The Top 9 Sites for Doctor Salary Information: Are You Making Enough?

Where to find the best doctor salary information
Doctors: How Much Should You Really Be Making?

American physicians are practicing in a time of rapid changes in the healthcare environment since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act.  Private practice physicians have dwindled down to approximately 32% of the physician workforce and now doctors are being employed at a higher rate than ever.  Many freshly trained physicians don’t want to deal with the ambiguous new “pay for quality” measures.   If a patient experiences complications, does the doctor not get paid?  Many physicians don’t want to deal with purchasing EMR systems for their practices for tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.  In these precarious times, new doctors as well as semi-retired doctors are looking for a stable income without any uncertainty about getting paid or covering their overhead.  They are racked with student loans or they are tired of the burdens, viciscittudes, and complexities of running a medical practice.

So the real question for most physicians now is….what is an appropriate and fair salary?  When you are negotiating your employment contract, it is imperative to have the data from these top sources to leverage your negotiations.  For female physicians–this is even more important–as many of you are still getting paid less for the same amount of work as male physicians, and you need the facts to help you even out the playing field.

To help you understand your potential earnings and value in the marketplace, we have put together a list of the best resources for finding accurate doctor salary data.

1. Medscape Physicians Compensation Report
This annual report uses data gathered from physician survey responses.  The report compares MD salaries across a wide spectrum of medical specialties, locations and practice settings.  For the 2015 report,19,500 physicians in 25 different specialties were surveyed, giving a very accurate representation of doctor salaries.  It is the best resource for finding accurate salary data for physician specialists.

2. American Medical Group Association Compensation (AMGA) Survey
The AMGA performs an annual survey on the compensation for healthcare professionals.  The AMGA 2015 Medical Group Compensation and Productivity Survey presents data for 134 physician specialties and 27 other provider specialties, with breakdowns by region and group size.  Data points represent responses from 251 medical groups, representing more than 73,000 providers.

The physician compensation report includes:

  • National average salary figures for doctor jobs (for both new and experienced practitioners)
  • Non-physician administrative salaries
  • Compensation for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants
  • MD salary figures segmented by medical specialty
  • MD salary figures on a region by region basis
  • Benchmark data on support staff salaries and benefits, staffing profiles, and management costs.

The 2015 report is currently $375 for AMGA members.  However, you will be able to access the superb physician compensation data from the AMGA free (and save yourself the $375) if you fill out a quick registration for CEJKA.  You have the freedom to opt-out at any time.  You will also get a free print copy of the salary data if you participate in the AMGA Salary Survey.

3. Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) — Faculty Salary Survey Reports
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) releases reports on medical school faculty salaries for physicians interested in going into academia or re-negotiating their contract with universities.  The faculty salary survey lists salary details based upon department, degree, region, and ownership.  Obtain the report by going to https://services.aamc.org/fssreports (AAMC account required).   Paper copies of the annual Report on Medical School Faculty Salaries may be purchased by calling the AAMC at (202) 828-0416 or online at http://www.aamc.org/publications.

4. Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Physician Compensation and Production Survey: MGMA survey data have been used for more than 35 years as a benchmark for compensation and production in practices of various sizes and types across the country.   MGMA reports typically include data from more than 60,100 providers in 170 specialties.   The survey is very comprehensive and includes:

  • Academic Compensation and Production
  • Management and Staff Compensation
  • Medical Directorship Compensation
  • On-Call Compensation
  • Physician Placement Starting Salary

If you submit your own salary information, you will get free access to data, otherwise the MGMA 2015 Physician Compensation Production Report is $385 for members.  For starting physician salary summary data from the MGMA 2014 report you can visit this link from the AAMC.  You can also access MGMA data for free if you are a registered member of the AAMC Careers in Medicine program.

5. Merritt Hawkins — Physician Compensation, Salary, and Physician Practice Surveys
Merritt Hawkins conducts a range of online surveys aimed at learning more about physician salaries and compensation.  The survey results are segmented into various specialties, locations, and practice arrangements.  The 2015 Review is based on the 3,120 permanent physician and advanced practitioner search assignments that Merritt Hawkins and AMN Healthcare’s other physician staffing companies (Kendal & Davis and Staff Care) had ongoing or were engaged to conduct during the 12-month period from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015.

6. US Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey:   The OES survey is a federal-state cooperative program between the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) that releases employment and wage statistics for over 800 occupations annually.  Salary estimates are calculated from data collected in a national survey of employers.   For each report, the OES program surveys approximately 200,000 establishments per panel (every six months), taking three years to fully collect a sample of 1.2 million establishments. The OES program produces physician salary estimates for the nation as a whole, by state, by metropolitan, and by non-metropolitan area.  Unfortunately, some medical specialties are combined into one category making data less specialty specific.  Additionally, because of the way data is gathered, the salaries of self-employed physicians are not included.  A great feature of this survey is that you can search for the regions of the country with the highest concentration of jobs in your medical specialty or with the highest salaries for your field.

OES data is collected for the following physician categories

7. Salary.com
Salary.com is the leading website for general wages data.  Salary.com’s compensation consultants have collected and reviewed data covering more than 29 million individuals working at more than 16,000 companies. The website uses data reported by employers, so it will not include salary data for self-employed physicians.  There are a significant number of advertisements on the site, and sometimes the site may not recognize your specialty in its search box, so the easiest way to find physician data is to select “browse salaries” on the general search box, select the “Healthcare-Practitioners” category, and then find your specialty.

8. Doximity.com:  A networking site for doctors very similar to Linkedin has recently published their own doctor salary survey from anonymous data posted by 18,000 verified physicians from all over the country from all specialties.  Breakdowns of salaries by geographic area is included.  Accessing the data may take some time as you have to register and become a verified physician in their network first.

9. Payscale.com 
Payscale.com has a very useful salary calculator on the career research section of the website and breaks down physician salaries by numerous medical specialties.  You will receive a detailed report which you can use to compare where your current salary and benefits fall in relation to other respondents in the same specialty.  The website uses a small sample size for some medical specialties (fewer than 100 respondents for some specialties), so it may be more or less reliable depending on your specialty.  The Payscale.com database contains 40 million total salary profiles, with approximately 150,000 new salary profiles added each month.

By understanding your real value in the marketplace, you can negotiate an appropriate doctor salary.  Having data and sources to back up your negotiations will give you a huge advantage–particularly if you have multiple reputable sources that indicate that the mean MD salary for your job is much higher than what you are being paid or offered.  Life is too short and your sacrifices have been too great to not be paid what you are really worth.

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One thought on “The Top 9 Sites for Doctor Salary Information: Are You Making Enough?

  1. The surgeons pay 50K plus for malpractice, even family docs pay 10-20K. You don’t start earning a living until you’re around 30. So you’ve given away your youth for college, med school, and residency. Once you’re in practice in your early 30s, the money is good, but you’ve missed, and continue to miss, many of the best parts of life due to work. It’s often a tough life..unless you’re a Dermatologist or Radiologist.

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