Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Anesthesiology Compensation 2014. Same Old Same Old

Here we go again, the latest physician compensation report from Medscape. I was once again one of over 24,000 doctors who filled out the survey that Medscape emailed out. Unfortunately, just like last year, I didn't win the iPad Mini for taking ten minutes to answer all the questions. Curse you Medscape.

Let's get right to the point here. Anesthesiologists reported a ZERO change in compensation last year. Nada. A big fat goose egg. On average anesthesiologists made $338,000, the same as the year before. That put the field in sixth place behind Orthopedics, Cardiology, Urology, Gastroenterology, and Radiology. Following close behind are Plastic Surgery, Dermatology, General Surgery, and Ophthalmology. Once again the ROAD specialties are well represented in the top echelons of physician incomes. At the bottom of the list are the usual primary care fields: Infectious Disease, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Endocrinology, and Internal Medicine.

Male anesthesiologists made much more than female colleagues, $350,000 to $295,000. And that has nothing to do with female wage discrimination. From personal experience, male doctors work their butts off while the women tend to work shorter days or part time. So don't go spouting liberal Democrat propaganda on me.

The sections of the country with the highest salaries were in the North Central and South Central states. The least generous compensation was in the Pacific Northwest, followed by the West and the Northeast. Coincidentally or not, the highest paying regions also happen to be where the economies are the strongest due to increased oil drilling activity. Hmm. You think there's a link there somewhere? Maybe doctors should advocate more oil fracking as a matter of self preservation.

Overall, fifty percent of anesthesiologists were satisfied with their jobs, with 54% content with their income and 48% who said they would choose the same specialty if they had to start over again. That compares to an appalling 27% of IM and 32% of FM who would choose their line of work again.

Anesthesiologists also happen to spend the most amount of time seeing patients. Nearly eighty percent said they saw patients at least forty hours per week. That is actually a good thing since we get paid based partly on the amount of time we are treating patients. By comparison, only 27% of dermatologists saw patients for more than forty hours. And they were number eight in total compensation of $308,000. Again, that's part of the allure of ROAD.

This report is the last one that can be compared directly with previous years. From here on out the shadow of Obamacare will loom large in the compensation of physicians. To what extent won't be known until the next few years' worth of survey results are in. Until then, anesthesiologists better enjoy the good thing they have going right now.

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