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Question about Academic Doc's Salaries?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by TulaneKid24, Aug 4, 2002.

  1. TulaneKid24

    TulaneKid24 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2002
    Hi everyone,

    I have a question about salaries?? I know that the salaries of academic physicians are less, but I was talking to a 4th year yesterday and he said that academic salaries are 1/2 less than private practice!! Is that indeed True? I did a search on the internet and I cannot find any salary information for academic physicians. Could someone (especially the residents and 4th year Med students) please give me some average salary stats of academic docs?? Internal Med (and subspecialities) and pediatrics are what I am really interested in. Info on all other fields would be great too. Would be good data to know for comparison.

    I am strongly considering academic medicine as I like teaching and being in the stimulating environment that teaching allows. However, if academic docs make half as much, then I will have a difficult time paying off private school loans.

    Do general internal medicine faculty really make $60 - $70 per year??? :confused:

    Thanks for your help.
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  3. ckent

    ckent Banned Banned

    Jul 31, 2000
    What you heard was true, academic faculty can actually make less then half of what people in private practice make. A GI doc told us that she started at 80,000 at my school, but she could have gone out into private practice and started at 350,000. I don't know what general internist make in universities, but I would imagine it would be anywhere from 70,000-80,000 if there is a large teaching or research responsibility with their job. Generally, assistant profs start at 80,000. In general, teaching and doing research are both highly unprofitable activities for physicians to be doing.

    If you love what you are doing, pay will be less of an issue. Granted, there will always be student loans to pay off, but remember that even at 80,000 you will be in the top 10% income bracket in this country. And of course, if you are deadset on academics, I would recommend that you pursue an MD/PhD program so that student debt becomes a non-issue.
  4. atsai3

    atsai3 10+ Year Member

    May 15, 2002
    A few years ago, one of my professors told me that MD/PhD faculty at Harvard Med starting at the Assistant Professor level make $54,000 a year. (I wasn't asking about any specific specialty or discipline, but I presume he was referring to basic science faculty.) I would guess that the number he gave me (54k) is probably an underestimate today with inflation and just because he probably picked a low example just to floor me. It is probably a bit low because it's at Harvard. (Pitt faculty, for example, probably make more. It's the premium you pay for the privilege of being able to teach at a Harvard or Yale.) So 70-80k like the previous poster noted sounds like a reasonable guestimate.

    The point is to say that without a doubt, private practice physicians generate much, much, much more bank than academic physicians. For aspiring academics, NIH or AHRQ training funding is a God-send and permits you to make at least some of your career decisions without the burden of student debt.

  5. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    Junior Surgical faculty (ie, assistant prof) here start at around $140,000. Clinical lecturers make around $100K I'm told.
  6. doepug

    doepug Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    I think these figures are pretty accurate. As someone who's been thinking about academics, I've done a bit of homework. Anyhow, most academicians in these parts get extra $$ by being consultants, starting up biotech firms, etc.

    At my institution, each faculty member gets a "base salary" which depends on department and rank (asst. vs assoc. vs full prof). Word on the street is that base salaries start at just over $100-110K and increase to $150+ for junior faculty based on department. In addition, faculty members get bonuses based on clinical revenues, teaching responsibilities, and so forth. The base salary goes up *considerably* with promotion.

    Bottom line: junior faculty could easily make more $$ in private practice. Senior faculty/department heads can become quite wealthy in a hurry.

  7. surg

    surg 10+ Year Member

    Dec 16, 2001
    you can get good data from the medical group management association. Here is the link for the press release for their latest compensation report

    I'm sure your medical library may have a copy of an old version.
  8. Tonsils

    Tonsils Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2002
    Sure the academic physician makes less, but senior academic physicians with administrative duties (e.g., department chairs, chiefs, full professor, or endowed professors) easily make more than private docs. Plus the hospital pays for the malpractice insurance fees, which is a big chunk of money that private docs must pay. Bottom line is that you will make enough money to be happy. If everything else fails, then marry a neurosurgeon.
  9. Tonsils

    Tonsils Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2002
    Check this link for salaries of academic physician. Not too bad huh? And as you get higher in the academic ranking, the more profitable you will be.
  10. xraydoc

    xraydoc 7+ Year Member

    May 22, 2002
    Michigan State U
    I think that the 60-80 range cited here is pretty innacurate. I have not seen it in my experience. These universities would just not be able to keep top people. I can speak to radiology. It varies widely from institution to institution. I probably make about 75-85% of what I would in private practice depending on where I would practice. But academics has certain advantages. The MGMA is a pretty good place to start.

    here is a good link:
  11. kristing

    kristing Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Here's something to chew on, though:

    I have not met any academic docs that have not done quite a bit of private practice or do academics AND private practice concurrently. Maybe my experiences differ (at the Univ. of AZ and at AZCOM) from others, but you can always do private practice first, pay off/down those loans, then go into academia.

    I plan on teaching AND doing private practice.

  12. mcwmark

    mcwmark Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2001
    If you want real, hard data, the AAMC puts out a Academic Faculty Salary Survey every year--there's probably a copy in your library.

    They break salaries down by department, region, 25-75 percentile, median, mean, min/max, and by standing (assoc prof all the way to chairman).

    The book is probably the most realistic data out there on salaries for academic physicians.
  13. xraydoc

    xraydoc 7+ Year Member

    May 22, 2002
    Michigan State U
    That is a good resource too. Our salaries here are actually tied to the MGMA and AAMC percentiles.
  14. droliver

    droliver Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    May 1, 2001
    is the AAMC survey data available online?
  15. mcwmark

    mcwmark Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2001
    The AAMC survey isn't available online, but if you have a specific request, I'll post it here for you...Here's a sample that might interest you...

    Medical School Faculty for Midwestern Region
    General Surgery

    Assistant Professor
    N = 123
    25th = 165,000
    Median = 197,000
    Mean = 213,400
    75% = 265,000

    Associate Professor

    N = 84
    25th = 199,000
    Median = 241,000
    Mean = 248,300
    75% = 309,000


    N = 104
    25th = 223,000
    Median = 293,000
    Mean = 289,300
    75% = 329,000

    N = 18
    25% = 356,000
    Median = 457,000
    Mean = 467,300
    75% = 549,000

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