Survey Finds Radiologist Compensation Not Keeping Up With Inflation

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Pay went up slightly for radiologists last year, but not quite enough to keep up with inflation. The latest numbers from the Modern Healthcare Physician Compensation Survey revealed a 0.6% jump for imaging professionals. The figure was offset by a consumer price index inflation estimate of 1.7%.

Radiology sat in the same boat with oncology (0.5%), radiation oncology (0.5%), gastroenterology (1%), and pathology (1.6%) — all specialties with increases below inflation. Neonatologists reveled in a hefty 11.9% increase, becoming the only specialty to see a double digit boost over the previous year.

According to the wrap-up at ModernHealthcare.com, orthopedic surgeons and invasive cardiologists topped the survey in average salary once again, earning an average of $522,557 and $505,346, respectively. Also for the fifth straight year, family physicians and pediatricians finished last and second-to-last, earning an average of $209,050 and $209,986, respectively.

“In last year's survey, 10 specialties saw decreases in average compensation,” writes Andis Robeznieks for Modern Healthcare. “This year, only three specialties saw their average pay fall: anesthesia, to $385,977 from $387,780 (-0.5%); obstetrics/gynecology, to $298,468 from $304,022 (-1.8%); and noninvasive cardiologists, to $402,619 from $421,341 (-4.4%). For anesthesiologists, it was the second straight year with a decline, with last year's survey showing a 1.5% decrease.”

Along with psychiatrists, primary care physicians fared the worst based on average salary, but healthy compensation increases eased some of the pain. “Internists saw their compensation increase an average of 6.2%,” writes Robeznieks. “Hospitalists saw their pay increase an average 4.7%, while pediatricians and family physicians saw average increases of 3.6% and 3.3%, respectively.”

Justin Chamblee, vice president of the Coker Group, Alpharetta, Ga, says in the article that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been a major influence on strong primary-care compensation gains. “I think a lot of what we see now is being driven by the ACA,” he says. “Reform is focused on primary care. Primary care is the foundation, and there is a focus on getting the foundation set correctly.”

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