Top 10 Takeaways from the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2017

Published in Becker’s Hospital Review

Medscape has just released the Physician Compensation Report 2017 which analyzed more than 19,200 physicians in over 27 specialties.

The 43 slide survey report contains information for physicians on salaries, hours worked, challenges facing physicians and much more. According to the survey, compensation for most specialties increased from the 2016 survey with the exception of Pediatrics which decreased slightly from $204,000 to $202,000. The chart below compares the survey compensation from 2016 to 2017.

Key Takeaways

1. Plastic Surgery and Allergy & Immunology had the highest percentage increases from 2016 at 23.9% and 15.8% respectively.

2. Specialists reported average annual earnings 46% higher than primary care physicians at $316,000 and $217,000 respectively.

3. Physician compensation has gradually increased over the past 7 years from an average of $206,000 in 2011 to $294,000 in 2017.

4. Large gaps exist among race/ethnicity as the average salary for White/Caucasian was $303,000, Asian was $283,000, Hispanic or Latino was $271,000 and Black/African American was $262,000.

5. There is substantial variation between states as North Dakota had the highest average compensation at $361,000 and the District of Columbia had the lowest compensation at $235,000.

6. Self-employed physicians earned more than employed physicians with the largest gap being between specialists. Self-employed specialists earned an average of $368,000 while employed specialists earned $287,000.

7. Men earned an average of 16% more than women at $229,000 compared to $197,000 for women. This represents a slight decrease from the 2016 survey of 17%.

8. Accountable Care Organization (ACO) participation continues to increase at a rapid rate from 3% in 2012 to 36% in 2017.

9. The hours spent per week seeing patients has changed very little from the 2016 survey. Approximately 33% reported seeing patients more than 45 hours per week.

10. Hours spent on paperwork and administration continues to increase with 57% of all physicians spending at least 10 hours per week.