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May 3, 2013

Which specialists get paid the most when they're on call?

Daily Briefing

Physician on-call compensation rates in 2012 varied widely by medical specialty, ranging from $150 for family practitioners to $2,400 for anesthesiologists, according to a new survey by MGMA Health Care Consulting Group.

The survey examined median daily on-call pay rates for some specialties in 2011 and 2012 and was based on responses from 3,950 providers in 295 groups. It found that anesthesiology was the highest paid in both years, at $2,400 in 2012 and $1,500 in 2011. Other specialty pay rates included:

  • General surgery at $1,000, up from $920;
  • Radiology at $1,000 in both 2012 and 2011.
  • Orthopedics at $953 in 2012, up from $854 in 2011;
  • Cardiology at $900 in 2012, up from $650 in 2011;
  • Neurology at $600, down from $650 in 2011;
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology at $500 in both 2012 and 2011; and
  • Family medicine at $150, up from $100.

As shortage looms, first-year compensation rises

In related news, another MGMA survey found that some physician practices are offering higher compensation and increased benefits in an effort to recruit new physicians amid a looming physician shortage.

For this report, researchers surveyed 5,225 providers in 629 medical organizations and found that primary care physicians' median first-year income in 2012 was $180,000, up from $175,000 in 2011.

Kenneth Hertz of MGMA said the survey also showed practices are attempting to attract new physicians by offering benefits such as:

  • Continuing medical education;
  • Loan forgiveness;
  • Paid relocation expenses;
  • Paid vacations; and
  • Signing bonuses.

In addition, the survey found that physicians in Midwestern states—Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin—reported the highest number of relocations out of their regions. Meanwhile, physicians in Western states—Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming—reported the fewest physician placements within their region (Landen, Modern Physician, 5/1 [subscription required]; Struck, Medpage Today, 5/1 [subscription required]).

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