Thursday, February 04, 2010

Physician Compensation Data for 68 Specialties

Via John Goodman's Health Policy Blog, here's a sortable database of the 2009 Physician Compensation Survey, from the American Medical Group Association for 68 different medical specialties (I had no idea there were that many). Median salaries range from a low of $176,974 per year for "Pediatric Pulmonary Disease" to a high of $641,728 for "Orthopedic Surgeon - Spine." The median salary for the 68 specialties is $278,000.

The highest and lowest five specialties are presented in the chart above (from John's blog).


At 2/04/2010 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems more than reasonable to me. In fact, it seems that family doctors are underpaid when compared in relative worth to say, lawyers - or TV news anchors, like Katie Couric, who make more than $300,000.00 a week for simply reading a teleprompter.

At 2/04/2010 4:37 PM, Blogger OneCleverCookie said...

They're underpaid! If some clown athlete/entertainer is worth millions are year.A good physician in worth 10 fold of what those individuals are worth.

At 2/04/2010 5:10 PM, Blogger QT said...


The list is based upon the skills of physicians and the demand for those skills. A family doctor cannot really be compared to a the critical skills of a neurosurgeon for example.

Entertainers/pro-athletes are able to leverage mass media to reach millions of viewers while by contrast, the doctor-patient relationship is one on one. How can one really compare the pricing structure of such disaparate occupations where the nature of service delivery is unlimited in the first instance and severely constrainted in the later?

Whatever our views on pro-atheletes/entertainers, aren't the salaries driven more by mass marketing?

At 2/04/2010 5:34 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Why isn't "Pediatric Pulmonary Disease" on the list of 5 lowest specialties?

US doctors make at least twice as much as Euro doctors. How do reformers think they're going to cut costs without addressing this issue?

At 2/04/2010 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do reformers think they're going to cut costs without addressing this issue?

By opening the insurance market to interstate comeptition, passing tort reform, ending insurance mandates, wider adoption of HSA's, etc.

At 2/04/2010 6:41 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

Misterjosh there is a way, that if you take a loan for med school, you commit to work in a gov clinic or the military for 10 years after residency, which pays off your loan. This is essentially what europe does because the state pays for the medical education. Hints of this lie in the suggestion of limits on how big a payment can be required for loans, this could easily turn into a surtax on college loans i.e. we pay for your education, you pay us 10% additional in taxes for 20 years.

At 2/04/2010 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I question these numbers. My wife's an OB & she's never made as much as the any of the 5 lowest paid specialties.

At 2/05/2010 6:54 AM, Anonymous geoih said...

Quote from misterjosh: "US doctors make at least twice as much as Euro doctors. How do reformers think they're going to cut costs without addressing this issue?"

By taking over the industry, setting price and wage rates, creating bureaucrats to decide what care everybody "needs", and making it illegal to operate outside of the government system.

It's really quite simple.

At 2/05/2010 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lot of Doctors in India make more than this average

At 2/05/2010 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about malpractice insurance? How much does that cost?

At 2/10/2010 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To QT, A family doctor has a broad range of knowledge in all specialties and it takes at least as much if not more effort and interest to obtain this knowledge than to obtain the body of knowledge of a specialist. A good family doctor can save you from your specialist who will funnel you toward uneeded and possibly dangerous procedures when you don't need them and hook you up with a good specialist when you do need a procedure. I am guessing you are a cardiologist or intend on entering the field of cardiology hence the name QT as in QT interval of an EKG one of the most overpaid specialties.


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