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ians Continue to be Lowest Paid Physicians: Is the Specialty in Peril? – Physician’s Weekly
Oct 13, 2021
Contributor: Christina Loguidice
According to a recent Medscape compensation report that surveyed nearly 18,000 physician respondents across 29 specialties, pediatricians continue to be the lowest paid, with significantly lower incentive bonuses than many of their counterparts in other specialties. This has been suggested to be a key factor in deterring medical students from specializing in pediatrics and other primary care fields, including internal medicine and family medicine, especially as rising education costs have lead many prospective physicians to take on exorbitant student loans and other debts. Alarmingly, in 2019, only 45.6% of the spots in the primary care specialties in the Main Residency Match program were filled by US allopathic medical school seniors. In contrast, various surgical fields and otolaryngology, which are among the highest paid specialties, had fill rates of more than 90%.
So, how big is the disparity? The Medscape report found the average annual income for pediatricians to be $221,000 in 2020, which was down from $232,0000 in 2019. In contrast, plastic surgeons, who were the highest paid specialty, reported an average annual income of $526,000 in 2020, reflecting an 82% difference in compensation between the lowest and highest compensated specialties. When considering all specialties surveyed, the average salary was about $342,000, a difference of more than $120,000. Even the next lowest paid specialty, family medicine, had an average annual income of $15,000 more than pediatrics, at $236,000.
Furthermore, a 2020 Forbes report examining occupational data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found significant disparities in pediatrician salaries between states (Table). Alaska was the highest paying state, with pediatrician salaries averaging more than twice those of pediatricians in Kansas, the lowest paying state. The report also noted a disconcerting trend. While states with low salaries for certain occupations showed trends toward salary increases in recent years, this was not the case for pediatrician salaries. In Kansas, the average pediatrician salary declined by about 13% from 2013 to 2018. In the second lowest-paying state, Michigan, there were declines of 27.8% in this same period, dropping from $183,330 to $132,310.
|Top 5 Highest and Lowest Paying States for Pediatricians|
|Highest Paying||Average Salary||Lowest Paying||Average Salary|
While salary is only part of the compensation picture, the Medscape report found incentive bonuses for pediatricians to be low, averaging $26,000. Only psychiatrists reported lower average bonuses ($24,000). The highest incentive bonuses were reported by orthopedists, which averaged $116,000. When collectively considering the 19 specialties that had sufficient sample sizes to characterize bonus data, the average incentive bonus was about $50,000.
Despite ranking as the lowest paying specialty with low average incentive bonuses, 55% of the pediatricians surveyed by Medscape reported feeling fairly compensated. Additionally, 77% said they would pick medicine again, which was similar to physicians overall (78%), with 82% indicating they would choose pediatrics again.
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Frequently Asked Questions About why do pediatric specialties make less
If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic why do pediatric specialties make less, then this section may help you solve it.
Why do pediatricians earn such a low salary?
The average pediatric visit will pay less than the average adult visit, and if patient volume is constant between the two, pay will be lower in pediatrics. Pediatricians typically do ill visits (simple single problems) and well checks in a generally healthy population.
What pediatric specialty has the best pay?
First off, pediatric cardiology is probably one of the highest-paying subspecialties that a pediatrician can choose from, with an average annual salary of 85,479 reported by SalaryExpert.com and a lower average of 85,437 reported by Salary.com.
What are 3 negative things about being a pediatrician?
6 cons of being a pediatrician
- Communication challenges. Some children struggle with communicating their feelings or symptoms, especially younger children or children who have high pain tolerances. …
- Career stress. …
- Difficult parents. …
- Requirements to pursue. …
- Health risks. …
- Physical demands.
What did the lowest 10 percent earn pediatrician?
Pediatricians make $191,371 per year on average, or $92.01 per hour, in the United States. Pediatricians on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $124,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $293,000.
What age is no longer a pediatrician?
What’s the best age to make the change? For most patients, the appropriateness to transition to an adult healthcare provider is based on age and development. Your pediatrician will help determine the age to transition care, which is typically between the ages of 18 and 21.
Who is lowest paid doctor?
Pediatricians earn on average $221,000 and work an average of 47 hours per week, yielding an average hourly wage of $94. It should be noted that pediatricians have the lowest annual salary out of any specialty on our list; however, they also work fewer hours than most specialties.
Can a pediatrician become a millionaire?
You Can Still Be Wealthy as a Pediatrician
But at the end of the day, whether the pediatrician is making a salary of $150K, $180K, $200K, or $230K, that is still PLENTY of money to pay off your student loans, eventually move into your dream house, and retire early as a multi-millionaire.
What is the burnout rate for pediatricians?
Burnout among pediatricians has been rising steadily, even before the arrival of COVID-19. From 2011 to 2014, burnout among pediatricians increased from 35.3% to 46.3%, according to a report released last week by the American Academy of Pediatrics. (The study appears in the November 2022 issue of Pediatrics.)
Are pediatricians happy?
Eighty-four percent of pediatricians said they were “very” or “somewhat” happy outside of work prior to the global pandemic, similar to physicians overall (81%).
What age do most pediatricians retire?
The traditional retirement age is 65. However, every individual can choose their retirement age based on their own needs and financial stability level.
Which doctor has the highest burnout rate?
According to Medscape’s 2022 Physician Burnout and Depression report, emergency medicine physicians have the highest rates of burnout of all physician specialties.
Which field of medicine has the smartest practitioners?
Internists are frequently the smartest and most well-rounded doctors because of the breadth of knowledge they (along with family medicine physicians) frequently carry. When society generally thinks of doctors, they are thinking of internists.
Is a physician a billionaire?
The 36th annual Forbes list of the world’s richest people featured 2,668 billionaires worldwide, 33 U.S.-based billionaire entrepreneurs, heirs, inventors, and leaders in the healthcare industry, as well as nine U.S. doctors. Below is a list of U.S. physician billionaires and their 2022 net worth.