2010 MGMA Physician Compensation Survey

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

sd55

New Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2011
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
The Medical Group Management Association publishes a comprehensive, yearly survey on physician compensation. I've attached a PDF with information on the average compensation of over 100 medical specialties and sub specialties in 10 different geographical regions.



As they say, you definitely should not go into medicine for the money. However, its important to be well informed.




The entire MGMA publication is over 300 pages (and too big to attach). Just PM me and I'll e-mail it to you.

Members don't see this ad.
 

Attachments

  • 2010 MGMA Physician Compensation Survey Summary.pdf
    468.9 KB · Views: 18,686
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
do physicians really make that much?
the mean and median salaries appear to be between 50 and 150% higher than those found in my medical specialty guide books.
 
do physicians really make that much?
the mean and median salaries appear to be between 50 and 150% higher than those found in my medical specialty guide books.
I thought so too.

Maybe it's a mistake. If we can get everyone to stay quiet about it, maybe they won't catch it :D
 
Members don't see this ad :)
How do they acquire data? For example, my specialty has about 250 physicians polled on the first set of tables, but has > 5000 practicing surgeons in the US per our main organization.
 
I've attached pages concerning the MGMA data collection methods. They compiled information from over 50,000 physicians and 2,300 group practices. The overall response rate was 18%.

The numbers may seem high to us, but this is one of the most comprehensive surveys you will find on physician compensation. It is a significant benchmarking tool for medical practice executives in evaluating compensation and productivity ranges for full-time physicians.

Other surveys may have lower numbers because they only include base or starting salaries. (Physicians, like most other professionals, don't always like to disclose info on their incentives and bonuses.) Some surveys only include info on academic physicians.

Keep in mind that the standard deviation for compensation in many specialties is well over $100,000. How much physicians make greatly depend on geography, group size, and how much you decide to work. That being said, choose a specialty that you truly enjoy!
 

Attachments

  • 2010 MGMA Survey Overview and Data Collection Methods.pdf
    157.3 KB · Views: 1,260
I've attached pages concerning the MGMA data collection methods. They compiled information from over 50,000 physicians and 2,300 group practices. The overall response rate was 18%.

The numbers may seem high to us, but this is one of the most comprehensive surveys you will find on physician compensation. It is a significant benchmarking tool for medical practice executives in evaluating compensation and productivity ranges for full-time physicians.

Other surveys may have lower numbers because they only include base or starting salaries. (Physicians, like most other professionals, don't always like to disclose info on their incentives and bonuses.) Some surveys only include info on academic physicians.

Keep in mind that the standard deviation for compensation in many specialties is well over $100,000. How much physicians make greatly depend on geography, group size, and how much you decide to work. That being said, choose a specialty that you truly enjoy!

I didnt look at the link but are these just private practice averages or does it include those in teaching hospitals.
 
Thank you, OP -- great stuff. Maybe I'm missing something since I haven't read much into it, but why do the numbers differ somewhat from the compensation info available over at the AAMC's Careers in Medicine site which uses that same report as its source?
 
do physicians really make that much?
the mean and median salaries appear to be between 50 and 150% higher than those found in my medical specialty guide books.

The MGMA numbers are total compensation I think. They include all benefits, health insurance, retirement, profit-sharing, etc.

So they should be at least 50% higher than salary.
 
I posted this in another thread as well, but here is the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2011. Numbers seem a tad more realistic.

Medscape used a $100 gift card sweepstakes as incentive for filling out their salary survey.

Seems like that would bias the sample for more poor docs lol

And it's their first year doing it. Some of the lower percentile salaries they have are so low and working so few hours that it appears they are including part-time physicians as well.
 
The MGMA numbers are total compensation I think. They include all benefits, health insurance, retirement, profit-sharing, etc.

So they should be at least 50% higher than salary.

Numbers definitely seem high to me.
 
Members don't see this ad :)
If I recall the methodology of the MGMA survey from the past, respondents are heavily skewed towards very large group practices (generally more profitable, negotiate higher rates from insurance) and away from academics and solo/small group practices. This likely explains some of the seen disparity in compensation between surveys, but I cannot find specific methodology for this year's survey, so this is mostly speculation.
 
If I recall the methodology of the MGMA survey from the past, respondents are heavily skewed towards very large group practices (generally more profitable, negotiate higher rates from insurance) and away from academics and solo/small group practices. This likely explains some of the seen disparity in compensation between surveys, but I cannot find specific methodology for this year's survey, so this is mostly speculation.

The survey does not include academics, non physician organizations nor freestanding ambulatory surgeon centers.

Academics get their own huge report though.

ftp://ftp.mgma.com/survop/glacierpublishing/Completed Projects/AU 2010/AU_2010 internal.pdf

And are you guys looking at the Median or average salaries?
 
