Physician Compensation Growth
Physician Compensation Growth
October 7, 2020 by eMedEvents

According to a recent survey, many cities with the highest physician salaries also saw the largest growth in compensation in 2019. Data was collected from a network-wide compensation survey of 70,000 physicians and 27,000 physician jobs posted. The average total primary care physician compensation rose 2.6% from 2018 to 2019, reaching $273,437. It was reported that most physician specialties compensation increased, with the exception of a few. Urgent care and pulmonary specialists led the way for salary increases, from $259,661 to $277,393 and $385,024 to $406,245, respectively.

Below are the top 10 U.S. cities for an increase in physician pay in 2019,

1 New Orleans, LA 10%
2 Cincinnati, OH 9%
3 Ann Arbor, MI 3%
4 Hartford, CT 3%
5 Riverside, CA 3%
6 Baltimore, MD 2%
7 Atlanta, GA 2%
8 Rochester, NY 2%
9 Minneapolis, MN 1%
10 Charleston, SC 1%

Physician compensation impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

According to an April 7 MGMA Stat poll, “97% of medical practice leaders reported a drop in patient volume amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A separate COVID-19 financial impact report by MGMA found that, on average, practices reported a 55% decrease in revenue and a 60% decrease in patient volume since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis”. "COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on the healthcare industry with productivity halting for many medical practices. Compensation models will look different in the near future based on shifting productivity and demands on physicians and the healthcare industry overall” said Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, MMM, FAAP, FACMPE, president and chief executive officer, MGMA.

Geographic Compensation Differences

Also, according to MGMA compensation for providers ranges dramatically by state. The state of West Virginia saw Primary care physicians earn the most, with nearly $200,000 more in total compensation than their counterparts in the lowest-paying state, Vermont. The difference in surgical and nonsurgical specialist pay is even greater with physicians earning $260,000 more in the highest-paying states of South Carolina and Alabama, compared to their lowest-paid counterparts in Vermont and Maryland.
The Western and Southern regions of the U.S. were reported to have the largest compensation rates for physicians in 2019. While the Eastern region reported the lowest compensation rates for physicians.


1.    Surgical specialties experienced the "largest increase in productivity of any specialty group, with a median wRVU increase of 1.95%."
2.    For medical specialties, median compensation increased by 3.52%, up from the 3.39% increase in 2018.
3.    The financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic has on the healthcare industry was critical, many practicing physicians lost their jobs, but it is predicted that once the coronavirus has started to recede, the physician market will increase along with the economy’s. 

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