13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Earlier studies estimated annual income differences across specialties, but lifetime income may be more relevant given physicians' long-term commitments to specialties. METHODS: Annual income and work hours data were collected from 6381 physicians in the nationally representative 2004-2005 Community Tracking Study. Data regarding years of residency were collected from AMA FREIDA. Present value models were constructed assuming 3% discount rates. Estimates were adjusted for demographic and market covariates. Sensitivity analyses included 4 alternative models involving work hours, retirement, exogenous variables, and 1% discount rate. Estimates were generated for 4 broad specialty categories (Primary Care, Surgery, Internal Medicine and Pediatric Subspecialties, and Other), and for 41 specific specialties. RESULTS: The estimates of lifetime earnings for the broad categories of Surgery, Internal Medicine and Pediatric Subspecialties, and Other specialties were $1,587,722, $1,099,655, and $761,402 more than for Primary Care. For the 41 specific specialties, the top 3 (with family medicine as reference) were neurological surgery ($2,880,601), medical oncology ($2,772,665), and radiation oncology ($2,659,657). The estimates from models with varying rates of retirement and including only exogenous variables were similar to those in the preferred model. The 1% discount model generated estimates that were roughly 150% larger than the 3% model. CONCLUSIONS: There was considerable variation in the lifetime earnings across physician specialties. After accounting for varying residency years and discounting future earnings, primary care specialties earned roughly $1-3 million less than other specialties. Earnings' differences across specialties may undermine health reform efforts to control costs and ensure adequate numbers of primary care physicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1101
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Care
Volume50
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

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Primary Health Care
Retirement
Internship and Residency
Internal Medicine
Physicians
Pediatrics
Radiation Oncology
Medical Oncology
Cost Control
Primary Care Physicians
Medicine
Demography
Health

Keywords

  • income
  • oncology
  • primary care
  • satisfaction
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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title = "Lifetime earnings for physicians across specialties",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Earlier studies estimated annual income differences across specialties, but lifetime income may be more relevant given physicians' long-term commitments to specialties. METHODS: Annual income and work hours data were collected from 6381 physicians in the nationally representative 2004-2005 Community Tracking Study. Data regarding years of residency were collected from AMA FREIDA. Present value models were constructed assuming 3{\%} discount rates. Estimates were adjusted for demographic and market covariates. Sensitivity analyses included 4 alternative models involving work hours, retirement, exogenous variables, and 1{\%} discount rate. Estimates were generated for 4 broad specialty categories (Primary Care, Surgery, Internal Medicine and Pediatric Subspecialties, and Other), and for 41 specific specialties. RESULTS: The estimates of lifetime earnings for the broad categories of Surgery, Internal Medicine and Pediatric Subspecialties, and Other specialties were $1,587,722, $1,099,655, and $761,402 more than for Primary Care. For the 41 specific specialties, the top 3 (with family medicine as reference) were neurological surgery ($2,880,601), medical oncology ($2,772,665), and radiation oncology ($2,659,657). The estimates from models with varying rates of retirement and including only exogenous variables were similar to those in the preferred model. The 1{\%} discount model generated estimates that were roughly 150{\%} larger than the 3{\%} model. CONCLUSIONS: There was considerable variation in the lifetime earnings across physician specialties. After accounting for varying residency years and discounting future earnings, primary care specialties earned roughly $1-3 million less than other specialties. Earnings' differences across specialties may undermine health reform efforts to control costs and ensure adequate numbers of primary care physicians.",
keywords = "income, oncology, primary care, satisfaction, surgery",
author = "Leigh, {J Paul} and Tancredi, {Daniel J} and Jerant, {Anthony F} and Romano, {Patrick S} and Kravitz, {Richard L}",
year = "2012",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1097/MLR.0b013e318268ac0c",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "50",
pages = "1093--1101",
journal = "Medical Care",
issn = "0025-7079",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams and Wilkins",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Lifetime earnings for physicians across specialties

AU - Leigh, J Paul

AU - Tancredi, Daniel J

AU - Jerant, Anthony F

AU - Romano, Patrick S

AU - Kravitz, Richard L

PY - 2012/12

Y1 - 2012/12

N2 - BACKGROUND: Earlier studies estimated annual income differences across specialties, but lifetime income may be more relevant given physicians' long-term commitments to specialties. METHODS: Annual income and work hours data were collected from 6381 physicians in the nationally representative 2004-2005 Community Tracking Study. Data regarding years of residency were collected from AMA FREIDA. Present value models were constructed assuming 3% discount rates. Estimates were adjusted for demographic and market covariates. Sensitivity analyses included 4 alternative models involving work hours, retirement, exogenous variables, and 1% discount rate. Estimates were generated for 4 broad specialty categories (Primary Care, Surgery, Internal Medicine and Pediatric Subspecialties, and Other), and for 41 specific specialties. RESULTS: The estimates of lifetime earnings for the broad categories of Surgery, Internal Medicine and Pediatric Subspecialties, and Other specialties were $1,587,722, $1,099,655, and $761,402 more than for Primary Care. For the 41 specific specialties, the top 3 (with family medicine as reference) were neurological surgery ($2,880,601), medical oncology ($2,772,665), and radiation oncology ($2,659,657). The estimates from models with varying rates of retirement and including only exogenous variables were similar to those in the preferred model. The 1% discount model generated estimates that were roughly 150% larger than the 3% model. CONCLUSIONS: There was considerable variation in the lifetime earnings across physician specialties. After accounting for varying residency years and discounting future earnings, primary care specialties earned roughly $1-3 million less than other specialties. Earnings' differences across specialties may undermine health reform efforts to control costs and ensure adequate numbers of primary care physicians.

AB - BACKGROUND: Earlier studies estimated annual income differences across specialties, but lifetime income may be more relevant given physicians' long-term commitments to specialties. METHODS: Annual income and work hours data were collected from 6381 physicians in the nationally representative 2004-2005 Community Tracking Study. Data regarding years of residency were collected from AMA FREIDA. Present value models were constructed assuming 3% discount rates. Estimates were adjusted for demographic and market covariates. Sensitivity analyses included 4 alternative models involving work hours, retirement, exogenous variables, and 1% discount rate. Estimates were generated for 4 broad specialty categories (Primary Care, Surgery, Internal Medicine and Pediatric Subspecialties, and Other), and for 41 specific specialties. RESULTS: The estimates of lifetime earnings for the broad categories of Surgery, Internal Medicine and Pediatric Subspecialties, and Other specialties were $1,587,722, $1,099,655, and $761,402 more than for Primary Care. For the 41 specific specialties, the top 3 (with family medicine as reference) were neurological surgery ($2,880,601), medical oncology ($2,772,665), and radiation oncology ($2,659,657). The estimates from models with varying rates of retirement and including only exogenous variables were similar to those in the preferred model. The 1% discount model generated estimates that were roughly 150% larger than the 3% model. CONCLUSIONS: There was considerable variation in the lifetime earnings across physician specialties. After accounting for varying residency years and discounting future earnings, primary care specialties earned roughly $1-3 million less than other specialties. Earnings' differences across specialties may undermine health reform efforts to control costs and ensure adequate numbers of primary care physicians.

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KW - oncology

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KW - satisfaction

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EP - 1101

JO - Medical Care

JF - Medical Care

SN - 0025-7079

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