6 Facts that Could Help Increase Your Salary

Big data is increasingly having an impact on the way physicians practice medicine. Now a new tool is leveraging crowdsourced data to help doctors make smarter career choices.

Big data is increasingly having an impact on the way physicians practice medicine. Now a new tool is leveraging crowdsourced data to help doctors make smarter career choices.

Doximity, a social network for physicians, this week launched a new interactive salary map. The map includes county-level salary data from some 18,000 verified physicians who registered with the website and provided anonymous salary information. The data span 48 specialties, including everything from family medicine to anesthesiology to cardiology.

The interactive map is called “Career Navigator,” and it’s available to any physician who signs up for a free Doximity account.

Jeff Tangney, founder and CEO of the company, said the map provides an important service, because physician pay doesn’t follow the same trends as other private-sector careers.

“Medical school teaches the science of medicine, but not the business of medicine,” he said, in a press release. “Our hope is that this up-to-date, local market data helps physicians level the playing field with HR departments in evaluating their opportunities.”

Indeed, the map shows that physicians who are willing to do their research—and willing to move to a different region—can make a significantly higher salary than they might make by simply getting a job near their medical school.

A sample Career Navigator map, showing pay for surgeons. Blue zones are areas with below-average pay. Red areas have above-average pay.

For instance, Tangney notes an anesthesiologist in Massachusetts could increase her salary by as much as 61% if she moved to Wisconsin.

The site also has a “Talent Finder” function to help facilitate such connections. The job board lists career and consulting opportunities at more than 300 hospitals and healthcare services.

As Tangney mentioned, many of the data listed in the Career Navigator database is counter-intuitive.

What follows are physician salary 6 takeaways you may not have expected:

Though city-dwellers earn more in many industries, healthcare is just the opposite. Doximity’s maps show coastal population centers tend to have lower salaries than rural areas and states in the middle of the country. On average, rural physicians earned about $1,500 more per year than urban doctors. That’s on top of the lower cost of living in rural areas. Emily Peters, a vice president at Doximity, said the data also suggest physician salaries are lower than average in areas with medical schools, likely because many physicians take jobs near their medical schools.

Massachusetts may be known for its medical schools, but Doximity found Texas is a significantly better place to practice emergency medicine, at least from a salary perspective. Texas, Florida, and Minnesota have the highest salaries for emergency physicians. Massachusetts, New York, and California have the lowest.

The data show the distinct impact of supply and demand on salaries. Specifically, Doximity found that for each new specialist who moves into an area with a population of 100,000 people, other specialists lose about $1,500 in annual salary. Peters noted the salary impact happens regardless of specialty. In other words, when a new cardiologist comes to town, it will likely impact the salaries of specialists in all specialties, not just cardiology.

Speaking of specialists, Doximity’s job postings suggest emergency medicine, family medicine, occupational medicine, and psychiatry have the highest shortages at the moment. Those findings are fairly similar to a Merritt Hawkins Report released last year.

Doctors who work in government or at academic institutions likely have many reasons—besides pay—for choosing their employer. However, Doximity’s research indicates those physicians are taking a serious pay cut versus what they could make in private practice. Private practice docs earn about 12%—or $28,000—more per year than their peers at government and academic posts.

In one of the more interesting findings, Doximity found that regions with higher rates of obesity tend to have higher pay for physicians. The pay difference is said to be slight, and could be a result of the fee-for-service model that rewards doctors whose patients require more treatment.

Source: Doximity.