Gastroenterologist pay has risen 11 percent in the last year, reaching $501,000 annually and outpacing the average specialty physician pay by $119,000.
Neal Kaushal, MD, a gastroenterologist at Adventist Health in Sonora, Calif., told Becker's that while inflation is rising nationwide, he does not believe that is the main contributor to growing gastroenterology salaries.
Instead, he believes that as the demand for gastroenterologists drives competition for talent among hospitals, ASCs and megagroups, GI physicians are bargaining for higher salaries.
Dr. Neal Kaushal: I don't think that the pay increase is strictly a product of inflation rates per se, but more one of supply and demand.
Especially in the post COVID-19 era, screening and elective GI procedures, which may have been impacted, are now leading to increased demand for GI services.
Additionally, the field of GI itself is becoming more sub-specialized, and there are simply not enough gastroenterologists to meet current demand. One emerging trend in GI is adopting a "GI hospitalist" model, in which there is a more defined separation between inpatient and outpatient GI care. While this may have certain benefits and drawbacks to patient care, at the end of the day this model means that more GI physicians are needed to serve the patient care continuum, and there simply aren't as many as are needed.
There is also more money flowing into the GI industry as a whole, especially via private-equity-backed deals. GI physicians — being the resourceful and motivated professionals that they are — I think see this as an opportunity to command higher salaries because the stakes of so-called "mega-groups" competing with large health systems and universities are now higher than ever.