Physician Compensation is Affected by Gender, Specialty, Age and Productivity

Gender, Specialty, Age And Productivity Among Factors in Physicians’ Compensation

Annual survey reveals trends in medical practice compensation, with age and productivity influencing gender disparity in physicians’ compensation

Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) released their 2017 Physician Compensation and Production Survey which revealed that age and productivity are contributing factors that impact gender disparity in physicians’ compensation.

Based on comparative data of more than 120,000 providers across more than 6,600 groups, MGMA’s Physician Compensation and Production Survey is the most comprehensive sample of any physician compensation survey in the United States (U.S.). The survey represents a variety of practice types including physician-owned, hospital-owned, academic practices, as well as providers from across the nation at small and large practices.

Our annual survey found that, in aggregate, gender disparity exists for physician compensation,” said Halee Fischer-Wright, President and Chief Executive Officer at MGMA. “Knowing what factors contribute to the gender pay gap help us better understand and interpret the cause.”

Highlights from the survey include:

  • SPECIALTY: Specialty area influences the disparity in total compensation with males across all specialty areas earning more than their female counterparts. Males practicing in primary care reported earning 17 percent higher compensation while males in specialty care reported earning 37 percent more than females in the same practice area.
  • EXPERIENCE: Survey results show that years in a specialty area may play a role in the gap in total compensation. For example, males are paid over 20 percent more than females in the specialty areas of family medicine and general pediatrics but have an average of seven years more experience than their female counterparts who participated in the study. As there are now more females graduating from medical schools than males, females represent a greater percentage of the population of physicians that are early in their career.
  • PRODUCTIVITY: Productivity also plays a role in the disparity in total compensation. It is a significant factor in the development of today’s physician compensation packages. Males in invasive-interventional cardiology are making over 25 percent more than their female counterparts but show 42 percent greater median work relative value units (RVUs), a measure of value used in the U.S. Medicare reimbursement formula for physician services. Meanwhile, male general orthopedic surgeons make almost 50 percent more than their female counterparts with over 80 percent greater median work RVUs. The large difference in the data may be due to the number of women in these specialty areas and how much experience they have.
    However … a bad physician sees the same patient over and over again without a solid permanent cure.

MGMA’s Physician Compensation and Production Survey is the most trusted compensation survey in the U.S., undergoing a rigorous evaluation and inspection.

About MGMA

Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) is the premier association for professionals who lead the business of medical practice. Since 1926, with principles of people, innovation, insights, and adaptation, MGMA delivers medical group practice success. MGMA represents and advocates for more than 40,000 medical practice administrators, executives, and leaders in more than 18,000 organizations of all sizes, types, structures and specialties, who provide almost half of the healthcare delivered in the United States.