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Sam212

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I know this internist who's a family friend. He owns his practice in the south and works around 40-50 hours a week. I have been weighing my options regarding loan forgiveness programs, and since they require you to do primary care, I decided to talk to him for economic outlook and whatnot. I was shocked when he told me he makes around $500,000 a year. I thought average salaries of internists was around $160,000 or so. He also has a lab attached to his practice so that might net him more money. But still $500,000? My question is, is it even possible to make that kind of money as a primary care physician or is this guy messing with me?
 

sirus_virus

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I know this internist who's a family friend. He owns his practice in the south and works around 40-50 hours a week. I have been weighing my options regarding loan forgiveness programs, and since they require you to do primary care, I decided to talk to him for economic outlook and whatnot. I was shocked when he told me he makes around $500,000 a year. I thought average salaries of internists was around $160,000 or so. He also has a lab attached to his practice so that might net him more money. But still $500,000? My question is, is it even possible to make that kind of money as a primary care physician or is this guy messing with me?

He is messing with you. No way that is possible. Even plastic surgeons are not pulling that kind of cash these days.
 

mjl1717

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I know this internist who's a family friend. He owns his practice in the south and works around 40-50 hours a week. I have been weighing my options regarding loan forgiveness programs, and since they require you to do primary care, I decided to talk to him for economic outlook and whatnot. I was shocked when he told me he makes around $500,000 a year. I thought average salaries of internists was around $160,000 or so. He also has a lab attached to his practice so that might net him more money. But still $500,000? My question is, is it even possible to make that kind of money as a primary care physician or is this guy messing with me?

Hmm I wont say its impossible. But Id say he's messing with you.
Even seeing 60 patients a day I dont think its possible..

Remember a lot of people want to give impression of being BIG!
I think with a lot of luck a primary care doc can make maybe 200k.. Also economically we lost what ever swagger we had..

Also Ive said this before: You dont go into this field for money.. But if you happen to make some along the way its ok!

:rolleyes:
 
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Dakota

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$500,000 in revenue (i.e. before practice expenses) is possible, but this would translate into more like $200-$250 (post expenses but before tax).
 

WellWornLad

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My question is, is it even possible to make that kind of money as a primary care physician or is this guy messing with me?

It is certainly possible, though he is way out on the bell curve. He might have a high-end/boutique practice, or is taking in outside lab work, or just has a knack for business and is making money off of doctors in his practice who don't want to deal with that side of things. The south also tends to have the highest physician salaries, so that lends a little more credence to the story.

Still, I wouldn't bank on being able to make that much money. Possible or not, it's an anomaly.

And to the poster claiming that plastic surgeons don't make $500,000 anymore - Ha!
 

sirus_virus

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A PCP I know doesn't even own his own practice and pulls $325 in salary. I'm sure $500,000 is possible. You just need to find the right niche.

There is no niche I know of that garauntees a PCP 500K. Yoou will have to do something unusual or stupid to get that kind of money as a PCP. I will need to see proof before I believe a PCP can make 500K.
 

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Of course a PCP can make $500k... especially with his own lab and staff to help him see patients. Nobody is saying guarantee a PCP $500k but with good business knowledge, it is certainly possible.
 

bipolardoc

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Of course a PCP can make $500k... especially with his own lab and staff to help him see patients. Nobody is saying guarantee a PCP $500k but with good business knowledge, it is certainly possible.
But so can a good dentist, plummer, contractior, and MBA make that money. Any field can fall on the high side of things regardless of what field you go into. 500K is the exception, expect ~180K and dont be dillusional about what you will be making post med school or you will be one angry/bitter doctor...
 

braluk

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Is it 500K from his practice alone? Or is he supplementing it with other sources of income (research grants, overseeing physician for local education system).
 

karizma098

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my cousin is an IM and he easily forks in 450ish every year. he owns his own practice and leases offices in his building to other docs and pa's. i believe the salary you make is directly linked to how busy your practice is, whether or not you own your own practice, how business minded you are, etc etc. my aunt is a "hospitalist" and she pulls in maybe around 150k a year, just a tad bit more than my gf, who is a pharmacist....it's all relative.

if you move to texas they are offering some IM positions starting salaries in the 300 ish range in podunk towns. here in chicago half the "dermatologists" doing laser hair removal and other cosmetic procedures are IM docs who got sick of not making money....those guys all easily pull in 400k as well.
 

ygree001

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When everyone says PCPs usually make in the 150-200 range, is that before or after malpractice and other costs of running the business?
 

