The PMD Critical List: Salaries and Doctor Demand Vary Between Medical Specialties

Average base salary varies between medical specialties, and a new report pinpoints which physicians command the highest. That story tops this week’s PMD Critical List.

Average base salary varies between medical specialties, and a new report pinpoints which physicians command the highest. That story tops this week’s PMD Critical List. Also making the list: Suicide has been an unacknowledged phenomenon in the medical world, physicians who use social media help students, and one doctor talks about how he was wrong about ObamaCare.

The Best-Paying, In-Demand Jobs for Doctors (Forbes)

Physicians are perceived as among the best-compensated professionals working today. But within their ranks, salaries, and demand can vary greatly, particularly as healthcare respond to rapid change. Here are the best-paying jobs for doctors in the most in-demand specialties right now, according to Merritt Hawkins.

Should Feds Regulate Physicians’ Scope of Practice? (Independent Institute)

A California State University economics professor is urging “Congress to pass a law allowing interstate portability of medical licensure. The state where a physician practices, not where the patient stands (or sits or lies), would be the locus of regulatory control.” More telemedicine?

Doctors Need a New Skill Set for This Opioid Abuse Treatment (NPR.org)

“Probuphine is unlike any other addiction treatment on the market,” finds this report from National Public Radio. “It promises to be life-changing for people already stable in recovery using medication-assisted treatment, who would otherwise need a daily dose of a similar drug to stay free of cravings and withdrawal pains.

Why are Doctors Plagued by Depression and Suicide? (STAT)

“Suicide among medical students and doctors has been a largely unacknowledged phenomenon for decades, obscured by secrecy and shame,” according to this very troubling report. The medical profession must “come together and deal with this matter as a shared concern,” says the Association of American Medical Colleges president.

6 Pros and Cons of Joining a National Physician Practice (Becker’s Hospital Review)

“To remain viable in an increasingly competitive space, physician practices are joining forces.” In fact, one law firm reports that mergers, acquisitions, and private equity investments in specialty medical groups doubled between 2008 and 2012. Here are some expert tips should to consider before joining a multi-state hospital-based physician practice.

Most Patients Want to Talk About Guns with Their Doctors (Reuters)

“A majority of US adults (67%) say it’s at least sometimes appropriate for doctors to discuss guns with patients during check-ups,” a nationwide survey in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds. Guns should be on a list of routine uncomfortable questions doctors ask patients during check-ups.”

Follow Doctors on Snapchat, Instagram for a Glimpse of the Profession (US News & World Report)

“Following physicians who share their practice on social media—like Dr. Michael Salzhauer, the popular plastic surgeon on Snapchat known as "Dr. Miami"—can be a way for students interested in medicine to explore careers. But experts tell aspiring physicians to proceed with caution.”

Hospital Star Ratings Show That Not All Care is Equal (RealClearHealth)

“It’s not as user-friendly as Consumer Reports, but the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ overall star rating system represents progress in getting data into the hands of health care consumers. And despite some methodological shortcomings, it puts doctors on their toes, which is a good thing.”

How I Was Wrong About ObamaCare (Wall Street Journal)

“When I joined the Obama White House to advise the president on health-care policy as the only physician on the National Economic Council, I was deeply committed to developing the best health-care reform we could to expand coverage, improve quality and bring down costs.” … but “I was wrong,” explains Dr. Bob Kocher in this powerful essay.

Most States Fail to Make Health Price Information Available (Forbes)

There are 43 states that fail to adequately make healthcare price information available to consumers despite pressure from employers and policymakers for greater transparency, a new analysis by the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute shows. However, Colorado, Maine and New Hampshire each earned an “A” for their efforts.