Confusion about the future of compensation, whether physician salary, benefits or practice income, has lead to major uncertainty in the medical industry. While healthcare costs have been increasing at a rate greater than inflation - healthcare expenditures are going up an average of 6% a year according to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services - the same cannot be said about pay rates for health care professionals (the actual cost of health care goes up an average of only about 1%, accodring to CMS).
Despite this, there is tremendous pressure to reduce the growth of healthcare costs, which is putting donward pressure on physician salaries and overall revenue in medical practices. That, however, is balanced by the supply-and-demand pressures exerted by a shortage in doctors, especially in underserved areas.
Just Starting Out: What a Student Should Expect for Doctor Salary
One of the things that a medical student must consider is expected physician salary range. Obviously, salary is directly affected by several factor that students consider while working through the match process, including physician specialty, geographical region, type of practice, and subspecialty training.
Specialty Plays an Important Role in Determining Doctor Salaries
The single most important determine of physician salary is specialty and subspecialty. The search tool above allows you to find average salaries by specialty and geographical region, correcting for a substantial difference in pay across regions.
The effect of geographical region can have surprising effects on a doctor's salary. One might expect the highest salaries would be in the northeast or west, where cost of living is highest, but this is not always the case. In fact, the salary for many medical specialties trend highest in the south. This trend seems to depend most closely with the patient demographic, such that physician salaries are highest for medical specialties that deal with older patients or patients with particular endocrine and cardiac conditions found in the Southern United States.
Locum Tenens Salary Scale is Quite Variable
In addition to standard physician jobs, one must consider Locum Tenens or temporary positions. These jobs work on a different pay scale from that of standard full-time careers. Locum Tenens jobs have become a popular choice for those looking to follow other endeavors, those who are retired and wish extra income, or those who need temporary work.
When considering the salaries of Locum Tenens jobs, one must remember that a number of factors also effect these. The salary will be affected by the medical facility, which is hiring and will also be affected by the type of work, whether it is on-call, for a set amount of days or months.
Other Doctor Salary Resources
Allied Physicians salary survey information
Physician jobs search engine at JobsMed