207 statistics on physician compensation | 2017

With the release of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, recent M&A activity, technological innovations and new healthcare legislation likely on the horizon, it is important track and evaluate compensation trends to best understand how changes in the healthcare environment may affect physicians.

In 2016, family physicians were the most in-demand specialty for recruitment for the 10th year in a row, according to Merritt Hawkins. This may be indicative of the consistent emphasis the country's healthcare system places on primary care. For the first time in the 23-year history of the Merritt Hawkins report, psychiatrists placed second on the list of most-requested recruiting assignments. This is likely a reflection of the current mental health challenges facing America and its health system.

While most specialties saw an increase in compensation in 2016, compensation varies widely between specialty, healthcare setting and region. The following statistics provide a view of the current compensation landscape in healthcare.

Note: Some of the following statistics may seem higher or lower compared with others in the same specialty. Several surveys were used to compile this report. Each specialty does not contain the same number of statistics because data was unavailable for some specialties. More information is provided at the end of the report.

Median compensation

Anesthesiologists: $416,563 (0.1 percent increase from 2015)
Cardiologists: $483,653 (6.9 percent increase from 2015)
Dermatologists: $434,520 (4.3 percent decrease from 2015)
Endocrinologists: $242,202 (0.1 percent increase from 2015)
Emergency room physicians: $355,280 (9.6 percent increase from 2015)
Family medicine physicians: $234,706 (3.9 percent increase from 2015)
Gastroenterologists: $505,194 (0.2 percent decrease from 2015)
General Surgeons: $413,824 (6 percent increase from 2015)
Internal medicine physicians: $249,588 (4 percent increase from 2015)
Neurologists: $284,751 (1.7 percent increase from 2015)
OB-GYN: $333,231 (3.6 percent increase from 2015)
Oncologists: $416,738 (2.4 percent increase from 2015)
Ophthalmologists: $385,149 (4.2 percent decrease from 2015)
Orthopedic surgeons: $582,056 (1.6 percent increase from 2015)
Pediatricians: $235,257 (0.7 percent increase from 2015)
Psychiatrists: $254,942 (3.4 percent increase from 2015)
Pulmonologists: $352,462 (4.9 percent increase from 2015)
Rheumatologists: $251,913 (1.9 percent increase from 2015)
Urologists: $441,836 (2 percent increase from 2015)

Median work RVU

Anesthesiologists: 10,891
Cardiologists: 7,413
Dermatologists: 7,329
Endocrinologists: 4,677
Emergency room physicians: 6,906
Family medicine physicians: 4,908
Gastroenterologists: 8,264
General surgeons: 6,736
Internal medicine physicians: 4,891
Neurologists: 4,737
OB-GYN: 6,853
Oncologists: 4,788
Ophthalmologists: 8,711
Orthopedic surgeons: 7,848
Pediatricians: 5,299
Psychiatrists: 4,079
Pulmonologists: 5,768
Rheumatologists: 4,821
Urologists: 7,649

Mean compensation for men and women

Anesthesiologists — men: $372,000
Anesthesiologists — women: $317,000
Cardiologists —men: $420,000
Cardiologists — women: $339,000
Dermatologists — men: $408,000
Dermatologists — women: $335,000
Endocrinologists — men: $216,000
Endocrinologists — women: $189,000
Emergency room physicians — men: $332,000
Emergency room physicians — women: $279,000
Family medicine physicians — men: $220,000
Family medicine physicians — women: $183,000
Gastroenterologists — men: $394,000
Gastroenterologists — women: $303,000
General Surgeons — men: $340,000
General Surgeons — women: $257,000
Internal medicine physicians — men: $231,000
Internal medicine physicians — women: $202,000
Neurologists — men: $251,000
Neurologists — women: $214,000
OB-GYN — men: $304,000
OB-GYN — women: $256,000
Oncologists — men: $344,000
Oncologists — women: $285,000
Ophthalmologists — men: $327,000
Ophthalmologists — women: $242,000
Orthopedic surgeons — men: $448,000
Orthopedic surgeons — women: $395,000
Pediatricians — men: $230,000
Pediatricians — women: $182,000
Psychiatrists — men: $239,000
Psychiatrists — women: $205,000
Pulmonologists — men: $288,000
Pulmonologists — women: $242,000
Rheumatologists — men: $252,000
Rheumatologists — women: $187,000
Urologists — men: $372,000
Urologists — women: $303,000

Lowest paying region*, by mean compensation

Anesthesiologists: Mid-Atlantic ($342,000)
Cardiologists: Southwest ($348,000)
Dermatologists: Southwest ($348,000)
Endocrinologists: Northwest ($169,000)
Emergency room physicians: Northeast ($278,000)
Family medicine physicians: Northeast ($189,000)
Gastroenterologists: South Central ($318,000)
General Surgeons: Great Lakes ($313,000)
Internal medicine physicians: Northeast ($203,000)
Neurologists: Southwest ($205,000)
OB-GYN: Mid-Atlantic ($253,000)
Oncologists: West ($267,000)
Ophthalmologists: Southwest ($253,000)
Orthopedic surgeons: Mid-Atlantic ($405,000)
Pediatricians: Northeast ($196,000)
Psychiatrists: Northeast ($215,000)
Pulmonologists: Northeast ($237,000)
Rheumatologists: Great Lakes ($207,000)
Urologists: Northeast ($315,000)

