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Physician Salaries Appear to Be Flat or Declining

Last Updated: October 11, 2017.

Anecdotally, physician career coaches report that physician salaries are flat at best, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Anecdotally, physician career coaches report that physician salaries are flat at best, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

Two physician career coaches, Robert F. Priddy and Michelle Mudge Riley, D.O., report that they have been getting feedback from physicians about their reimbursements.

They have observed a downward trend for physicians' incomes, especially for specialties that have traditionally been well-paying, such as radiology. Primary care physicians, such as pediatricians and obstetricians, have not seen salary increases. Some physicians, even specialists, have been seeking nonclinical revenue sources to supplement their income. Changing compensation structures, Mudge Riley says, have hurt, not helped, the bottom line for most doctors. Priddy says physicians' salaries do not advance with seniority but rather based on production.

"I tracked internal medicine physician income between 1990 and 2010 and found an average annual income increase of 1 percent," Priddy said in the article. "Overall, physician incomes are flat, and even at our low 2 to 3 percent rate of inflation, physician income buying power is declining."

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