15 stats on ophthalmology to know in 2021

Here are 15 things to know about income, job satisfaction and conditions for ophthalmologists, according to Medscape's "Ophthalmologist Compensation Report 2020."

1. The average salary for ophthalmologists is $378,000. That's up from $366,000 last year.

2. The average incentive bonus for ophthalmologists is $85,000. That's about 23 percent of their average salary.

3. A little over half of ophthalmologists (55 percent) achieve 100 percent of their potential incentive bonus. About 64 percent achieve more than three-quarters of it.

4. Men in the field make almost $50,000 more than women. Male ophthalmologists make $390,000 on average and female ophthalmologists make about $341,000.

5. Ophthalmologists spend almost 40 hours a week seeing patients. Men spend 39.6 hours on average and women 40.1.

6. Ophthalmologists spend the least average time on paperwork and administration, with 9.8 hours. That trails anesthesiologists, who spend 10 hours a week on paperwork.

7. Most ophthalmologists (78 percent) will continue seeing patients on Medicare and Medicaid.

8. Most ophthalmologists rely on either insurance or fee-for-service payment models. Eighty-one percent of respondents use insurance, and 56 percent use fee-for-service. Respondents could choose more than one answer in the survey.

9. Two-thirds of ophthalmologists expect to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.

10. Fifty-four percent of ophthalmologists say they feel fairly compensated. That figure is about the same as last year.

11. At 13 percent, ophthalmologists see the fewest number of claims that are denied or have to be resubmitted.

12. Most ophthalmologists (92 percent) don't use physician assistants or nurse practitioners.

13. About 29 percent of ophthalmologists say working with patients and seeing their gratitude is the most rewarding part of the job. That's followed by 27 percent who say they like knowing they're making the world a better place.

14. Twenty-seven percent of ophthalmologists said difficulties with getting fair reimbursement or dealing with insurers is the most challenging part of the job.

15. Job satisfaction is high overall for ophthalmologists. Eighty-four percent say they would choose a job in medicine again if they had the chance, and 95 percent say they would choose ophthalmology again.

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