Family Medicine Physician Pay Stagnant: Medscape Compensation Report

Robert Fulton

May 31, 2023

Family physicians' income remained unchanged from 2021 to 2022, averaging $255,000 annually, according to the Medscape Family Medicine Compensation Report 2023.

The annual income of family physicians ranks near the bottom of the 29 specialties in the Medscape survey of more than 10,000 physicians, outpacing only pediatricians ($251,000) and public health and preventive medicine specialists ($249,000). Plastic surgeons received the highest annual average compensation, at $619,000, according to the survey results.

For employed physicians, compensation figures included salary, bonus, and profit-sharing contributions. For self-employed physicians, figures included earnings after taxes and business expenses that were deducted. Only full-time salaries were included in the results.

Family medicine physicians ranked near the bottom in the average of incentive bonuses, receiving $34,000 annually. Many physicians said they work harder and longer to earn their incentive bonus than in previous years.

In this year's report, over one third family physicians said competition from nonphysician practitioners most affected their income. Almost a quarter cited "minute clinics" and big box stores as affecting their income the most; 19% said telemedicine has been the biggest factor.

Gender Gap Persists

The wage gap between male and female physicians shrank slightly between 2021 and 2022. Last year's survey found men made 26% more than women, a figure that fell to 23%.

Among physicians overall, male physicians earned 19% more on average than women in 2022, the lowest gap in 5 years.

Since Medscape's 2015 report, the average compensation reported by family physicians increased by approximately 31%.

Unlike in some specialties, average compensation in family medicine did not decline with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When asked whether they would choose their specialty again if they had the chance, two thirds of family medicine physicians said they would, down one percentage point from 2022.

Robert Fulton is a journalist living in California.

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