Radiologist Salaries and Satisfaction Drop Sharply in Latest Medscape Report

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Radiologists are once again one of the top earning specialties in the annual Medscape Physician Compensation Report. But dig a bit deeper and the picture is not so sunny. The mean salary for radiologists dropped 10 percent from the previous year's report and satisfaction dropped from over 70% to 52%.

Furthermore, radiologists are not alone in feeling the effects of economic trends like lower reimbursement rates and fewer privately insured patients. Among the 24,216 U.S. physicians across 25 specialty areas that Medscape surveyed, salaries and satisfaction numbers were down across the board from last year.

As in previous years, the report led to a lot of online discussions about the fairness of physician salaries. Even the lowest paid physicians are paid more than the national median household income of just under $50,000 (as reported by the Department of Commerce). A good example is the comment thread on a Gawker article about the survey. Click here to view.

Report Highlights

  1. For 2012, radiologists and orthopedic surgeons topped the list at $315,000, followed by cardiologists ($314,000), and anesthesiologists ($309,000). Radiologists saw their annual compensation fall by 10% compared to last year ($350,000 in 2011).
  2. Physicians who felt that they were most fairly compensated were dermatologists (71%). Among radiologists surveyed, 62% said they were fairly compensated.
  3. The specialties with the highest percentage of physicians who consider themselves rich were pathology (15%), radiology, oncology and gastroenterology (14% in each).
  4. Just less than one third (29%) of all physicians see 50-99 patients per week. About 23% of physicians see 100-174 patients per week. Radiologists have the most patient visits: One in 5 sees more than 200 patients per week.