ownership entity (69% of all respondents) – had a mean compensation of $323,000, the SPD said in the report.

At a more basic level, average earnings tilted toward men over women, $411,000-$335,000, although a majority of the respondents (78%) were female, according to the SPD.

Patient mix produced a strong trend of increasing earnings with decreasing pediatric case load. Average compensation was lowest among those who saw 98%-100% pediatric patients ($330,000), rose for physicians who saw 80%-97% ($345,000) and 50%-79% children ($398,000), and topped out at $444,000 for those who saw fewer than 50% children, the SPD data show.

The number of pediatric dermatologists working in a practice also had an effect: Average compensation in practices with 1-2 such specialists was almost $380,000 in 2019, compared with $340,000 in groups with 6-10 pediatric dermatologists and $314,000 for those with 3-5. There were too few groups with more than 10 to meet the sample-size criteria, the SPD noted.

Average starting salary was $286,000 for the 17 respondents who reported that they were newly hired for full-time positions, with a median of $262,500, which was "22% lower than the median clinical compensation reported by pediatric dermatology physicians hired prior to 2019," the report indicated.

Respondents also were asked about issues of satisfaction and burnout, and these data include responses from additional physicians (for a total of 193) not included in the compensation data set.

The largest share, 79%, said that patient relationships were most satisfying factor of their profession, with intellectual stimulation next at 59% and interaction with colleagues third at 42%. The least satisfying elements were regulatory/paperwork burdens (80%), inefficient EHR design/interoperability (37%), and the commoditization of medicine (21%), the SPD said.

Feelings of burnout were common among almost a quarter of pediatric dermatologists, with 3.1% saying they always have such feelings and 21.2% disclosing that they often feel burned out. Only 5.2% said that they never have feelings of burnout, the SPD reported.

Demographically speaking, 71% of those surveyed identified as White, 22% as Asian, 8.5% as Hispanic/Latino/Spanish, 2.5% as Middle Eastern or North African, and 2.5% as Black or African American. The largest age group, with 61% of all respondents, was 36-50 years, and geography gave the East a slight edge over the West, 30% to 28%, although California had the largest share by state, 17.4%, the report said.

This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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