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Physician Compensation Up for Most Specialties

Top three earners for patient care are orthopedists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists

TUESDAY, April 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physician compensation has gone up for almost all specialties, according to a 2015 report published by Medscape.

More than 19,500 physicians responded to the Medscape compensation survey and reported their compensation, practice changes resulting from health care reform, and adaptation to the new health care environment.

According to the report, the average compensation for specialists was $284,000, and for primary care physicians, the average compensation was $195,000, reflecting a modest upward trend. The top three earners in terms of compensation for patient care were orthopedists, cardiologists, and gastroenterologists, with pediatricians, family physicians, and endocrinologists and internists being the lowest earners. Orthopedists were also the top earners for non-patient care activities, including expert witness duties, product sales, speaking engagements, and other activities, followed by urologists, plastic surgeons, and dermatologists. The lowest earners in this category were radiologists, pediatricians, and anesthesiologists. Only rheumatologists reported a large decrease in income from the prior year (4 percent decrease); the only other specialists to see a decline were urologists (1 percent), while all other physicians reported an increase.

The highest earnings for this year were reported in the Northwest and South Central regions, with the lowest earnings in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. The top 10 earning states included North Dakota, Alaska, Wyoming, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma, while the District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Maryland, and New Mexico were included as the lowest earning states.

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