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Top 5 Factors Influencing a Physician’s Compensation

5 factors getting in the way of a physician’s salary

The pay of physicians may vary widely by profession, ownership of hospitals, geographic location, and many other factors. According to different studies, there are five factors currently influencing physician compensation. Given below are those factors listed out in order.

Specialty: Specialists can receive up to twice as much as primary care doctors, according to a report by researchers from the University of California Davis School of Medicine. The study showed that the lowest salaries of all medical specialties were paid by primary care doctors at an average hourly salary. Surgeons earned the most at large categories of practice.

The greatest disparity between primary care doctors and specialty pay was demonstrated by an analysis of more specialized subspecialties. Neurologic surgeons and radiation oncologists received the highest salaries for subspecialties.

Ownership of hospitals. According to an MGMA study titled Cost Survey for Integrated Delivery Systems 2010 Based on 2009 Results, primary care physicians in multispecialty hospital / IDS-owned practices posted a median pay of more than PCPs in multispecialty non-hospital / IDS-owned practices.


PCPs in non-hospital / IDS-owned multispecialty practices received $179,688 in median gross annual compensation.

Region. According to the Medical Group Management Association Physician Compensation and Production Survey, physician compensation varied based on geographic region: 2010 Study Based on 2009 Results. A median salary was earned by family practice doctors, while $207,263 was earned by family practice doctors in the midwest. $238,307 was earned by family practice doctors and $175,924 was earned by the same doctors.


Type of Group. According to the MGMA report, physician pay often differed depending on group classification, meaning that physicians belonged to a single specialty or multispecialty group.


When working with single-specialty classes, anesthesiologists, invasive, invasive-interventional, and non-invasive cardiologists, emergency medicine doctors, gastroenterologists, OB / GYN, neurologists, and ophthalmologists all created higher median salaries than with multi-specialty classes. On the other side, general orthopedic surgeons, general surgeons, trauma surgeons, and internal medicine doctors have worked more closely with multi-specialty classes.

Income Growth Rate. Although some specialties are historically paid at higher levels than others, the pace of income growth over many years often affects physician pay. According to data from the 2010 Study of Physician Hiring Benefits by Merritt Hawkins, these are the five medical specialties with the largest average income gains between a certain period.

  • Hematology and oncology
  • Neurology
  • Orthopedics
  • Radiology
  • Dermatology

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