Bacchus

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Just to ask since I saw this thread and don't want to make another...if you're billing OMM, would it be possible to make a significant amount more than normal? I guess I'm asking, compared to the average visit, how much more will OMM net you on average?

Edit: I realize this is in Allo, but there is no equivalent forum on the Osteo side.
 
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deleted36260

OMG guys, I totally heard there was this lawyer and he was making 900,000 and Oh man! IS THAT POSSIBLE?! I heard it wasn't possible but maybe you guys think its possible, but oh man, that's so much money. Even thought the statistics tell me that I won't be making anywhere near that, I know that I am a special diamond. I am the most amazing person ever and I will totally be making that, so the fact that I heard some guy is making this much is a totally awesome reason for me to make a thread about it.
 

Aladdin

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I know this internist who's a family friend. He owns his practice in the south and works around 40-50 hours a week. I have been weighing my options regarding loan forgiveness programs, and since they require you to do primary care, I decided to talk to him for economic outlook and whatnot. I was shocked when he told me he makes around $500,000 a year. I thought average salaries of internists was around $160,000 or so. He also has a lab attached to his practice so that might net him more money. But still $500,000? My question is, is it even possible to make that kind of money as a primary care physician or is this guy messing with me?

Hmm. Are we talking a Colombian drug lab or what?

Just kidding. I know an internist in my home town (~100,000 people) that does "research" for a small independent research group (Phase III & IV trials). By "research" I mainly mean seeing a few (8-15) patients a day for about 1 hr total - mostly signing consent forms, etc - and he makes ~$400,000/yr, about half of which is from the research. If he did that full time he would make over $1 million/yr easy.

From what he told me, it is more of a supplemental income to help sustain his internal medicine practice. He doesn't want to do the research full time because they don't need him full time and he truly enjoys his IM practice.
 

macgyver22

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I know this internist who's a family friend. He owns his practice in the south and works around 40-50 hours a week. I have been weighing my options regarding loan forgiveness programs, and since they require you to do primary care, I decided to talk to him for economic outlook and whatnot. I was shocked when he told me he makes around $500,000 a year. I thought average salaries of internists was around $160,000 or so. He also has a lab attached to his practice so that might net him more money. But still $500,000? My question is, is it even possible to make that kind of money as a primary care physician or is this guy messing with me?

It is absolutely impossible to NET $500,000/yr doing primary care alone if you are billing correctly. I am an Internist and I grossed $518,000 last year.Typical overhead for a primary care doctor these days is about 70% so you can figure a net income of about $155,000 with a gross in that range. There are only a few ways a primary care doctor can net $500K that I can think of if you don't include investments.

1.Ancillary services: a physician can boost his income by doing additional testing in the office such as stress tests, echocardiograms, and bone density tests, but to net the kind of money you're talking about you would need to order lots and lots of these tests on people who really don't need them.

2.Offering cosmetic procedures: Some physicians are now offering things like laser hair removal and botox injections in their office. If you do this a lot you can make quite a bit of money, but if you practice in a metropolitan area where there are lots of plastic surgeons and dermatologists, you may have a hard time attracting enough patients to make this line of work significantly profitable. You also have to remember that it takes a very different demeanor to provide these types of services than it does to provide primary care and you may not feel comfortable or qualified to do both.

3.Build a large practice with lots of doctors working for you as salaried employees with no partnership tract offered to them: You would probably need a minimum of 10-20 ( but more like 40-50)employee physicians working for you to accomplish this and you would have to be extremely adept at negotiating lower than average salaries to keep overhead low.

4. Run a "Boutique Practice": Boutique medicine means accepting no insurance and providing a "premium" level of access and care for a limited number of patients. There have been PCP's who have come close to making $500K with this kind of practice but you could easily count them on two hands. This type of practice is viable in a very limited number of communities where people are wealthy enough to afford the $1500/yr membership fee. It also requires a very different type of temperament to cater to a segment of the population which can be very demanding at times.

