Back The Changes in Physician Compensation by Specialty: 2019 vs. 2018

Physician Compensation by Specialty: 2019 vs. 2018

What difference does a year make when it comes to physician compensation? It depends on your area of specialty, according to the latest Medscape Physician Compensation Survey, released in April 2019.

This annual report tracked the earnings for nearly 30 physician specialties, including just five that saw a dip in average compensation compared to last year, while the vast majority of specialties saw a year-over-year increase.

The Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2019 analyzed data from 19,328 physicians who responded to their salary survey, which was conducted from October 25, 2018 – February 14, 2019.

EARN great compensation and travel benefits as a locum tenens physician.

The upward trend in physician compensation

The average compensation for all primary care physicians in 2019 was $237,000, while the average for physician specialists was $341,000, according to the survey results. For employed physicians, these amounts include salary, bonuses and profit-sharing contributions, while the amounts for solo practitioners and partners include earnings after taxes and deductible business expenses after income taxes. Only full-time salaries are included in the results.

The average physician earnings across all primary and specialty areas was $313,000 in 2019, compared to an overall average of $299,000 in 2018, representing a 4.7 percent increase.

Long-term trends in physician compensation are showing healthy increases, as well. For instance, primary care physicians have enjoyed an average pay increase of 21.5 percent since Medscape’s 2015 survey, while physician specialists have seen a 20 percent increase over that same period.

The specialties with the largest jump in average physician compensation reported between 2018 and 2019 were: 

  • Otolaryngology – up 20.4%
  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation – up 13.8%
  • General Surgery – up 12.4%
  • Diabetes & Endocrinology – up 11.3%
  • Neurology – up 9.4%
  • Urology – up 9.4%
  • Average Physician Compensation by Specialty: 2019 vs. 2018*

    So how did your specialty fare this past year?

    This year-to-year comparison represents the average annual compensation for physicians in a number of specialties, using Medscape’s survey data gathered from approximately 20,000 physicians across the United States each year.

    Physician Specialty2019 Average Compensation*2018 Average Compensation*Percent Change
    Orthopedics $480K $497K -3.4%
    Plastic surgery $471K $501K -6.0%
    Otolaryngology $461K $383K 20.4%
    Cardiology $430K $423K 1.7%
    Dermatology $419K $392K 6.9%
    Radiology $419K $401K 4.5%
    Gastroenterology $417K $408K 2.2%
    Urology $408K $373K 9.4%
    Anesthesiology $392K $386K 1.6%
    Ophthalmology $366K $357K 2.5%
    Surgery, General $362K $322K 12.4%
    Oncology $359K $363K -1.1%
    Emergency Medicine $353K $350K 0.9%
    Critical Care $349K $354K -1.4%
    Pulmonary Medicine $331K $321K 3.1%
    Pathology $308K $286K 7.7%
    Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation $306K $269K 13.8%
    Nephrology $305K $294K 3.7%
    Ob/Gyn $303K $300K 1.0%
    Allergy & Immunology $275K $272K 1.1%
    Neurology $267K $244K 9.4%
    Psychiatry $260K $273K -4.8%
    Rheumatology $259K $257K 0.8%
    Internal Medicine $243K $230K 5.7%
    Infectious Diseases $239K $231K 3.5%
    Diabetes & Endocrinology $236K $212K 11.3%
    Family Medicine $231K $219K 5.5%
    Pediatrics $225K $212K 6.1%
    Public Health & Preventive Medicine $209K $199K 5.0%

     *Sources: Medscape Physician Compensation Reports, 2018 & 2019. Amounts are rounded

    Related:
    Top 5 States for Primary Care Pay

    Locum Tenens Salary Guide: 3 Important Considerations


    DISCOVER YOUR WORTH with high-paying locum tenens jobs from Locum Leaders.  

    CONTACT A RECRUITER to learn more