America Needs Different Doctors, Not More Doctors

Merrill Goozner

Posted 11/10/11 on Gooz News

Matt Yglesias at Think Progress took a look at some OECD data comparing U.S. physicians to their international counterparts and concluded we need more doctors. The evidence? There’s only 2.4 practicing physicians per 1,000 population in the U.S., second lowest in the OECD and somewhat below the 3.0 median (the range is from 2.2 physicians per 1,000 population in Japan to 4.0 in Norway). At the same time, the average U.S. medical consumer sees a physician only 3.9 times a year compared to the 6.3 OECD median. Yes, we pay a lot for health services including physician services (he reprints a chart showing average pay for U.S. physicians, whether highly paid orthopedic surgeons or relatively poorly paid primary care docs, that shows they are the highest paid among six well-off OECD countries). But his conclusion that America therefore needs more docs is off the mark.

The Medscape Physician Compensation Survey

Paul Levy

First published 5/13/11 on Not Running A Hospital

Here are the latest headlines from an annual salary survey of over 15,000 US physicians representing 22 specialties conducted by Medscape:

The demand for primary care doctors continues to grow, but specialists still earn the most money.

The highest earning medical specialties are orthopedic surgeons and radiologists (median compensation: $350,000), followed by anesthesiologists and cardiologists ($325,000).

If they had to do it all over again, primary care doctors were least likely to choose the same specialty (43%).

Continue reading “The Medscape Physician Compensation Survey”