20 things to know about physicians in today's healthcare landscape — Salaries, workforce composition & more

March 30th marks National Doctor's Day and physicians practicing in healthcare's current landscape face a series of unique obstacles as they prepare for medicine's uncertain future.

Here are 20 things to know about physicians in today's healthcare landscape:

1. In 2015, 43.2 percent of active U.S. physicians were 55-years-old or older.

2. The Association of American Medical Colleges reported an estimated national shortage of between 40,800 physicians and 104,900 physicians by 2030.

3. Association of American Medical Colleges data found approximately 8.9 percent of physicians identify as black or African-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Hispanic or Latino.

4. Among physicians identifying as Asian, black or African-Americans and Hispanic or Latino, 52 percent are female.

5. The AAMC 2016 Physicians Specialty Data reports 34 percent of active U.S. physicians are female.

6. Females constitute 5 percent of orthopedic specialists and 61.9 percent of pediatric specialists.

7. Interventional cardiology specialists grew 69.3 percent between 2010 and 2015, while other specialists decreased in numbers during that time period such as pulmonary disease (9.8 percent).

8. MGMA 2015 Physician Placement Starting Salary Reports lists the following five specialties have the highest starting salaries among specialty physicians:
●    Cardiology (Interventional): $437,500
●    Orthopedic Surgery (General): $400,000
●    Cardiology (Noninvasive): $378,000
●    Radiology (Interventional): $340,000
●    Gastroenterology: $337,500

9. Fifty-one percent of physicians reported experiencing frequent or constant feelings of burnout in 2017, up from 40 percent in 2013, according to Medscape's annual survey.

10. The specialty group reporting the greatest degree of burnout this year was emergency medicine (59 percent), followed by OB/GYN (56 percent), family medicine (55 percent), internal medicine (55 percent) and infectious disease (55 percent).

11. Approximately 48.5 percent of physicians had a satisfactory work-life balance in 2011 compared to 41 percent in 2014.

12. An AMA survey found 90 percent of physicians reported satisfaction with their career choice and 75 percent said helping patients is their primary career motivator.

13. In the survey, respondents cited key challenges to their careers including administrative burden, stress and lack of time.

14. The younger generation of physicians is leaning toward employment. Only 15 percent of millennial physicians reported being full-or part-time medical practice owners.

15. Eighty percent reported being employed.

16. An Epocrates 2013 survey found 69 percent of medical students reported planning to join group practices or hospitals and 17 percent said they planned to go into solo or partnership practices.

17. The Association of American Medical Colleges released a report on physician volume in 2014.The top states with the most active physicians per 100,000 population are:

  • Massachusetts: 432.4
  • Maryland: 370.6
  • New York: 353.8
  • Rhode Island: 346.5
  • Connecticut: 337.8
  • Vermont: 337.7
  • Maine: 313.8
  • Pennsylvania: 306.4
  • New Hampshire: 300.3
  • Hawaii: 296.5

18. A survey in Physicians Practice stated 46 percent of providers are unsure how shifting towards a value-based system will impact their revenue cycles.


19. The survey asked providers what percent of their revenue would consist of fee-for-service contracts:

●    25.7 percent said none
●    35 percent said 1 percent to 10 percent
●    16.5 percent said 11 percent to 25 percent
●    9.7 percent said 26 percent to 50 percent
●    13.1 percent said more than 50 percent

20. Sixty-five percent of Americans see a physician who receives some form of industry payment.  Sixty-three percent of patients saw a family medicine physician accepting an industry payment, and 77 percent saw an obstetrician or gynecologist who received an industry payment.

More articles on healthcare:
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7 trends in healthcare staffing

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