Last edited:
Yeah, the numbers seem like they include benefits. General Peds making 211K on average?...I don't think so.
 
Yeah, the numbers seem like they include benefits. General Peds making 211K on average?...I don't think so.

The bonuses need to be profit sharing or cash since they are specific on what they include. From the report: "However, it does not include the dollar value of expense reimbursements, fringe benefits paid by the medical practice such as retirement plan contributions, life and health insurance, automobile allowances, or any employer contributions to a 401(k), 403(b), or Keogh Plan."

What is weird with the General Peds median being 190k?
 
What a great resource! This is THE comprehensive study published on physician compensation-- and quite expensive/difficult to acquire. Thank you for sharing!!:)
 
Those salaries look pretty good! There's a podiatrist office next door to my apartment, and there are always BMW 5'ers and other nice cars parked in the back with "DPM" stickers on them. Had no idea podiatrists actually made that kind of money.
 
The ftp links are no longer good, could someone send me the file?
 
Just because someone has a nice car, doesn't always mean they make tons of money. It just means they used what money they have (and maybe more) to get that car. God only knows how many docs I've seen in tremendous debt because their lifestyle got bigger than their income.
 
sd55,
is the mgma compensation .pdf file you uploaded for private, academic or both? i assume the numbers represent private practice compensation. do you happen to also have the academic practice numbers? if so, i would love to look at that data too. finally, do these numbers include bonus, retirement matching, and other cash equivilent compensation?

thanks,

seanz
 
The Numbers seem ok to me. Ortho spine cashing in around 1,202,000 ...damn thats nice
 
damn.. maybe docs do get paid too much?
 
You can't artificially definite "too much." Doctors get paid what they do because people "value" the services and investment in their own education.

You don't even have to go into "investments" or "education". There is no such thing as "too much" because there is no monopoly here or forced payment. We get paid what the market generally will bear. And a man should get paid whatever he can get paid. Is that a tautology? A little but a truth none the less. If through no force or fraud a man can provide a service that people will pay him for he's not getting paid "too much" he's getting paid "just right".
 
You don't even have to go into "investments" or "education". There is no such thing as "too much" because there is no monopoly here or forced payment. We get paid what the market generally will bear. And a man should get paid whatever he can get paid. Is that a tautology? A little but a truth none the less. If through no force or fraud a man can provide a service that people will pay him for he's not getting paid "too much" he's getting paid "just right".

Though I generally agree with this, I still think certain celebrities and professional athletes get paid too much.
 
Though I generally agree with this, I still think certain celebrities and professional athletes get paid too much.

My argument applies to them as well and their compensation is not their fault as much as a society that values what they do provide. If we're stupid enough to pay a large man with a hormone imbalance lots of money to carry a ball over a line or put a round one in a hole, that's not his fault, and he should laugh all the way to the bank.
 
Let's be clear here. Medicine isn't a free market. The government is setting our rates and residencies restrict the number of spots where one can train (i.e. Derm).
 
My argument applies to them as well and their compensation is not their fault as much as a society that values what they do provide. If we're stupid enough to pay a large man with a hormone imbalance lots of money to carry a ball over a line or put a round one in a hole, that's not his fault, and he should laugh all the way to the bank.

If these hormone imbalanced bro's happen to play FB or BB, then I sincerely hope people continue to pay them (or pay them under the table...college FB) cuz I LOVE Football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
That makes no sense. It's either free or not. People are not paying for your service based on the value they assign that service. They are paying a co-pay which is a fraction of the "value" of that service and the government/insurance company is paying the rest. Some days the government/insurance company thinks your service is worth more and some days less based on their own cost-cutting/arbitrary parameters and not by any value of they believe the service has. Otherwise FP/IM docs should be getting paid more than what they are. You can't have it both ways. Is it a somewhat free market, or is the game rigged against generalists in favor of super specialists? If the latter, it is definitely not anywhere close to a free market.
 
That makes no sense. It's either free or not. People are not paying for your service based on the value they assign that service. They are paying a co-pay which is a fraction of the "value" of that service and the government/insurance company is paying the rest. Some days the government/insurance company thinks your service is worth more and some days less based on their own cost-cutting/arbitrary parameters and not by any value of they believe the service has. Otherwise FP/IM docs should be getting paid more than what they are. You can't have it both ways. Is it a somewhat free market, or is the game rigged against generalists in favor of super specialists? If the latter, it is definitely not anywhere close to a free market.

Who are you even arguing with? Yourself?

Whether the market is truly free or not here is completely irrelevant to any point that has been made in the entire thread. Are you even paying attention?
 
You can't artificially definite "too much." Doctors get paid what they do because people "value" the services and investment in their own education.

