Practice Economics

Physician income in 2013: The East earned least



Both primary care and specialty care physicians in the Eastern United States had the lowest total compensation of any region in 2013, the Medical Group Management Association reported.

Specialists in the East earned an average of $364,000, and primary care physicians earned $222,000. Compensation for specialists was highest in the South, at $434,000, with primary care physicians there earning $238,611. Primary care physicians in the West earned slightly more, reporting the highest total at $239,968, with specialists earning an average of $401,000. In the Midwest, specialists earned almost $408,000, and primary care physicians averaged $236,000, according to the MGMA.

Nonmetropolitan areas reported the lowest compensation rates by population, with primary physicians earning more than $223,000 and specialists earning $337,000 in areas with less than 50,000 residents. The highest-earning areas by population were metropolitan areas of 50,000 to 250,000 people, where primary care physicians earned $241,000 and specialty physicians earned $422,000. Both specialists and nonspecialists in metropolitan areas of more than 1,000,000 people averaged marginally more than physicians in areas of between 250,001 and 1,000,000 people.

Compensation rates for certified registered nurse anesthetists, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners were highest in the Midwest and West, and lowest in the East, except for nurse practitioners.

The MGMA data were collected from almost 4,200 medical groups representing more than 66,000 providers.

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