10 things to know about ophthalmology and ophthalmologist pay in 2018

Here are 10 things to know about ophthalmologist pay, and how alternative payment models and health insurance exchange participation could affect it, according to the Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2018.


1. Average ophthalmologist compensation was $357,000.

2. Ophthalmologist compensation increased 3 percent year over year in 2018.

3. U.S.-trained ophthalmologists reported $353,000 on average, lower than the $448,000 reported by foreign-born ophthalmologists.

4. Self-employed ophthalmologist earned more than employed ophthalmologists. Self-employed ophthalmologists earned $429,000 on average, compared to $256,000 for employed ophthalmologists.

5. Around 58 percent of ophthalmologists are self-employed while 40 percent are employed.

6. Male ophthalmologists earned $391,000 on average, compared to $273,000 for female ophthalmologists.

7. Nearly three-quarters, 71 percent, of ophthalmologists report having professional liability/malpractice coverage. Additional benefits include:

• Health insurance: 69 percent
• Paid time off: 57 percent
• Retirement plan with match: 49 percent

8. Most ophthalmologists that participated in the health insurance exchanges said it didn't affect their income:

• 6 percent said income increased
• 14 percent said income decreased
• 41 percent said there was no change

9. Just 5 percent of ophthalmologists expect to participate in alternative payment models.

10. Nearly half — 48 percent — of ophthalmologists participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.

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