Medscape just released their annual physician compensation report. For those of you who are not familiar, physician compensation is a topic with very few reliable resources/numbers, lending to much anxiety among trainees. For example, at RSNA 2014, the average starting salary for academic radiologists was cited anywhere from $275,000-$355,000! It is not surprising that real data on salaries is difficult to obtain as people tend to be private about their incomes for a multitude of reasons. Medscape's annual physician compensation report offers a way to gain some insight into this topic. Please keep in mind that this is a survey-based study and therefore suffers from different types of survey bias. With that said, let's see if we can draw some conclusions from the report:
- Procedures pay - the top 3 paid specialties are Orthopedics, Cardiology and Gastroenterology. No real surprise here. We have always rewarded the "doers" more than the "thinkers" in society and medicine is no different than other careers in that respect.
- Location! Location! Location! - the 3 top-earning states for physicians are North Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming. Again no surprise, this is simply the law of supply and demand at work. If you are willing to practice and live in a less desirable location, you will likely be compensated more.
- The gender gap persists - female physicians earn approximately 76% ($215,000) of what male physicians earn ($284,000). However this data is confounded by the fact that female physicians are nearly twice as likely to work part time as compared to their male counterparts - 23% vs. 13%, respectively.
There are a lot more to be learned, take a look at the original report and please comment below if you disagree with or have additional points to add to my conclusions.