200 Statistics on Physician Compensation

As hospitals work to integrate their services, shrink their total cost of care, raise patient satisfaction and drop their readmissions, employing or aligning with physicians of all specialties are in hospitals' sights.

Staying knowledgeable on competitive compensation trends is important for health systems to be able to attract the talent and services they need to grow and improve, while ensuring compensation is appropriate to maximize financial resources. Although a few specialties experienced big pay increases over the last year, several median base salaries saw slight declines.

Highest-paid specialties

Cardiac and surgical specialties top the list for highest median compensation. Orthopedic, cardiac and thoracic surgeons and invasive cardiologists polled had median salaries above $500,000, according to data from the American Medical Group Association's 2012 Medical Group Compensation and Financial Survey, based on 2011 data. Specialists with compensation of $400,000 and up also included diagnostic radiologists, non-invasive cardiologists, gastroenterologists and urologists.

Dermatologists earned just shy of $400,000, followed closely by otolaryngologists, ophthalmologists and general surgeons, with median base salaries at $370,000 and higher. Few specialties can hold a candle, however, to neurosurgeons, whose average starting salary is a whopping $669,000.

Lowest-paid specialties

Primary care physicians such as pediatricians and hospitalists continued to be paid much less than many other specialties, but psychiatrists held the lowest median base pay at $217,194, according to the AMGA report. Also low on the list were endocrinologists, non-surgical neurologists, nephrologists and rheumatologists, all with salaries between $219,000 and $277,000.

Other trends

Overall, the weighted average compensation growth for all types of physicians was 2.8 percent between 2010 and 2011. Primary care increased an average of 4 percent, surgeon pay grew 3.4 percent and other specialties climbed 2.8 percent.

Hematologists and medical oncologist compensation exploded with a 7.13 percent boost, and nephrologist pay skyrocketed 6.99 percent. Family medical physicians' paychecks leaped 5.13 percent.

But some specialties took a hit, namely endocrinologists at a 4.98 percent drop, interventional and non-interventional diagnostic radiologists at 1.39 percent and 0.45 percent, respectively. Additionally, rheumatologists' pay fell 1.09 percent and otolaryngologists' decreased 0.81 percent.

Physician statistics — 2013

Compiled from the most recent market research data available, here are 169 statistics on physician compensation trends over the last year. Data from 27 specialties includes median base salary (without bonuses), highest and lowest offered base salaries, median growth from 2011, median work RVUs, median gross charges and female physician pay as a percentage of male physician pay.

Note: Some of the statistics may seem higher or lower compared with others in each specialty. A collection of physician surveys was used to compile information. In addition, every specialty does not contain the same number of statistics, as some data was not available for each specialty. Please read the following to understand where the statistics came from:

Median salary, salary growth from 2011, work RVUs and gross charges are from the American Medical Group Association’s 2012 Medical Group Compensation and Financial Survey, a 2012 report based on 2011 data. The survey collected responses from 225 medical groups that represent approximately 55,800 providers in total during the first quarter of 2012. An exception to this is the data for neurosurgeons, which was not included in the AMGA's report. The median salary and salary growth from 2011 statistics for neurosurgeons were taken from the Medicus Firm's 2012 Physician Compensation Survey, which collected responses from 2,582 physicians between April and May 2012.

Female pay as a percentage of male pay was calculated using data from Medscape’s 2012 Physician Compensation Report. The report collected responses from 24,216 U.S. physicians across 25 specialty areas from Feb. 1, 2012, to Feb. 17, 2012.

Highest offered base salary and lowest offered base salary are from Merritt Hawkins’ 2012 Review of Physician Recruiting Incentives. The report is based on 2,710 permanent physician and advanced allied professional search assignments that Merritt Hawkins engaged in to conduct during the 12-month period from April 2011 to March 2012.

Employed and independently contracted medical director median hourly rates are from Integrated Healthcare Strategies' Medical Director Survey: 2011 Report. The survey collected data from 159 healthcare organizations representing 3,200 medical directors during the first quarter of 2011.

Anesthesiologists

Median salary: $377,375
Median salary growth from 2011: 1.24 percent increase
Median gross charges: $1,268,671
Employed medical director hourly rate: $125.00
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $130.00

Cardiac and thoracic surgeons

Median salary: $ 544,087
Median salary growth from 2011: 2.16 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 9,500
Median gross charges: $1,735,543
Employed medical director hourly rate: $220.00
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $207.50

Cardiologists

Median salary: $430,316
Median salary growth from 2011: 1.75 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 6,934
Median gross charges: $1,400,210
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 75.7 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $600,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $275,000
Employed medical director hourly rate: $200.00
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $160.00

Cardiologists – Invasive

Median salary: $524,731
Median salary growth from 2011: 4.09 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 8,298
Median gross charges: $1,641,227
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $650,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $400,000
Employed medical director hourly rate: $197.86
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $196.98

Dermatologists

Median salary: $397,370
Median salary growth from 2011: 2.93 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 7,282
Median gross charges: $1,459,936
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 80.5 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $500,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $210,000

Diagnostic radiologists (Interventional M.D.s)