5. Owning other medical facilities: Some physicians own clinical labs, physical therapy centers or radiology facilities, but this is becoming more difficult. There are government laws ( The Stark Laws) that prevent physicians from referring patients to these facilities if they have an ownership stake in them. These restrictions can cut down on the profitability of owning such facilities.

6. Insurance Fraud: This is by far the most unethical and the riskiest way to boost income but despite that some physicians use this technique to increase income. Insurance companies will clearly argue this point, but the line between fraud and legitimate billing practices is a very fuzzy one. For example, there are legitimate arguments between physicians and insurance companies about what level a given office visit should be billed at. A physician who consistently bills a given type of visit at a level three while the insurance company thinks it only merits a level two could be accused of commiting insurance fraud. Also a doctor is usually not allowed to bill for an office visit when a patient comes in just for a vaccination. Unfortunately the insurance companies only pay the doctor for the cost of the vaccine with no margin for profit. As a result most doctors look for any excuse to bill for an office visit. If the patient mentions he had a cough 2 weeks ago the doctor will then put down cough as the diagnosis and bill for an office visit. Insurance companies will call this fraud. Physicians will call this fighting back.

My point is that most physicians bend the rules a bit in order to survive and level the playing field that has been unfairly setup to favor the insurance companies, but some physicians have gone way over the line and will falsify records to justify a level 5 visit when only a level 1 is justified. Others bill for tests that were never done and then bring patients into the conspiracy by offering to write off the deductible or copay if they go along with this. There are lots of sleazy ways to commit insurance fraud if a physician wants to sell his soul to the devil.

Bottom line: It is impossible for a primary care doctor to legitimately make $500K/yr doing primary care. If you have the opportunity and temperament to branch out into other services it might be possible to supplement your income and make much more, but if a PCP says he makes that kind of money just doing primary care, he's not telling you the whole story.
 

Nidal

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Yes it is possible. You can do it several ways: 1) work extra hours 2) moonlight at local ER 3) if you have your own office employ RNPs, 4) have financial interests in diagnostic center (MRI for example) 5) if you are sports fellowed you can splint/cast fractures 6) own a rehab clinic 7) employ junior Drs to generate revenue for you 8) own PRN employement agency (for nurses, rehab staff, etc) ... 8) sell vitamins 9) get certified in accupuncture 10) Botox 11) Own a MEd SPA .... the possibilites are endless. If you are creative, do not break any laws, be aware of such statues as Stark Law (look it up) ... you can make even more than 500K. # thing is BE HAPPY doing what you like - $ will come.

So that I do not come accross as if I was speaking from my ... before I became a Med Student - I was a PT - I owned several rehab centers and employed an MD. Disregard all other posts of people who are discouraging you as they have no clue what they are talking about. I do.
 
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macgyver22

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Yes it is possible. You can do it several ways: 1) work extra hours 2) moonlight at local ER 3) if you have your own office employ RNPs, 4) have financial interests in diagnostic center (MRI for example) 5) if you are sports fellowed you can splint/cast fractures 6) own a rehab clinic 7) employ junior Drs to generate revenue for you 8) own PRN employement agency (for nurses, rehab staff, etc) ... 8) sell vitamins 9) get certified in accupuncture 10) Botox 11) Own a MEd SPA .... the possibilites are endless. If you are creative, do not break any laws, be aware of such statues as Stark Law (look it up) ... you can make even more than 500K. # thing is BE HAPPY doing what you like - $ will come.

So that I do not come accross as if I was speaking from my ... before I became a Med Student - I was a PT - I owned several rehab centers and employed an MD. Disregard all other posts of people who are discouraging you as they have no clue what they are talking about. I do.

You pretty much repeated everything I said. It is impossible to make that kind of money doing primary care. You need to branch out into other business ventures many of which I outlined and which you repeated. The question is, do you really want to do true primary care or do you want to be primarily a businessman. If your main goal is to make as much money as possible by branching out into these other areas you won't have the time or the inclination to do a very good job as a primary care physician. I've been doing this for 20 years so despite Nidal's boasting, some of us actually do know what we're talking about.
 
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