Survey says: Academic practices follow the norm

PCPs post bigger gains than specialists

For the second year running, primary care physicians in academic practices posted a greater increase in compensation than their specialist peers.

Small increases for primary care docs

According to the latest survey of academic practices by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) in Englewood, CO, median salaries for primary care physicians increased 3.7% to $114,771. The one-year increase for specialists was only 0.7% to $151,000.

Among primary care doctors, pediatricians saw the biggest pay hike - up 3.2% to $105,846. For specialists, the largest increases were for invasive cardiology, which increased 13.1% to $181,692, and rheumatology, which increased 13.4% to $121,296. The biggest losers among the specialties were anatomic pathology, which had a 6.2% decrease in median compensation to $129,296, and ophthalmology, which dropped 4.3% to $165,676.

Physicians in academic practice still lag behind their counterparts in private practice, though. (See chart, at left.) In private practice, a family practice physician has a median salary of $132,434, compared to $120,000 in academic practice. Internists fare worse in academic practice, earning just $112,972, compared to $140,000 for the private sector.

Even bigger discrepancies are found among specialists. An invasive cardiologist in the private sector has a median salary of $353,769, nearly double the $181,692 an academic practice physician would earn in the same specialty.

The full report is available from the MGMA for $200 for members, $250 for affiliates, and $300 for others. For more information, contact the MGMA at (888) 608-5602.