You don't even have to go into "investments" or "education". There is no such thing as "too much" because there is no monopoly here or forced payment. We get paid what the market generally will bear. And a man should get paid whatever he can get paid. Is that a tautology? A little but a truth none the less. If through no force or fraud a man can provide a service that people will pay him for he's not getting paid "too much" he's getting paid "just right".

Who are you even arguing with? Yourself?

Whether the market is truly free or not here is completely irrelevant to any point that has been made in the entire thread. Are you even paying attention?

I was referring to statements said above. Doctors really do have a monopoly over healthcare. No one can really make healthcare decisions other than doctors, combine that with artificial restriction of supply of those doctors, and you have a monopoly. I'm not saying I would want it any other way (i.e. don't want NPs on their own, etc.), but to argue medicine operates in some sort of free market and we get paid as much as the market will bear is ludicrous. The government decides how much we get paid depending on their mood that day.

Finally, how would you even know if you're getting paid just right based on the value of your service? You wouldn't know that unless you were setting your reimbursements and patients were willing to pay those reimbursement rates since they (and not the government) utilize your service (there are examples of this such as cash-based practices). Maybe you're getting paid too much or maybe you are getting paid too little. No one really knows.
 
I was referring to statements said above. Doctors really do have a monopoly over healthcare. No one can really make healthcare decisions other than doctors, combine that with artificial restriction of supply of those doctors, and you have a monopoly. I'm not saying I would want it any other way (i.e. don't want NPs on their own, etc.), but to argue medicine operates in some sort of free market and we get paid as much as the market will bear is ludicrous. The government decides how much we get paid depending on their mood that day.

Finally, how would you even know if you're getting paid just right based on the value of your service? You wouldn't know that unless you were setting your reimbursements and patients were willing to pay those reimbursement rates since they (and not the government) utilize your service (there are examples of this such as cash-based practices). Maybe you're getting paid too much or maybe you are getting paid too little. No one really knows.

Where did anyone mention a "free market" anywhere in the discussion?

We DO get paid what the market will bear. If the market couldn't afford to pay us what it does, then we wouldn't get paid what we do - I'll refer you back to my comment about professional athletes. It's a little more complicated than growing beets and selling them on the side of the road, but it's still free enough. I don't care if I'm getting paid "right". I don't make that value judgement. I get paid whatever I can squeeze out of the system in a non forced or fraudulent manner on my end.
 
One could argue the market in your definition (the government/insurance company but government mostly) can't afford to pay doctors in the long term, but that doesn't mean a doctor's service doesn't have value nor does it mean no one is willing to pay for that service. In the apocalyptic scenario that Medicare goes bankrupt, we would realize what the true market (the patients) could bear. I find using this whole "how much the market could bear" argument in the current healthcare setup misleading since the "market" really isn't a market. Doctors interface with a bunch of third party payers acting on behalf of the market, who themselves don't know the real price of the service. With that said, I don't think one could really say if doctors are overpaid or not which some above poster was insinuating.
 
One could argue the market in your definition (the government/insurance company but government mostly) can't afford to pay doctors in the long term, but that doesn't mean a doctor's service doesn't have value nor does it mean no one is willing to pay for that service. In the apocalyptic scenario that Medicare goes bankrupt, we would realize what the true market (the patients) could bear. I find using this whole "how much the market could bear" argument in the current healthcare setup misleading since the "market" really isn't a market. Doctors interface with a bunch of third party payers acting on behalf of the market, who themselves don't know the real price of the service. With that said, I don't think one could really say if doctors are overpaid or not which some above poster was insinuating.

I take your point. Though I disagree with any notion of "over" or "under" paid. As long as a man makes his money through no force or fraud on his part, he's making just enough.

In a post apocalyptic scenario, paying me a chicken would be good money, and perhaps all the market could bear. I'd take it too. I love chicken. Mmmm. Tasty.
 
Does anyone have access to the full MGMA report ?
 
In a post apocalyptic scenario, paying me a chicken would be good money, and perhaps all the market could bear. I'd take it too. I love chicken. Mmmm. Tasty.

That was my general logic for going into medicine... If the world ended, I'd still get paid in chicken. lol
 
If someone who has the full report could pm me that would be awesome.
 
In many cases, the market doesn't bear physician salaries, the government does. And doctors certainly do benefit from force. Try to set up a pharmacy that sells medications directly to patients, without a physician's prescription, and see what happens.

There is no free market. I thought this was established? Within the construct/confines of the available market, doc's get paid what they get paid. If the the market as it is couldn't bear to pay us what it does, it wouldn't. The fact that government goons make me give someone a script for an rx isn't something I have control over - both physicians and patient's are subject to the force. I don't personally, myself, initiate any force for fraud - I play within the rules and shackles I'm given. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
 
I would be forever indebted if anyone had the WRVU numbers from the 2010 report. This is the one with the 2009 data. Please PM me and I'll owe you big time.
 
Top