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Five areas of the highest physician pay in the US revealed

Group of physicians (Getty Images)

Established medical social network Doximity has released new figures, drawn from its self-reported compensation surveys in 2016-2017, incorporating responses from over 65,000 full time, licensed US physicians across the US. Responses have been mapped across such areas.

Its second annual Physician Compensation Report, has produced a number of interesting findings surrounding the ongoing demand for physicians in the country. Whilst there has been a 4% wage increase nationally from 2016-2017, compensation has differed as a result of area, gender and medical speciality.

The five areas with the highest annual salary in 2017 have been found to be Charlotte, N.C ($402,773); Milwaukee ($398,431); Jacksonville ($379,820); Indianapolis ($378,011); and San Jose, California. ($376,585).

Those that scored lowest were Durham, N.C. ($282,035); Ann Arbor, Michigan. ($302,692); Baltimore ($304,002); New Haven, Connecticut. ($308,262); and Rochester, New York ($312,503).

However, the five medical specialties with the highest average annual salary are as follows: neurosurgery ($662,755); thoracic surgery ($602,745); orthopaedic surgery ($537,568); vascular surgery ($476,300); and plastic surgery ($473,212).

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Interestingly, whilst the national gender pay gap for physicians in 2016 was 26.5%, where female doctors earnt $91,284 less, this gap has widened at 27.7% ($105,000). There is also no current specialty where female doctors earn more than their male counterparts across all top 50 metro areas surveyed.

Last year, medical specialties with the largest gender wage gaps were: haematology (20% difference at $78,753); occupational medicine (20%); urology (20%); orthopaedic surgery (19%); and gastroenterology (19%).

Metro areas with the largest increase in gender wage gaps were Charleston, (8.6% increase); Ann Arbor, Michigan (8.2% increase); Riverside, California. (8.0% increase); Providence, Rhode Island (6.4% increase); and Indianapolis (6.1% increase).

In 2017, the metro areas with the largest gender wage gaps across the country were Charleston, where female physicians earnt 37% less ($134,999), Kansas City (32% equalling $131,996), Nashville (32%, so $118,706 less), Providence, Rhode Island (31% - $108,796 less); and Riverside, California, (31% or $115,991 less).

 “All health care stakeholders should be aware of the differences in compensation for men and women across the country,” said Christopher Whaley, Ph.D., the report’s lead author and adjunct assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health.

“Compensation inequity can directly affect where and what physicians choose to practice, which could ultimately affect patient access.”

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