The Sunday Best (4/9/2017)
The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated for your reading pleasure.
Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:
With that admission, I would be remiss if I didn’t also include The White Coat Investor who discussed Real Estate and Alternatives in Our Portfolio (shares of this site is one of those “alternatives”).
Bloggers who practice my specialty might get extra attention. Especially when they cover timely topics, like anesthesiologist Tom of High Income Parents did in Tax Credits for High Income Families / Earners.
I know many of my readers are physicians, and they like to hear from other physicians. This one also worked on Wall Street, hence the name. The Wall Street Physician explains How Wall Street is Like a Game of High-Stakes Poker.
I like how my radiologist friend, The Happy Philosopher, uses post-it note graphing technology to aid us all in Understanding the Relationship Between Utility, Happiness, and Cost.
He’s not a physician, but the Gen Y Finance Guy earns as much or more than most of us. He also retweets all my new posts (yep, I noticed), scoring bonus points! He also plans on making Big Money Moves in 2017 — Putting Over $250,000 to Work.
The Biglaw Investor is another serial retweeter, and happens to be really smart with money. He recently shared How to Know if You’re Saving Enough. My recommendation challenge to physicians is to live on half.
I love springtime and the mercury topped 70° yesterday for the first time in over five months. We marked the occasion in the way we celebrate many fine evenings — with a campfire, marshmallows, good beer, and good people to take it all in with us.
In addition to the grass greening, the trees budding, and the morels and ramp sprouting, this is also the time of year that Medscape releases its annual Physician Compensation Report. Thank you to Future Proof MD for alerting me to its release.
The report is behind a “login wall,” so I’ll give you some of the highlights and insights that I garnered from a perusal of the 43 slide report.
The results come from a survey voluntarily filled out by 19,270 physicians. I participated for the first time this year. I thought I should contribute, given that I’ve used the data in a previous post on the salaries of different specialties.
Although it may not be the most comprehensive data, it is available for free, and it tends to look more realistic than some of the salaries reported in the national media, which are often adjusted downward to account for a “typical” 40-hour workweek (a what now?).
Here are some factoids and insights from the report:
- Specialists average $316,000 in compensation, 46% more than primary care physicians averaging $217,000.
- Reported salaries have risen steadily and consistently, from an average of $206,000 in 2011 to $294,000 in 2017.
- Orthopedics make the most ($489,000) followed by Plastic Surgery, Cardiology, Urology, ENT, Radiology, Gastroenterology, and Dermatology.
- My specialty, Anesthesia, comes in ninth at $364,000, a 1% increase from last year. I earn more due to geographic arbitrage, and according to my Mom, being generally above average in every conceivable way.
- Pediatricics was the only specialty reporting a decreasing (by 1%) salary.
- Salary varies by race, but it seems proportional to the percentage of specialists by race. More specialists = higher average pay. Only 20% of White / Caucasian physicians surveyed are in primary care, versus 30% of Black / African American physicians.
- The highest salaries are in the North Central and Great Lakes regions.
- Broken down by state, Alaska, Utah, and New Hampshire also crack the top Ten.
- Self-employed specialists earn much more than employed specialists: $368,000 compared to $287,000. The primary care gap is only $9,000 in favor of self-employed.
- Men earn quite a bit more than women, and are half as likely to work part-time.
- Emergency Medicine docs feel fairly compensated (68%), tops in the survey. Nephrologists are at the bottom, with 44% responding in the affirmative.
- ACOs are taking over. In 2012, 3% participated in one. Now, it’s 36%.
- About a quarter of physicians say they charge for patient no-shows. Good luck collecting!
- 57% of physicians spend more than 10 hours a week on paperwork and administration. 19% report 20 or more hours.
- Gratitude / Relationships with patients is the most rewarding aspect of surveyed physician jobs (ranked highest by 33%).
- The most challenging part? Having so many rules & regulations (28%)
- Most would choose medicine again. Neurologists were the least likely to say yes, but said so at a rate of 71%. Rheumatologists topped the scales with 83%.
- 96% of dermatologists would choose the same specialty again. Lowest by a wide margin were family medicine (67%) and internal medicine (64%).
It’s interesting to see the results in the last two bullet points, as they are drastically different than the data presented in Mescape’s 2016 survey. I would guess the questions were asked differently, because I don’t think there’s been a sea change in medicine that would explain this newfound happiness. Here are last year’s career satisfaction results.
Readers, are you satisfied with your career? Would you choose the same career path if you were given a do-over?
Have a great week!
-Physician on FIRE