Physician Compensation Survey Reveals Interesting Trends

Measurement is an essential aspect of medical science. It’s a necessary tool used to understand a patient’s health profile which includes items such as height and weight. When paired with other variables like cholesterol, measurement can be essential as an early indicator of other potential health problems. Measurement is a tool that can extend beyond patient care to professional metrics such as career goals and compensation benchmarking. Compensation is one of the most important metrics used to determine career potential and physicians are no exception. In the 2018 Physician Compensation Report, issued by Doximity several important compensation trends were revealed. The survey which included over 65,000 licensed physicians in a variety of medical practice specialties provides information on compensation trends by metro areas, state, medical specialty and more. To help clients, prospects and others gain insight into factors that impact physician compensation, Hanson & Co. has provided a summary of key findings below.  

Key Survey Findings

  • Highest Paying Metro Areas – According to the survey, the metropolitan areas with the highest physician compensation across all medical practice types include Charlotte ($402,273), Milwaukee ($398,431), Jacksonville ($379,820), Indianapolis ($378,011), San Jose ($376,585), Phoenix ($372,669), Kansas City ($372,555), Dallas ($371,398), Los Angeles ($371,227) and Salt Lake City ($370,472).

  • Lowest Paying Metro Areas – The bad news for local physicians is that Denver makes the list of one of the top 10 lowest paying metro areas. It was observed in the study that areas with lower compensation tend to have a higher number of medical schools which often leads to increased competition for a fixed number of positions. According to the survey, the cities with the lowest compensation include Durham ($282,035), Ann Arbor ($302,692), Baltimore ($304,002), New Haven ($308,262), Rochester (NY) ($312,503), Washington DC ($312,834), Denver ($313,895), Philadelphia ($315,930), Boston ($316,630) and Charleston ($319,115).

  • Compensation Growth Rate – The survey wanted to uncover the metropolitan areas with the highest compensation growth rate to identify areas where doctors may have the most opportunity. According to the survey, Charleston experienced the highest increase with 12%, Milwaukee with 7%, Austin with 7%, San Francisco with 7%, Las Vegas with 7%, Los Angeles with 6%, Salt Lake City with 6%, San Diego with 6%, Atlanta with 6% and San Antonio with 6% compensation growth. The areas with the lowest compensation growth included Houston, Rochester (NY), Bridgeport, Cleveland and Orlando.

  • Compensation by Medical Specialty – The survey also looked to analyze compensation by medical specialty type identifying that physician compensation by specialty would vary. According to the survey the five most highly compensated medical specialties include neurosurgery, thoracic surgery, orthopedic surgery, vascular surgery and plastic surgery. Honorable mentions include emergency medicine, dermatology, urology, oncology and general surgery. The five least compensated medical specialties include preventative medicine, pediatrics, pediatric endocrinology, pediatric hematology and oncology and pediatric infectious diseases. Honorable mentions include internal medicine, psychiatry, neurology and medical genetics. The compensation range varied from $662,755 at the top end to $191,735 at the low end.

  • Compensation by Employment Type – The survey also sought to discover the differences in compensation by employment type. According to the survey, the highest paid physicians work in single specialty groups, followed by multi-specialty groups, hospitals, solo practices, Health Systems, academic and healthcare organizations.  The lowest paid physicians work in government, pharmaceutical companies and for urgent care centers and chains. The range of average compensation varied from $373,240 on the top end of $252,183 at the bottom.

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It’s clear from the survey findings that compensation varies widely based on several factors including location, medical specialty and employment type. While everyone has their own reasons for selecting a specific area of medicine, it’s essential to be aware of compensation trends for future career planning. If you have questions about the survey or need assistance with a physician practice accounting or tax issue, Hanson & Co. can help. For additional information please call us at 303-388-1010 or click here to contact us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.