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Pay Chasms Separate Academic, Non-academic Settings

By John Commins  
   November 30, 2017

Starting salaries of non-academic physicians in hospital/IDS-owned practices follow suit, with first-year candidates earning up to $86,000 more than their academic counterparts.

Specialty care physicians in non-academic hospitals make $122,795 more per year, on average, than their full-time, fully clinical colleagues in academic systems, according to a new survey from the Medical Group Management Association.

Under those same parameters, MGMA also found that primary care physicians in academic systems earn $57,129 less.

In addition to general salary differentials, starting salaries differences loom large. New hires, who are first year post-residency or fellowship, earned more starting out in a non-academic setting than an academic setting across the board, MGMA said.

The greatest difference was seen in primary care where the difference can be upwards of $86,000 more in hospital systems or private practice than in academic settings.

MGMA’s Physician Compensation and Production Survey compared nationwide data from more than 120,000 providers across more than 6,600 groups of various practice types.

The academic subset represents more than 17,400 providers in over 437 organizations, compared to non-academic data representing more than 96,000 providers in more than 5,000 organizations.

The survey also found that:

  • Specialty care, non-academic physicians report 1,200 more work Relative Value Units per year than academic physicians, namely due to academic providers reporting less billable clinical time than non-academic providers.
  • Specialty care physicians who are full-time, fully clinical reported earning a base compensation of $67,290 more than those physicians who were 67% or more research.
  • Primary care physicians who were full time, yet mostly research, reported making $9,556 more in base compensation than those physicians who were full time yet mostly clinical.

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders.

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