By Bonnie Darves
Editor’s Note: “The basic economic model of supply and demand is working very much in favor of physicians. Whether entering the job market directly from training or looking for favorable opportunities with years of practice experience, both PCPs and specialists will find increased compensation and employed-model positions available. Expect generous signing bonuses and compensation packages, especially for PCPs recruited to underserved areas. For those in practice, higher income is also a function of increased patient volume. With ever-increasing medical education debt loads, robust remuneration for physicians is welcomed unequivocally.”
— John A. Fromson, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at MetroWest Medical Center
The job market — and income picture — for physicians is bright.
Physicians heading into the job market for the first time or eyeing a career move in 2007 will find plentiful opportunities and attractive compensation packages regardless of their specialty or preferred setting. Demand for specialists and primary care physicians is high in many regions, especially in non-urban areas. That demand is translating into substantial signing bonuses, generous education loan repayment, and other competitive benefits — especially among large groups and health systems.
Also on the rise are compensation packages that feature creative mechanisms for rewarding physicians’ hard work. Those structures include multifaceted annual bonus programs and elaborate productivity-based incentives, both intended to ensure star performers are recognized. Fully 90 percent of the medical specialties saw their incomes rise in 2005 and 2006, several large-scale national surveys found. (See sidebar.)
Highlights from the Compensation Surveys
The AMGA and MGMA surveys, as well as smaller-scale surveys and research conducted annually by national physician recruiting firms, are hardly uniform in their findings. Yet the most recent ones — from 2005 and 2006 — illustrate notable trends in compensation and employment.
Following are highlights and key findings that may be of interest to young physicians heading into their first or a subsequent job search this year:
In 89 percent of specialties, incomes increased in 2005, and the average overall increase was 6 percent. The biggest jumps occurred in dermatology, gastroenterology, and cardiac/thoracic surgery; all tallied gains from 10 to 12 percent. For the most part, however, those specialists also significantly increased their production. (AMGA)
Signing bonuses, primarily one-time offerings, are on the rise in number and amount — with the most pronounced hikes in primary care. Five-figure bonuses exceeding $20,000 are not uncommon, Cejka Search reported. The Merritt Hawkins 2006 survey of physician incentives found that the average bonus increased to $20,000 in May 2005, up from $14,000 per year earlier.
More than 23 percent of physicians worked for hospital settings in 2005, up from 19 percent in 2004. (Merritt Hawkins)
Following a persisting trend, physician compensation levels remain highest in the Midwest and northern Midwestern states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and the Dakotas, for example) and the Southern states, compared to the Northeast and Western regions. The most dramatic recent compensation increases occurred in the West, where incomes rose more than 8 percent in 2005. (AMGA)
Internal medicine and family practice searches increased by 46 percent and 55 percent, respectively, from 2004 to 2005. (Merritt Hawkins)
A more in-depth look at the survey findings and trends affecting physician compensation can be obtained by contacting the organizations cited above or visiting their websites; details follow. (Note that a charge applies for the complete AMGA and MGMA surveys.)
The employment picture is bright across the board. Even primary care, in which flat incomes and reimbursement produced a challenging practice environment in the recent past, is experiencing gains. Incomes for family practice physicians, internists, and pediatricians increased in 2005 and 2006, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently modified the Resource Based Relative Value Scale to attach a higher relative value unit (a measure of the physician work component) to most office-consultation services. The latter will increase Medicare reimbursement to most primary care physicians, industry experts concur.
Primary Care Earnings Pull Out of Doldrums
“This year and last year, we are finally seeing some compensation increases in primary care — of about 5.8 percent — after several years of flat incomes. That’s a positive trend that some of us saw coming, because basically something had to give,” said Brad Vaudrey, MBA, CPA, director of Minneapolis-based RSM National Health Care Consulting, which compiles the American Medical Group Association’s annual compensation and financial survey. These increases, in concert with emerging innovations in employment and care delivery, make for a vibrant job market.
作者:admin@医学,生命科学 2011-02-28 17:11