Annual Salary Woes

Physician's Money Digest, September30 2003, Volume 10, Issue 18

Are you a physician who's workinghard and making about the same amountof money as last year—and the yearbefore? If so, you have company. Accordingto a recent survey of 1500 medicaldoctors nationwide, physician compensationhas remained flat for severalyears. The Medical Group ManagementAssociation's 2003 Physician's CompensationSurvey found that over the past 5years, the average annual compensationfor primary care physicians, which isabout $150,000, increased by less than2%. That's real bad even in these timesof tame inflation.

These numbers reinforce physicians'deep concern about the economics oftheir profession. And why shouldn't theybe concerned? The government (federal,state, and local) already takes a near40% cut of doctors' income. After youpay the mortgage and supply your familywith food, clothing, and shelter,what's really left? Factor in the cost ofcollege, insurance, automobiles, andhome maintenance, and a 2% salaryincrease would send many into a panic.And these frightening numbers don'teven take into consideration the skyrocketingcosts of medical practiceexpenses and malpractice insurance.