North Carolina medical school deans fear low pay is driving away physicians

Deans from North Carolina's two public medical schools, Chapel Hill-based UNC School of Medicine and Greenville-based East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine, stood before the UNC board to ask for help in retaining their physicians, according to The Herald Sun.

The deans reported that the pay levels at their medical schools were so low that they were losing top physicians to rivals.

Bill Roper, MD, dean of UNC's medical school, said the physicians at his school earn pay in the 34th percentile compared to nationwide averages for medical school faculty and in the 16th percentile compared to average compensation for private practice physicians.

He estimated that the school would need approximately $75 million annually to address the pay gaps, according to the report.

East Carolina University School of Medicine's dean, Paul Cunningham, MD, said the average pay at his school is far behind AAMC benchmark, and he estimated his school would need approximately $22 million annually to address its pay gaps.

Both deans said they had to pay new recruits more than existing employed physicians to fill vacancies, according to the report.

According to The Herald Sun, the board did not react, likely because more budget cuts are expected from the N.C. General Assembly.


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