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4 Factors That Influence Physician Compensation

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A variety of factors impact physician compensation, and according to a recent survey from MGMA, there are significant differences in how physicians are paid in academic settings versus private practice and integrated delivery systems.

Here are four factors that influence compensation packages of different physicians, according to MGMA's report.

1. Academic settings versus private practice. Physicians that practice in an academic setting usually make less than those who work independently, as private physicians are able to control more of their work flow. According to MGMA, primary care physicians in academic settings in the South had a median income of $164,672 compared with a median income of $223,456 for primary care physicians in private practice in the same region.

2. Geography.
A physician's physical location has always made a difference in pay, as certain areas of the country have higher costs of living. For example, academic pediatric physicians in the South had the lowest median compensation at $148,406, while academic pediatricians in the West made $165,817, the highest of any region. Academic general surgeons made $276,046 in the Midwest, the lowest of any region, while general surgeons in the East had a median income of $348,243.

3. Department rank. Physicians in academic settings usually earn more if they have a higher department rank, which is often synonymous with years of experience. For example, primary care professors had median compensation of $203,777, while department chairs' compensation was far greater at $299,500.

4. Specialties. Primary care physicians have always made less than their specialty counterparts, and that trend is unlikely to change anytime soon. The same holds true in academic settings. Specialty professors and department chairs recorded median compensation of $291,101 and $510,542, respectively, far above primary care pay.

More Articles on Physician Compensation:

Radiologists Face Shrinking Pay, Jobs
How Can Hospitals Better Recruit Primary Care Physicians? 5 Compensation Strategies
New York Physician Union Criticizes Proposal Pay Model

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