September 26, 2011

25 Statistics on Physician Salary and Compensation

Written by Bob Herman


Here are 25 statistics on recent physician salary and compensation trends.

Of the nine different geographic areas in the United States, annual median physician compensation was the highest in the North Central region so far in 2011 at roughly $225,000.

Hospital ownership of an orthopedic surgeon‘s practice could impact the physician’s annual compensation. For example, a spine surgeon at a hospital-owned practice averaged $714,088 while a spine surgeon at a practice that is not hospital-owned earned $633,392.

Roughly 76 percent of physician search assignments in 2010-11 offered a signing bonus, up from 46 percent in 2004-05. The average signing bonus was $23,790.

Of physician specialists in the United States, general surgeons are least satisfied with their compensation while dermatologists feel they are most fairly compensated. General surgeons made an average of $368,108 in 2010 while dermatologists earned an average of $451,953.

Retirement benefits have a wide range from physician specialty to physician specialty. Gastroenterologists (hepatology) averaged $42,287 in annual retirement benefits last year; hip and joint orthopedic surgeons averaged $38,388; anesthesiologists averaged $35,163; and radiologists (diagnostic-invasive) averaged $32,120.

Hospitalists had the greatest average annual compensation in the South based on 2010 data. Hospitalists who specialize in internal medicine, the most common hospitalist specialty, made $249,500 in the South compared with $222,771 in the Midwest, $213,756 in the West and $210,865 in the East.

In 2010, hand surgeons on average received $79,400 more than foot and ankle surgeons. Hand surgeons received an average of $572,945 last year, while foot and ankle surgeons received $493,545.

Neurological and cardiovascular physicians were among the highest paid in various surgical specialties for 2010. Neurological physicians made an average salary of $767,627; cardiovascular-pediatric physicians made $762,846; neurological-pediatric physicians made $643,188; and cardiovascular physicians made $560,659.

Six surgical specialties saw an increase in median compensation from 2010 to 2011. Physicians in emergency medicine earned an average of $268,787 in 2010 and $285,910 in 2011, a 6.37 percent increase, the largest of any surgical specialty.

The three medical specialties that experienced the highest median compensation increases from 2010 to 2011 are the following: endocrinologists, who made $233,000, a 6.46 percent increase from 2010; allergy physicians, who made $265,592, a 6.38 percent increase from 2010; and internal medicine hospitalists, who made $229,294, a 6.29 percent increase from 2010.

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