Physician Compensation: Is It Rising Post-Pandemic in 2022?

Since Covid-19 stagnated in almost every field in the world including the medical and health sector, the only thing which holded the industry was the right compensation plan framework. Physician compensation and salaries saw a standstill during the pandemic days even though it was the toughest time the medical sector witnessed in years.

However, in the current situation, the world has started to recover from the disastrous situation of the Covid-19 which is why physician compensation and salaries started to rebound as well.

The salaries of physicians and other medical-related professionals observed an increase of up to 7% by the end of 2021 and it is expected to rise in 2022.

Physician compensation and salaries

Physician compensation and salaries
source:researchtriangle.org

As medical practices across the United States of America started to reopen and the patient influx returned to pre-pandemic days, the salaries and physician compensation also saw an increase from $299,999 to $339,000 in 2021. This showcased a huge jump of about 29% in salaries from the year 2015.

As the demand for physicians comes back on track and accelerates like the pre-pandemic days, the compensation for a lot of physicians has also started to soar.

For instance, Merritt Hawkins witnessed a huge decrease of 30% in 2020 when the pandemic was at its peak. The client’s decrease was witnessed throughout the pandemic era but in the fourth quarter of the year 2021, things started to get better and become hopeful. Physician recruitment accelerated hitting an all-time high.

The physicians’ market witnessed a complete 180-degree turnover within seven or eight months as soon as the pandemic started to weaken and the policies and restrictions started to be taken away.

A senior director in one of the renowned medical organizations of America, Leslie Kane stated that,

 â€œAfter an extremely difficult two years, physicians are seeing a return to more routine patient practice, and their compensation increases are evidence of that. That said, we’re seeing little progress on pay equity – although women have made inroads into many of the higher-earning specialties – and physicians continue to raise the issue of workload and administrative demands.”

The largest physician compensation was witnessed by gastroenterologists, dermatologists, and otolaryngologists. They saw an increase between 22 to 113%. Apart from the above-mentioned physicians the preventative medicine specialists, public health specialists, critical care physicians, and oncologists also saw an increase but they were in the lowest tier – i.e between 1 to 3%.

Whereas internal medicine, OB/GYN, rehabilitation, physical medicine, diabetic and endocrinology, pediatric and nephrology specialists claim that they saw a fairly moderate increase in their salaries and compensation compared to the two years under pandemic where they saw a standstill on job and salaries.

average annual physician
source:weatherbyhealthcare.com

Pandemic affecting physician compensation

Even though overall there was an increase in salaries witnessed by the health and medical sector it was noted that one out of five physicians reported of a downfall in salaries in 2021 as well.

70% of them complained that the impact of the pandemic is still there and the official closure during the pandemic days led to a loss of patient influx and volume.

22% of physicians reported that they witnessed a reduction in their working hours which led to less salary output. It was reported that about 36$ of physicians across America reported a negative impact on their work because of covid-19 as compared to a whopping 55% who complained the same during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Another notable point is that sometimes it is not the wealth and dollar that contributes towards the satisfaction of a physician from his profession, instead, it is the other related issues to the compensation that causes satisfaction or dissatisfaction amongst the physicians.

The issues can be bonuses from the medical organization or penalization for seeing sick patients, not tracking quality measures while treating a patient, or prescribing formulas that are not relevant for the certain disease a patient is suffering from.

All the above-mentioned issues can contribute to the satisfaction level of a physician with his salary.

Conclusion

A lot of organizations have come up with newer ideas and strategies to make the medical field stand back on its feet as the world gains some normalcy after the horrific coronavirus pandemic. Women have been given special importance in different fields of the medical industry and all kinds of business and gaps are overlooked as compensation.

The state which topped in physician compensation was Kentucky followed by Tennessee and Alabama in second and third positions respectively.

The physicians which were employed reported that the compensation they received in the form of bonuses, and salary of the income related to profit-sharing arrangements with the organization while the self-employed physicians stated that their earnings also witnessed a surge after deducting income taxes along with other deductible taxes and business taxes.