40 statistics on physician compensation

Here are 40 statistics on primary care and specialty care physician compensation gathered from 2014 data and reports.

Trends by geography, demographics

1. According to Medical Group Management Association's Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data, metropolitan areas with a population size between 50,000 and 250,000 report the highest compensation levels among primary care physicians and specialty care physicians.

2. Primary care physicians in metropolitan areas with a population size of more than 1 million report an average compensation of $232,107, and specialists in these areas report an average compensation of $403,693, according to the Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data.

3. Primary care physicians in metropolitan areas with a population size of 250,001 to 1 million report an average compensation of $231,670, and specialists in these areas report an average compensation of $393,206, according to the Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data.

4. Primary care physicians in metropolitan areas with a population size of 50,000 to 250,000 report an average compensation of $241,300, and specialists in these areas report an average compensation of $421,591, according to the Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data.

5. Non-metropolitan areas with a population size of 49,999 or fewer report the lowest compensation levels among primary care physicians and specialty care physicians, according to the Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data.

6. Primary care physicians in non-metropolitan areas with a population size of 49,999 or less report an average compensation of $223,445, and specialists in these areas report an average compensation of $337,456, according to the Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data.

Trends by specialty

7. Between 2012 and 2013 compensation for rheumatologists grew 15 percent to $214,000 —more than any other specialty during that time period, according to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2014.

8. Between 2012 and 2013 the compensation for general surgeons increased 6 percent to $295,000, according to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2014.

9. As of 2013, primary care physicians were receiving median first-year guaranteed pay of $186,475 from practices, according to the MGMA Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data.

10. As of 2013, practices were offering specialists median first-year guaranteed pay of $260,000, according to the MGMA Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data.

11. As of 2013, physicians practicing in office-based, single specialty group practices were receiving an average compensation of $273,000.

12. As of 2013, physicians practicing at healthcare organizations were receiving an average compensation of $267,000.

13. As of 2013, hospital-based physicians were making an average of $262,000.

14. As of 2013, physicians practicing at office-based multispecialty group practices were receiving an average compensation of $260,000.

15. As of 2013, office-based solo practice physicians were making an average of $222,000.

16. As of 2013, physicians practicing at academic, research, military or government institutions were making an average of $198,000.

17. As of 2013, physicians at outpatient clinics were receiving an average compensation of $189,000.

18. Orthopedists, including orthopedic surgeons, averaged $413,000 in total compensation in 2013, the most of any specialty.

19. Cardiologists had the second highest average wages in 2013 at $351,000.

20. Family physicians and infectious disease physicians had the lowest average pay in 2013, earning $176,000 and $174,000.

21. In 2013, urologists received an average compensation of $348,000.

22. Gastroenterologists received an average compensation of $348,000 in 2013.

23. Oncologists received an average wages of $290,000 in 2013.

Trends by specialty and location

24. General practitioners in Hawaii make an average of $222,510 — more than any other state, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

25. General practitioners in Nebraska make the second most of any state, with average compensation of $217,840.

26. Savannah, Ga., is the metropolitan area where family and general physicians make the most, with the average mean wage being $246,240.

27. Family and general physicians in Morristown, Tenn., have a mean wage of $243,660, making it the second-highest paying metropolitan area for family and general physicians.  

28. Ogden-Clearfield, Utah is the third-ranking metropolitan area in terms of family and general physician pay, with a mean wage of $243,590. 

29. Compensation for gastroenterologists varies depending on geographic location, with those in the Great Lakes region of the U.S making an average of $382,000 in 2013 — the most of any region, according to the Medscape Gastroenterologist Compensation Report 2014.

30. The Mid-Atlantic region — where average pay was $319,000 in 2013 — provides the lowest compensation for gastroenterologists, according to the Medscape Gastroenterologist Compensation Report 2014.

Trends in how physicians are paid

31. Most physicians (46 percent) are paid straight salary, according to the Medscape Employed Physician Report 2014. 

32. As of 2013, 33 percent of physicians were receiving a base salary plus productivity targets.

33. As of 2013, bonuses or incentive payments were making up 9 percent of primary care physicians and specialty care physicians compensation on average, according to the Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data.

34. Between 2012 and 2013, median total cash compensation for primary care physicians rose 5.7 percent, according to a survey from Sullivan, Cotter and Associates.

35. Median total cash compensation for medical and surgical specialists increased 3.2 percent and 2.3 percent between 2012 and 2013.

36. On-call specialty care physicians make 23 percent more on average than those without on call duties, according to the Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data.

37. Approximately 72 percent of physicians placed in new practices receive relocation payments, according to the Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data.

38. Many hospitals and physician practices are adjusting physician compensation to include performance-based metrics. The median amount paid for a specific quality metric in 2013 was $15,000, according to a survey from Sullivan, Cotter and Associates.

39. For 2013, medical and surgical specialists received an average quality payment of $20,000, while primary care physicians received $7,000.

40. As of 2013, approximately 60 percent of physicians placed in new practices received a signing bonus, according to the MGMA Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data.

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