Orthopedic surgeon pay — key trends to know heading into 2020

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

Trends in orthopedic surgeon pay

According to Merritt Hawkins 2019 review of physician recruitment incentives, average yearly orthopedic surgeon pay has risen slightly over the past six years, increasing 9 percent from $488,000 in 2013-14 to $536,000 in 2018-19.

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

However, while orthopedic surgeons may be among the highest earners, 52 percent of orthopedists said they felt they were fairly compensated when polled by Medscape in 2019.

Orthopedic surgeon employment outlook

Orthopedic surgeons were within the top 20 most requested specialists for advanced practitioner search assignments by hospitals, coming in at the No. 13 spot, according to Merritt Hawkins.

Demand for orthopedic surgeons 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.

More articles on orthopedics:
Orthopedic surgeon joins OrthoAtlanta practices
Facts to know about ASC total joint replacements in 2020
ASC orthopedic volumes projected to skyrocket this decade — 3 reasons why

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