Median salary: $485,277
Median salary growth from 2011: 1.39 percent decrease
Median work RVUs: 7,813
Median gross charges: $2,162,671

Diagnostic radiologists (Non-Interventional M.D.s)

Median salary: $459,186
Median salary growth from 2011: 0.45 percent decrease
Median work RVUs: 7,423
Median gross charges: $1,820,841

Emergency medicine physicians

Median salary: $297,500
Median salary growth from 2011: 4.05 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 7,073
Median gross charges: $966,814
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 75.9 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $380,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $170,000
Employed medical director hourly rate: $144.23
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $150.00

Endocrinologists

Median salary: $221,400
Median salary growth from 2011: 4.98 percent decrease
Median work RVUs: 4,393
Median gross charges: $637,191
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $380,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $180,000

Family medicine physicians

Median salary: $219,362
Median salary growth from 2011: 5.13 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 4,890
Median gross charges: $699,060
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 77.0 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $300,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $120,000
Employed medical director hourly rate: $100.00
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $125.00

Gastroenterologists

Median salary: $435,120
Median salary growth from 2011: 4.63 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 7,992
Median gross charges: $1,801,861
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 79.0 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $550,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $300,000
Employed medical director hourly rate: $175.00
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $129.17

General surgeons

Median salary: $370,024
Median salary growth from 2011: 0.74 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 7,026
Median gross charges: $1,347,674
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay:  80.8 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $450,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $220,000
Employed medical director hourly rate: $156.12
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $150.00

Hematologists/medical oncologists

Median salary: $348,157
Median salary growth from 2011: 7.13 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 6,159
Median gross charges: $697,249
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 81.2 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $450,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $210,000
Employed medical director hourly rate: $189.91
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $150.00

Hospitalists (internal medicine)

Median salary: $236,500
Median salary growth from 2011: 3.14 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 4,021
Median gross charges: $437,100
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 82.1 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $400,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $160,000

Internal medicine physicians

Median salary: $224,417
Median salary growth from 2011: 2.24 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 4,717
Median gross charges: $693,162
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 85.1 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $345,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $150,000
Employed medical director hourly rate: $100.00
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $125.00

Nephrologists

Median salary: $277,934
Median salary growth from 2011: 6.99 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 6,159
Median gross charges: $985,819
Employed medical director hourly rate: $145.61
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $150.00

Neurologists

Median salary: $249,250
Median salary growth from 2011: 1.12 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 4,717
Median gross charges: $754,216
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 80.8 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $420,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $160,000
Employed medical director hourly rate: $131.18
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $150.00

Neurosurgeons

Median salary: $625,000
Median salary growth from 2011: 3.3 percent increase
Employed medical director hourly rate: $261.54
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $277.78

Obstetricians/gynecologists (general)

Median salary: $303,350
Median salary growth from 2011: 0.24 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 6,476
Median gross charges: $1,186,319
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 88.0 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $440,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $180,000
Employed medical director hourly rate: $127.96
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $150.00

Ophthalmologists

Median salary: $371,987
Median salary growth from 2011: 4.39 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 8,649
Median gross charges: $1,665,174
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 73.2 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $450,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $145,000

Orthopedic Surgeons

Median salary: 515,759
Median salary growth from 2011: 2.78 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 8,026
Median gross charges: $1,916,904
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 73.6 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $750,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $400,000
Employed medical director hourly rate: $200.00
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $163.00

Otolaryngologists

Median salary: $374,387
Median salary growth from 2011: 0.81 percent decrease
Median work RVUs: 6,891
Median gross charges: $1,532,766
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $530,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $300,000

Pathologists (combined)

Median salary: $363,559
Median salary growth from 2011: 2.43 percent increase
Median gross charges: $1,376,262

Pediatricians (general)

Median salary: $220,644
Median salary growth from 2011: 3.40 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 5,111
Median gross charges: $808,399
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 76.1 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $220,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $130,000
Employed medical director hourly rate: $104.07
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $125.00

Psychiatrists

Median salary: $217,194
Median salary growth from 2011: 0.01 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 3,381
Median gross charges: $448,757
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $300,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $160,000
Employed medical director hourly rate: $115.27
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $125.00

Pulmonologists

Median salary: $304,90
Median salary growth from 2011: 0.59 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 6,057
Median gross charges: $929,103
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 89.1 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $415,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $180,000
Employed medical director hourly rate: $132.45
Independently contracted medical director hourly rate: $131.25

Rheumatologists

Median salary: $229,051
Median salary growth from 2011: 1.09 percent decrease
Median work RVUs: 4,662
Median gross charges: $738,967

Urologists

Median salary: $415,598
Median salary growth from 2011: 0.45 percent increase
Median work RVUs: 7,456
Median gross charges: $1,850,017
Female physician pay as a percentage of male pay: 80.8 percent
Highest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $650,000
Lowest offered base salary (not including bonuses): $330,000

More Articles on Physician Compensation:

7 Trends in Hospital-Employed Physician Compensation
6 Statistics on Hospital Neurosurgery Compensation
7 Statistics on Primary Care Physician Salaries

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