How much do American doctors really make a year?
Although the income is high, nearly 40% of doctors work part-time.
Part-time work as a doctor has become a global trend!
On April 14, 2023, Medscape finally released the "Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2023", which attracted the attention of the doctor community, reporting the salary of doctors in the United States in 2022.
The report is particularly detailed and comprehensive, summarizing the working hours, job satisfaction and part-time work of more than 10,000 doctors in 29 departments or specialties, showing the average annual income of American doctors, income by specialty, the income gap between male and female doctors, professional happiness, burnout and other information.
The report shows that, overall, the compensation level of doctors in the United States is very high and is still on the rise. The 2018 report showed that the average annual income of doctors was US$299,000 (equivalent to 2.05 million yuan), while the average annual income of doctors in 2022 was US$352,000 (equivalent to 2.41 million yuan). In five years, the average annual income of doctors increased by $53,000, or 17.7%.
Why is the annual revenue increase so large? The report and related researchers pointed out that under the influence of the new crown epidemic, there has been a wave of doctors leaving in the United States, and many doctors have changed careers to become nurses, and in 2021 alone, more than 230,000 medical workers in the United States resigned, of which 117,000 were practicing doctors. The large loss of medical staff has increased the pressure on the operation of hospitals, and the shortage of doctors has caused "scarcity is expensive", and it is expected that the income of American doctors will continue to rise in the future.
The income of American doctors is indeed high, 352,000 US dollars (equivalent to 2.41 million yuan) is the average annual income of all doctors, and there will be gaps in doctors of different levels and departments.
For example, the report shows that primary care doctors (PCPs) earn US$265,000 (1.83 million yuan) and specialists earn US$382,000 (2.64 million yuan), which is US$117,000 (810,000 yuan) more than primary care doctors.
Left: average of all doctors; Middle: Primary care physician; Right: Specialist
Seeing this report, some people exclaimed, even if the salary of specialists is ridiculously high, why are the salaries of primary care doctors so high?
In fact, primary care doctors in the United States are equivalent to community doctors in China, and patients generally see a primary care doctor first when they are unwell. But primary care physicians are not an easy job, and they need to track the health of patients in their communities over time, and they manage about 2,000 patients and see as many people per day as specialists.
According to data from the CDC, in 2020, 51.2% of the visits in the United States were to see primary care doctors, which is very different from domestic patients going to a tertiary hospital as soon as they get sick, primary care doctors undertake half of the diagnosis and treatment activities, belong to the backbone, and the annual salary can reach 265,000 US dollars, which seems understandable.
In addition to the annual pay gap between primary care physicians and specialists, there is also a gap between men and women.
Among primary care doctors, male doctors earned $47,000 (320,000 yuan) more than female doctors, an increase of 19 percent.
Comparison of the earnings of men and women of primary care physicians
Among specialists, male doctors earned US$88,000 (600,000 yuan) more than female doctors, an increase of 27%. However, the proportion of female doctors in high-paid specialties increased slightly last year, with plastic surgery and urology increasing by 16% and 8% respectively.
Comparison of male and female earnings of specialists
In addition, the report also gives racial pay differences, with white doctors earning the highest average annual income of 358,000 US dollars (2.46 million yuan), followed by Asian-American doctors at 351,000 US dollars (equivalent to 2.41 million yuan).
Interestingly, although the average annual salary of doctors has reached 352,000 US dollars (equivalent to 2.41 million yuan), it seems that there is no shortage of money, but more than 40% of doctors are still working part-time.
In the report, doctors said that part-time jobs are to "develop talents" and "gain emotional relaxation", but more doctors said that part-time jobs are to make more money.
"I had to work three jobs at the same time because I was afraid of my clinic closing." A doctor said.
"If I don't get income from the two medical businesses that serve as medical directors, I will be forced to close my personal clinic in charge of 100 patients." Another doctor said.
"Without a part-time job, I wouldn't have any security in my career." Another doctor said this.
Previously, the domestic health commission also encouraged medical workers to engage in part-time activities, so on the whole, part-time has become a new trend in the practice of doctors around the world.
After orthopedics gave way,
Plastic surgery topped the list for six consecutive years
What is the level of the top three directors in China?
So, specific to each department, what is the annual salary of doctors? Which departments are the most popular?
According to the report, the highest income last year was plastic surgery, with the average annual income of doctors reaching 619,000 US dollars (about 4.25 million yuan), followed by orthopedics 573,000 US dollars (equivalent to 3.97 million yuan), cardiology 507,000 US dollars (equivalent to 3.51 million yuan), urology 506,000 US dollars (equivalent to 3.5 million yuan) and gastroenterology 501,000 US dollars (equivalent to 3.47 million yuan).
Ranking of professional income by department
From the perspective of plastic surgery, which ranks at the top of the list, the medical beauty industry has become a global "pig blown by the wind", and its derivative products have created incalculable output value.
Last year, the five departments with the lowest income were diabetes and endocrinology, infectious diseases, family medicine, pediatrics, public health and preventive medicine, and public health and preventive medicine doctors ranked last with an annual income of 249,000 US dollars (equivalent to 1.71 million yuan), a difference of 370,000 US dollars (equivalent to 2.54 million yuan) with plastic surgeons!