Highest paying region*, by mean compensation

Anesthesiologists: North Central ($413,000)
Cardiologists: Northwest ($469,000)
Dermatologists: North Central ($511,000)
Endocrinologists: West ($233,000)
Emergency room physicians: South Central ($371,000)
Family medicine physicians: South Central ($218,000)
Gastroenterologists: Northwest ($475,000)
General Surgeons: Northwest ($368,000)
Internal medicine physicians: North Central ($242,000) West ($242,000)
Neurologists: North Central ($269,000)
OB-GYN: Southwest ($307,000)
Oncologists: North Central ($414,000)
Ophthalmologists: Southeast ($327,000)
Orthopedic surgeons: Southwest ($467,000) Great Lakes ($467,000)
Pediatricians: South Central ($221,000)
Psychiatrists: West ($243,000)
Pulmonologists: North Central ($329,000) South Central ($329,000)
Rheumatologists: Northwest ($283,000)
Urologists: North Central ($422,000)

Hospital-employed mean compensation

Anesthesiologists: $364,000
Cardiologists: $368,000
Dermatologists: $220,000
Endocrinologists: $155,000
Emergency room physicians: $329,000
Family medicine physicians: $237,000
Gastroenterologists: $307,000
General Surgeons: $307,000
Internal medicine physicians: $228,000
Neurologists: $196,000
OB-GYN: $239,000
Oncologists: $305,000
Ophthalmologists: $217,000
Orthopedic surgeons: $378,000
Pediatricians: $205,000
Psychiatrists: $223,000
Pulmonologists: $275,000
Rheumatologists: $177,000
Urologists: $290,000

Multispecialty group practice mean compensation

Anesthesiologists: $358,000
Cardiologists: $435,000
Dermatologists: $391,000
Endocrinologists: $212,000
Emergency room physicians: $279,000
Family medicine physicians: $223,000
Gastroenterologists: $414,000
General Surgeons: $367,000
Internal medicine physicians: $230,000
Neurologists: $277,000
OB-GYN: $271,000
Oncologists: $357,000
Ophthalmologists: $326,000
Orthopedic surgeons: $470,000
Pediatricians: $207,000
Psychiatrists: $246,000
Pulmonologists: $322,000
Rheumatologists: $255,000
Urologists: $403,000

Single-specialty group practice mean compensation

Anesthesiologists: $398,000
Cardiologists: $449,000
Dermatologists: $413,000
Endocrinologists: $228,000
Emergency room physicians: $302,000
Family medicine physicians: $205,000
Gastroenterologists: $420,000
General Surgeons: $329,000
Internal medicine physicians: $220,000
Neurologists: $265,000
OB-GYN: $298,000
Oncologists: $391,000
Ophthalmologists: $340,000
Orthopedic surgeons: $489,000
Pediatricians: $221,000
Psychiatrists: $235,000
Pulmonologists: $315,000
Rheumatologists: $260,000
Urologists: $388,000

Highest offered base salary
(Bonuses and benefits not included)

Anesthesiologists: N/A
Cardiologists (noninvasive): $700,000
Dermatologists: $650,000
Endocrinologists: N/A
Emergency room physicians: $425,000
Family medicine physicians: $340,000
Gastroenterologists: $600,000
General Surgeons: $500,000
Internal medicine physicians: $320,000
Neurologists: $500,000
OB-GYN: $500,000
Oncologists: N/A
Orthopedic surgeons: $800,000
Pediatricians: $308,000
Psychiatrists: $370,000
Pulmonologists: $500,000
Rheumatologists: N/A
Urologists: $625,000

Lowest offered base salary
(Bonuses and benefits not included)

Anesthesiologists: N/A
Cardiologists (noninvasive): $250,000
Dermatologists: $250,000
Endocrinologists: N/A
Emergency room physicians: $280,000
Family medicine physicians: $135,000
Gastroenterologists: $300,000
General Surgeons: $275,000
Internal medicine physicians: $195,000
Neurologists: $220,000
OB-GYN: $210,000
Oncologists: N/A
Orthopedic surgeons: $350,000
Pediatricians: $165,000
Psychiatrists: $195,000
Pulmonologists: $275,000
Rheumatologists: N/A
Urologists: $325,000

Statistics are based on the following:

Median compensation and median work RVUs are from the American Medical Group Association's "2016 Medical Group Compensation and Financial Survey," a 2016 report based on 2015 data. The nationwide survey includes data from 260 medical groups with approximately 92,000 providers. Compensation includes base salary, plus variable compensation and voluntary compensation reductions. It does not include retirement benefits, pension, SERP or tax-deferred profit-sharing plans. Work RVUs, or relative value units, are units of value based on time, skill, training and intensity of administered services, using the CMS scale.

Mean compensation for men and women, highest-paying and lowest-paying region by mean compensation, hospital-employed mean compensation, multispecialty group practice mean compensation and single-specialty group practice mean compensation are from Medscape's "2016 Physician Compensation Report." The report is based on responses from an online poll of nearly 19,200 physicians across 26 specialty areas from Nov. 17, 2015, to Feb. 9, 2016. Compensation from this report includes base salary, bonuses and profit-sharing contributions. Geographical regions are detailed at the end of the report.

Highest and lowest offered base salary figures are from the Merritt Hawkins "2016 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives." The review is based on 3,342 permanent physician and advanced practitioner search assignments that were ongoing or conducted by Merritt Hawkins and sister physician staffing companies from April 2015 to March 2016.

*Geographical regions:

Northeast: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine
Mid-Atlantic: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina
Southeast: Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida
Great Lakes: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio
North Central: Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas
South Central: Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas
Northwest: Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming
Southwest: Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah
West: California and Hawaii

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