5 Statistics on 2010 Orthopedic Surgeon Compensation and ExpensesWritten by Laura Miller | May 24, 2011
Here are five points about orthopedic surgeon compensation in different practice settings based on statistics from the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2011.
1. Orthopedic surgeons in small cities earned the most. The population of the city where orthopedic surgeons were working had a significant impact on compensation level. Orthopedic surgeons practicing in small cities earned nearly $450,000 last year on average, and those in areas considered rural or small towns stood to earn at least $400,000. This is about $80,000-$150,000 more than surgeons practicing in the suburbs ($300,000) and in metropolitan areas ($321,000).
The report authors suggest that orthopedic surgeons practicing in small towns and cities might be more likely to consolidate into group practices, healthcare organizations or choose hospital employment, which yields higher annual salaries than solo practitioners.
2. Hospital employed orthopedic surgeons reported higher compensation. Orthopedic surgeons who were employed by hospitals reported the highest compensation, at more than $400,000 last year on average, with physicians who were in a single specialty group following close behind. Physicians who were partners in a private practice or members of a multispecialty group reported between $350,000 and $400,000 last year while solo practitioners reported an average of around $300,000 over the same period.
According to the analysis, physicians working in a single or multispecialty group was compensated on average less than 10 percent lower than those employed by hospitals. There was a $275,000 difference between orthopedic surgeons employed by the hospital and the lowest compensated group: private practice employee physicians.
3. More hospital employees than private practice physicians feel fairly compensated. Approximately 47 percent of orthopedic surgeon respondents reported feeling fairly compensated, and only 55 percent of physicians across the board felt their compensation was fair. More orthopedic surgeons in employment situations (56 percent) reported feeling fairly compensated than orthopedic surgeons in a practice setting (39 percent).
4. Most orthopedic surgeons in private practice didn't reduce office costs. In 2010, nearly 70 percent of the private practice orthopedic surgeon respondents reported the inability to reduce office operating costs. Around 23 percent of respondents reported reducing costs by less than 10 percent and only about 7 percent reported decreasing costs by more than 10 percent. According to the report authors, concerns about the rising expenses were only second to concerns about Medicare and insurance reimbursement levels among orthopedic surgeons. The increased office expenses can be attributed to the high number of orthopedic surgeons investing in procedural equipment.
5. Nearly half of orthopedic surgeons have already or plan on investing in healthcare real estate. Around 28 percent of orthopedic surgeons reported investing in a surgery or clinical procedure center and another 3 percent more plan on investing in the future, according to the report. Investing in healthcare real estate can increase the physician's total compensation if the venture is successful. On the other hand, investing in healthcare real estate requires a significant upfront financial commitment and the uncertain healthcare environment could mean a decrease in these types of ventures in the future.
Read the report on physician compensation.
Related Articles on Physician Compensation:
5 Points on Which Orthopedic Surgeons Earned the Most in 2010
10 Statistics on Orthopedic Surgeon Compensation and Employment in 2010
5 Statistics on Sports Medicine Surgeon Compensation
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