5 Physician Salary Trends That May Surprise You 

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5 Physician Salary Trends That May Surprise You

Every field tends to be in a state of upheaval in the current economic climate. The medical field has been able to remain isolated for the most part, and many physicians are starting to feel the strain. Various factors such as increased interest rates, inflation, and higher restrictions on billing make securing a high compensation package more challenging than ever. Some emerging trends may surprise you, let’s take a closer look below. 

Primary Care Physicians Are Earning More Than Ever

According to recent MGMA salary data, PCPs are earning more than ever despite the current economic climate. The demand for primary care physicians has increased steadily over the last decade and remains high in many regions. Overall, the compensation increase over the last two years averages out to just under 5% which may seem modest, but is nevertheless well below the rate of inflation. Though they remain among the lowest paid in the industry, their demand is among the highest which allows for more freedom in choosing their career paths. 

Doctors Are Negotiating Their Salaries More Frequently 

With innovation comes easy access to information, and for physicians, that means a more authoritative position to advocate for better pay. Physicians are communicating more openly with others within their field both locally and nationally. Along with discussions on new techniques and treatment options, they also share information about compensation in their area. As a result, more physicians have begun to enter negotiations with their employers with as much as 43% achieving success. In the past, doctors would accept the basic rates offered while only negotiating their time off or their bonuses. 

Race Still Plays a Big Role in Salary Disparity

There has been a lot of improvement made in the healthcare field to be more inclusive. With top-level positions and promotions being easier to access for physicians of color, pay disparities remain a sore spot. Physicians of color make up the most sizeable percentage of primary care doctors, who also happen to be the most in demand. Caucasian physicians however make up close to 80% of the specialty field with a mere 20% practicing primary medicine. Despite these numbers, salary trends show that physicians of color make on average 23% less than their Caucasian counterparts. 

Salary Investment

In addition to securing their financial future, physicians also want to make their salaries stretch further. In recent years it is more common to see a physician who has a side hustle or who has a healthy investment portfolio. Many doctors negotiate for stocks or dividends as part of their pay packages. This is in line with the trend of physicians sinking a good part of their earnings into mutual fund investing which will help grow their retirement savings long after they hang up their white coats. 

Private Practice Physicians Earn More

Working independently from a larger conglomerate will allow for a higher margin of profit. The same holds true for physicians. Doctors and others in the medical field are eschewing decades-old career paths in place of garnering bigger paychecks and more professional freedom. Doctors working in the private field have seen close to a 9% increase in salary earnings over those within the same field but working in a traditional setting. 

The Bottom Line

For those just starting out in medical school or those on the cusp of launching their careers, being aware of current trends is critical. Staying on top of physician salary trends will provide important information needed to help make smart career choices for the road ahead.

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