pm&r question for drusso and stinky tofu

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Dec 20, 2001
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im interested in pm&r. what area of the country has the greatest demand for physiatrists? ive heard that the northeast is pretty saturated compared to our other parts of the country. can u comment on the job market and demand in the places like atlanta, florida, phoenix, and california? thanks. in general, what area of the country has the highest starting salaries (east, south, midwest, or west)?


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Nov 21, 1998
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In general I think that the midwest, southwest, and southeast probably have the largest demand right now. Starting salaries vary quite a bit depending upon payor mix, setting, individual productivity, etc. Some general salary info from year 2000 MGMA physician compensation survey is as follows (click here) :

East $143,736
Midwest $189,889
South $178,851
West $158,090

Other salary surveys put the median physiatry salary at about $164,000 with a range of 160K to 233K (click here).

Keep in mind that these data are derived from established physiatrists mostly practicing traditional inpatient medical rehabilitation. Trends in the field toward outpatient musculoskeletal medicine, pain medicine, electrodiagnosis and interventional spinal therapeutics favor higher compensation (but also higher liability, overhead, and educational investment).

Predicting physician salary reimbursement is a task best left to soothsayers and tarot card readers. I try to avoid answering these questions because way too many variables enter into the equation. The safest way to approach reimbursement in PM&R is to assume that physiatrists, on average, will continue to do a little better than the average primary care physician with the potential for much greater earnings based upon individual productivity and increased procedural involvement.