Infectious disease specialists among lowest in pay


Between Oct. 4, 2019, and Feb. 10, 2020, infectious disease specialists reported making $246,000, which puts them at the fifth lowest paid specialty included in Medscape’s Physician Compensation Report 2020. Men earned $265,000 to women’s $211,000 and made up 64% of respondents.

Infectious disease specialists are tied with internal medicine for time spent on paperwork at 18.5 hours/week, with only critical care beating them at 19.1 hours per week. Among infectious disease specialists, 41% reported that being very good at what they do/finding answers and diagnoses as the most rewarding part of their jobs, whereas rules and regulations, long hours, and difficulties with reimbursement were cited as the most challenging aspects (at 21%, 17%, and 15%, respectively).

About 51% report feeling they’re fairly compensated, with puts them in a tie with ob.gyns. for the fifth and sixth lowest positions in this regard.

The data in this report were gathered before COVID-19 had really taken hold in the United States – before states began issuing stay-at-home orders and before practices began implementing their own precautions. Although in the best interest of both patients and providers, switching to telemedicine, eliminating most elective procedures, and making other changes to improve safety will have significant financial consequences. It is unclear at this time how the ongoing pandemic will affect things like physician compensation and income.

The survey respondents were Medscape members who had been invited to participate. The sample size was 17,461 physicians, and compensation was modeled and estimated based on a range of variables across 6 years of survey data.

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