EM salary

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by Firebird, Aug 1, 2001.

  1. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member
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    Ok...I've been doing some math and I can't figure out where $100,000 has went...

    It's been my understanding that EM docs make about $200,000 a year. However, it's also been mentioned here that they make $120 an hour.

    Here's my math...12 hour shifts, 4 times a week, 52 times a year, at $120 an hour comes out to about 300,000 bucks.

    So we're missing 100 grand. Where does my math not work out? Do EM physicians not work 4 shifts of 12 hours? Do they get a lot of vacation? What's the deal?
     
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  2. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    I don't know all of the in's and out's of what all the hours are in EMed, but I'll give it a shot. First, you need to take into account vacation time. Typically that's 4 weeks of vacation. But most of the ER docs that I know take really long vacations (much longer than 4 weeks) and go on lots of trips. One I know was the expedition physician for a team climbing Mt. Everest, for example. (although he did get paid for that...)

    Next, as far as the number of shifts you mentioned, usually 3 shifts per week is considered full time. Also, depending on the ER, many ER docs do 8-hour shifts, where they would usually do 5 shifts per week.

    Next, many ER physicians, especially those coming out of residency don't actually work full-time. Lots of them do part-time, so they're really not putting in many hours. By doing it this way, often an Emergency Dept and ER doc can "try out" each other, get oriented, and kind of work on integrating the new docs into the system. Other ER docs may "freelance" in a way -- and they usually work about the same amount as if they were part time and working directly for the hospital (although you don't really get benefits this way).

    Also, remember that the numbers that you have heard are just averages -- there's huge variability depending on lots of factors. I don't have the energy to do the math right now, but some of these factors may help explain why there's such a discrepency in what you calculated.

    Also -- if anyone else knows any better info about EMed, please feel free to correct me. Most of the information above I got from a lecture that one of the EMed attendings gave to the ER residents here about getting a job in EMed after residency.
     
  3. William Bohannon

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    As far as ER salaries go, it depends on how much you want to work. I spoke with one ER doc about his salary. He truly did work 7 days a week. Some of the work days were night shifts at small hospitals and he could sleep if there were no patients. He pulled in around 30K per month after taxes. So his net income was right at 360K/year. I personally have no desire to work that hard.

    Will
     
  4. 8deuce

    8deuce Senior Member
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    EM docs usually work 3 shifts of 12 hrs. per week. that is the norm for full time docs at a hospital. i think that is the discrepancy in your numbers. hope this helped. although, em docs can make more by moon lighting.

    Take care all! :cool:
     
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  5. amayer24

    amayer24 Member
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    What is moon lighting?
     
  6. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    A moonlighting physician is one who works shifts at a different hospital/clinic/ER
    than the one that they have a job at, in order to pick up extra cash. Residents and fellows in many fields do this to supplement their measly income (see the Moonlighting thread on this board). EMed physicians also do this alot -- especially the ones who get part-time positions and want extra salary, but also want to maintain a lot of flexibility in their work-hours and vacation time. The really motivated full-time EMed doc may sometimes do that, too, at the risk of burn out ....
     
  7. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member
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    Emergency medicine sounds like the way to go...I mean, 36 hours a week, 4+ weeks vacation, very solid compensation, and plenty of flexibility. Big burn out though, I've heard. And no building relationships with patients.

    Thanks for the info, guys! If anyone has anything more to add, please do so...
     
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  8. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    Hey Firebird, if I remember correctly, one of your requirements for a specialty is that you have to be able to always get Sunday mornings off. You actually only experience the kind of flexibility in EMed that was mentioned above after residency training. Residency for EMed is usually very long hours, and they rotate through some very demanding services. Some of these include General Surgery, Trauma Surgery, ICU, Internal Medicine, and the list goes on. Most of those services I don't think would be too understanding about your commitment. Most ER residents, when they are actually on a rotation in the ER, work 6 12-hour shifts per week -- so even that might be difficult for you to get off every Sunday -- but the people who do the shift scheduling might work with you on that at least for those rotations.

    Anyway, you might want to ask around about the training. But if you can get past the 4 year residency, the lifestyle and flexibility sounds like it would fit your requirements for a career perfectly.
     
  9. Mr. happy clown guy

    Mr. happy clown guy Senior Member
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    You guys have to remember, that EM has no overhead. Compare that with every other specialty that invest 25-40% of their income to overhead.
     
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  10. mcwmark

    mcwmark Senior Member
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    From my research into EM salaries, I've found out:

    Academic EM pays less (about 25%) for equivalent hours worked.

    Community programs, in more rural (and less busy) locations often pay more than those in more urban locations.

    Midwest, South pays more than the West.

    Avg. Midwest Acad: $160-180k
    Avg. Western Acad: $140-165k
    Avg. Midwest Comm: $190-240k
    Avg. Western Comm: $160-200k

    Does anyone know how the physician management companies pay (those that claim 2 years to partnership?). I know partners in radiology can easily double their salary, but is that the same for EM?

    The highest EM salary I've seen is a Sole Partner in EM that has about 40 EM physicians, making about $1.3M per year in Texas.
     
  11. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member
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    You just had to rain on my parade...just kidding.

    Anyway, that stinks. I knew the residency would be more difficult to work through than the practice, but I wasn't aware that you rotated through things like medicine and ICU. I checked on University of Kentucky's program and it appears that PGY-1 would be the killer, as is no doubt the case most of the time.

    Oh well...it's a shame that a measily three years are going to keep me from doing what I want to do for the rest of my life.
     
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  12. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    Now I feel like the bearer of bad news! Sorry about that Firebird! :( Don't discount EMed yet until you find out about more programs -- there might be easier programs out there. I was listing some of the rotations that the EMed residents where I am have to go through. Good luck! :)
     
  13. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member
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    Well, don't feel bad about bearing the unfortunate news. Someone had to do it, haha.

    Anyway, Loma Linda University has an EM program and the rotations are similar--but not exact--to the ones you mentioned. LLU allows its med students to miss any clerkship days for religious services, so long as the time is made up before or after the service. Perhaps their residency program would have similar regulations.

    As I've said before--and I don't want to turn get this thread too off-topic--I will do anything within my power to compensate for the few hours I would miss on Sunday morning...whether it would be to sacrifice all my vacation or much of my salary...I would do it. I've always got the option of switching off with fellow residents, as well.

    Oh well...let's just watch and wait.
     
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  14. Mr. happy clown guy

    Mr. happy clown guy Senior Member
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    The EM doc that I just worked with makes 300k...I know this because he told me (midwest).
    Another that I knew is out of school for 10 years, went to a DO program, and works at a LARGE hospital in Las Vegas makes 330K.

    IT ALL DEPEND ON HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO WORK.

    Both work 50-60 hours a week.
     
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  15. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    The $120/hour figure quoted may also be for "moonlighting" which generally pays more than usual salary.
     

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