In fact, the income rankings of department doctors in the United States have not changed much, and plastic surgery has topped the list for six consecutive years since orthopedics gave way. Based on the three-year ranking, plastic surgery, orthopedics, cardiology and urology have entered the top five every time, which is a well-deserved "gold department".
Although doctors of public health and preventive medicine ranked last with an annual income of US$249,000 (equivalent to 1.71 million yuan), it still made some directors in China feel envious.
Many statistical institutions in mainland China have done research on the annual salary of Chinese doctors, and the average clinical income of doctors is 94,000 yuan, and 70% of doctors say that pre-tax clinical income (basic salary, performance salary, transportation subsidies, year-end bonuses and other bonuses) is less than 100,000 yuan; Residents are the group of doctors with the highest proportion of clinical income of less than 100,000 yuan, accounting for 83%; Only 14% of department directors/deputy directors have an annual income of more than 200,000 yuan.
Focusing on the developed areas of first-tier cities, a medical institution once released a "2021 China Hospital Salary Survey Report", which collected salary information (fixed salary, performance pay, social security and housing provident fund and other benefits) for 190 hospitals across the country, including many first-class hospitals in Beijing and Shanghai, each hospital collected salary information (fixed salary, performance pay, social security and housing provident fund, and other benefits) of 19 popular departments and 4 professional title levels (senior level, deputy senior level, intermediate and junior level).
Data show that in 2020, the average salary of employees in China's first-class hospitals was about 197,000 yuan, of which the overall salary level of public hospitals was about 30% higher than that of private hospitals. The five departments with the highest average income in the medical field are oncology, general internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, endocrinology, and neurosurgery.
Among them, the oncology department ranked first with an annual salary of 288,000 yuan for senior professional titles, 242,000 for associate senior titles, 195,000 for intermediate grades, 167,000 for juniors, and an average annual salary of 221,000; the average annual salary of general internal medicine was 212,000 yuan; the average annual salary of cardiovascular medicine was 211,000 yuan; the endocrinology department was 207,000 yuan; and the neurosurgery department was 205,000 yuan. The ultrasound department ranked last in the surveyed department with an average annual salary of 191,000.
It has to be admitted that even the salary level of doctors in first-tier cities is not a small gap compared with the average level of developed countries.
Only 52 percent of U.S. physicians are satisfied with their earnings
Overwork and burnout are common problems for physicians around the world
The loss of doctors does no good for patients
American doctors are so well paid, how satisfied are they?
But only 52 percent of physicians are satisfied with their income, with psychiatry having the highest satisfaction at 68 percent and infectious diseases the lowest, at 35 percent, the report showed.
Physician satisfaction in different departments
The reduction in additional performance bonuses is a major reason why doctors are dissatisfied with their earnings. During the pandemic, hospital revenues declined, and hospitals across the United States lost more than $54 billion in net revenue. In plastic surgery, which ranks first in terms of prize money, each doctor can receive an average of 134,000 US dollars (about 920,000 yuan) in bonuses. However, 43% of department doctors said they did not receive any bonuses.
Unlike domestic doctors employed by employers, the report shows that the average income of independent practitioners in the United States is higher than that of employed doctors, and 47.9% of active American doctors choose to practice independently.
In addition, American doctors also face the problem of overwork.
"The average U.S. doctor works 50 hours a week, while the average American works 38.7 hours a week (2021). Emergency department physicians worked the longest hours at 57.7 hours per week and allergy and immunologists worked the shortest, at 44.1 hours per week. According to the ILO rule of no more than 48 hours per week, only about one-third of the departments do not have a pressurizing doctor. "In this regard, the US labor union will make a strong intervention to effectively protect the rights and interests of doctors."
Various practical reasons have led many American doctors to fall into burnout. For the question "Will I choose medicine again?" Only 73 percent of U.S. physicians chose "yes," down 4 percent from five years ago.
The proportion of whether they will become doctors again
More than 30% of doctors chose "no" for reasons such as too many rules and regulations, working too long hours, encountering difficult patients, and fear of prosecution. Some doctors said that he was sued twice in a year and felt extremely depressed. Other doctors said that patients were becoming increasingly rude, bringing the poor medical knowledge on social media to visit patients and pointing fingers at doctors.
In the top ten departments by income, more than 90% said they would choose the same specialty, among which more than 95% of plastic surgery, urology, and orthopedics were willing to choose the same specialty again.
Departments expressed their willingness to choose the same proportion again
The report also cites Definitive Healthcare's "Addressing the Medical Staff Shortage," noting that more than 230,000 healthcare workers in the U.S. quit in 2021, 117,000 of whom were practicing physicians. According to Elsevier Health's Future Clinician Global Report 2022, 31% of clinicians worldwide and 47% of healthcare workers in the U.S. plan to leave in the next two to three years.
The report reminds us that there is a massive loss of healthcare workers, that patients' health is at risk, and whatever the cause, everyone suffers when medical professionals leave their jobs, and as patients, we need to be aware of this.
Written by | Alaska Treasure
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