Is GI pay trending up or down? Key trends to know heading into 2020

With patient awareness of colorectal cancer on the rise and the resulting push for younger patients to be screened for the disease, pay and demand for gastroenterologists is increasing.

Heading into 2020, here is a rundown of the gastroenterologist employment and salary trends that were seen in 2019:

Trends in GI pay

According to Merritt Hawkins 2019 review of physician recruitment incentives, average yearly GI pay has been rising steadily for the past six years, increasing 20 percent from $454,000 in 2013-14 to $495,000 in 2018-19.

In a recent study by Health Media published by Medpage Today, gastroenterologists were the fifth highest earning physicians in a list of 21 specialists, ranking above neurologists, anesthesiologists and oncologists, to name a few.

However, while gastroenterologists may be among the highest earners, 51 percent said they felt they were fairly compensated when polled by Medscape in 2019.

GI employment outlook

Gastroenterologists were within the top 10 most requested specialists for advanced practitioner search assignments by hospitals, coming in at the No. 9 spot, according to Merritt Hawkins.

Demand for gastroenterologists is high and will likely remain that way, as a 2019 study by the Association of American Medical Colleges found there will be a shortage of between 24,800 and 65,800 specialty physicians by 2032.

There are a variety of factors contributing to the impending shortage, including a rising population eligible for Medicare and a lack of an increase in federal support for graduate medical education. Physician shortages typically lead to increased demand and pay for the specialties in need.

Additionally, there are more gastroenterologists heading into retirement than there are young gastroenterologists replacing them. Some gastroenterologists, however, are choosing to work well past retirement age.

More articles on gastroenterology:
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What the GI specialty will look like in 10 years & 4 other must-read articles

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