Which doctors work hardest? Get paid the most?

Did you know that…

Orthopedic surgeons rank at the very top of the pay scale with an average income of $323,000 a year.

At the other end, family practice physicians and psychiatrists vie for the lowest average income with the family practice physicians earning an average of $132,000 a year and psychiatrists $124,000.

How hard do doctors work?

No way to know that, but if we measure doctor input by the number of hours per week, we learn that physicians specializing in obstetrics/gynecology, anesthesiology, general surgery, or urology all work more than 60 hours every week.

Dermatologists and pathologists work the fewest hours on the list, just 45.5 a week, but specialists in emergency medicine (46.0 hours/week) and ophthalmology (47.0) hours put in only slightly more hours a week.

Now put them together. Which physician specialists yield the highest dollar amount per hour worked?

No surprise. Orthopedic surgery earns an average of $107.10 per hour, while family practice physicians earn only $48.35 per hour.

Most interesting, perhaps, is the average:

Average $$ per year: $208,000

Average $$ per hour: $74.21

Average hours worked per week: 53.9

These numbers come to us from the American Medical Association.

Remember that these hours and dollar amounts are for fees allocated to individual physicians. The cost of running a medical clinic includes not only physician revenues, but also clinic costs and other expenses of practicing medicine in calculating the profit margin.

Brought to you compliments of Griffith Publishing

Published in: on November 30, 2008 at 2:15 pm  Comments (2)  
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Who needs more patients?

“We don’t need to announce our new internal medicine docs,” a hospital manager told me. “They’re filled up within two days of opening their doors.”

We have a doctor shortage in the U.S., and it’s getting worse. We’re relying more and more on nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and trimming time with patients for more efficiency.

A recent report by the Association of American Medical Colleges reveals the following state-by-state facts about physician supply and demand:

Alaska: The state needs 59 new physicians (MD’s or DOs) every year to replace those who are retiring or leaving. Alaska has only 205 physicians per 100,000 population compared with 238 nationwide.

Arizona: Rapid population growth puts a higher demand on doctors with specialties in allergies, cardiovascular surgery, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology, and infectious disease.

California. Most doctors (60%) practice medicine in only five counties. A rapidly growing population could cause a growth in demand of 4.7% to 15.9% by 20015.

Florida. Population is expected to grow 60% by 2030; during that time the aged population will grow by 124%.

Georgia. Predictions are that without changes in medical education facilities, Georgia will be dead last in physicians per 100,000 by 2020.

Idaho. This state ranks 49th out of 50 states in physician supply, with only 198 physicians per 100,000 population. It is 48th in the number of first-year medical students per 100,000 residents.

Iowa. Aging population points to need for physicians in five specialties: psychiatry, neurosurgery, general internal medicine, orthopedic surgery, and cardiology.

Kentucky. Almost half of Kentucky’s counties are designated as Health Professional Shortage areas (HPSA) for primary care.

Maryland. Now at 16% below the national average for the number of physicians available for clinical practice,

Maryland has the greatest shortage of physicians in Southern Maryland, Western Maryland, and the Eastern Shore.

Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Medical Society produces a physician workforce study every year, and this year is another that shows a “strained” medical system.

Michigan. Growth in demand will outpace growth in available physicians in the state, with a projected shortage of 4,400 physicians by 2020.

Minnesota. Only 5% of Minnesota’s physician practice in rural areas although 13% of Minnesotans live that. Too few specialists are available especially in northern and southern rural areas.

Mississippi. Two out of three counties in Mississippi are labeled as Health Professional Shortage Areas. Over half (56%) of all of Mississippi’s physicians practice in four counties.

Nebraska.  Only 9 of Nebraska’s 93 counties have more than 214.09 physicians per 100,000 population, the average for all states in 2004.

Nevada. This state has one of the lowest physician-to-population ratios in the nation and one of the highest population growth rates.

New Mexico.  More than half of New Mexico’s physicians are located in Bernalillo County. Only Los Alamos County, with a rate of 2.41 physicians per 1,000 population, came close to the national average of 2.42, and all other counties were far below.

North Carolina. A Task Force convened by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine concluded that without major changes in the health care delivery system or significant increases in the number of physicians, the state is likely to face a severe shortage of physicians.

Texas. While the number of Texas medical school graduates has remained relatively flat over the past twenty years, the state’s population has grown by 50% in the same time.

Oregon. 2004 data suggests a “looming shortage of physicians.” The state is already experiencing shortages in rural areas and in several specialties, including rheumatology, nephrology, gastroenterology, cardiology, allergy-immunology and pediatrics.

Utah. There are currently shortages in Utah for physicians in pediatric neurology, child psychiatry, adult psychiatry, obstetrics & gynecology, general surgery, dermatology, urology, and cardiology. The state will need to recruit up to 270 physicians a year in order to keep up with growth.

Virginia. By 2020 there will be a shortage of approximately 1,500 physicians in Virginia. By 2030, 25% of the state’s population will be over the age of 60 meaning more people will be making more frequent doctor’s visits.

Wisconsin. A 2004 report from the Task Force on Wisconsin’s Future Physician Workforce, concluded that Wisconsin has current unmet needs for physician services that are likely to worsen in the foreseeable future. Shortages in primary care physicians, general surgeons, and radiologists already exist in rural areas of the state.

10 top innovations in medicine

Doctors at The Cleveland Clinic have continued a tradition launched three years ago by announcing their pick of the 10 top innovations in medicine.

For the complete story, read the full account from the Plain Dealer. Here’s a summary of the doctors’ choices for the best of the latest innovations in the treatment of patients:

  1. Circulating tumor cell technology
  2. Warm organ perfusion device
  3. Diaphragm pacing system
  4. Multi-spectral imaging systems
  5. Percutaneous mitral valve regurgitation repair
  6. New strategies for creating vaccines for avian flu
  7. LESS (laparoendoscopic single-site surgery) and NOTES (Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery)
  8. Integration of diffusion tensor imaging
  9. Doppler-guided uterine artery occlusion
  10. National health information exchange

Brought to you by Physician Publishing

Changes in medical practice

Medical practice is on the edge of fundamental changes in the way patients are selected, evaluated, treated, and billed. Physicians who put management and financial issues to one side may find themselves wondering how they got left behind.

A major change that most physicians have felt has been the shift from small, independent clusters of physicians to integrated networks of care providers. Doctors are more likely than ever to be employees of hospitals or networks of health care provider rather than members of a solo or group practice. They are also more likely to be working shoulder to shoulder with “physician extenders” and seeing more of their traditional hands-on methods taken over by other members of the health care team.

Technology is penetrating the practice of medicine even as costs have soared beyond the ability of individuals, insurance providers, or the US government to pay for fully. From computerized patient records, to distance conferences with super specialists, from the sharing by computer of images and data to complex pre-birth surgery, doctors are challenged as never before to tune their skills to the latest changes.

There are plenty of bumps on the high-tech road, but ignoring innovations in the way information is collected, stored, and utlilized can lead to deep ruts as competing organizations learn how to use technology for greater efficiency and higher bottom line performance.

—brought to you by Griffith Publishing