Primary Care Physicians and Their Pay: 5 Findings

Here are five findings on compensation trends for primary care physicians.

1. Primary care physicians reported an increase in median compensation from 2009, whereas anesthesiologists, gastroenterologists and radiologists reported a decrease in the same time span.

2. A June study found Cleveland, Indianapolis and Greenville, S.C., healthcare markets may be close to saturation in hospital employment of primary care physicians and specialists.

3. Specialists and generalists have sparred for years on the physicians' committee that helps determine what each specialty is paid, but generalists have lately been winning pay increases at the expense of specialists, according to recent news reports. Generalists say their cases are becoming more challenging, in part because patients are older and have more complex conditions. Surgical groups say there is no convincing evidence of this. Nevertheless, generalists are winning substantial increases in relative values, leading to higher pay.

4. The recent median salary for an internal medicine physician is $214,307.

5. The combination of high medical school debt and relatively low pay is steering many young physicians away from general internal medicine, according to a May study. Sources say that, over a 40-year career, the total difference between a cardiologist and general internist is almost $3.5 million.

Related Articles on Physicians and Compensation:

15 Statistics From Recent Healthcare Compensation Surveys
How Female Physicians Can Narrow the Compensation Gap
Why Hospital Board Involvement in Physician Compensation is Critical

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