What Affects Your Income?

Physician's Money Digest, June15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 11

The latest compensation survey from the MedicalGroup Management Association (www.mgma.com)points to some interesting factors affecting physicianincome. One of the most telling indicators is hospitalaffiliation. Doctors affiliated with medical schools orteaching hospitals have incomes that average about 7%lower than the overall physician population. The gap isnarrowest for family practitioners, just 1.5%, but is ashigh as 33% for specialties like hematology, radiology,oncology, and gastroenterology. Researchers theorizethat productivity for these specialties is higher innonacademic settings, while for family physicians productivityis about the same in both academic andnonacademic venues.

Another finding showed that doctors who are paidon the basis of productivity rather than receiving astraight salary tend to have higher incomes, especiallyfor specialties like cardiology and gastroenterology.Part-time physicians in specialties like family practiceand radiology do not have any difference in compensationcompared with their full-time counterparts, butin specialties that tend toward productivity-based compensation,like cardiology and obstetrics/gynecology,compensation for part-timers lags that of full-time doctors.Part-time cardiologists, for example, make 14.2%less than those working full-time, while compensationfor part-time OB/GYN doctors trails that of full-timersby more than 12%.