The latest news on physician salaries is out, and it’s not pretty. A new Doximity survey found that average physician pay declined 2.4% last year, compared to an increase of 3.8% in 2021. The drop was exacerbated by high inflation rates that took a bite out of physician salaries.
The Doximity report paints a picture of physicians beset by rising burnout, shortages, and a persistent gender pay gap. Doctors across multiple specialties report feeling more stressed even as wage growth has stalled.
To compile the 2022 data, Doximity got responses from 31,000 US physicians. There was a wide range of average annual compensation across medical specialties, with radiology landing at number 10 on the top 20 list, while nuclear medicine occupied the 20th spot:
- Radiation oncology: $547k vs. $544k in 2021
- Radiology: $504k vs. $495k
- Nuclear medicine: $392k vs. $399k
In other findings of the report:
- Male physicians made $110,000 more than women doctors. At a gap of 26%, this is actually an improvement compared to 28% in 2021.
- Men physicians over their career make over $2 million more than women.
- Nuclear medicine had the smallest pay gap ($394k vs. $382k)
- The pay gap could contribute to higher burnout rates, with 92% of women reporting overwork compared to 83% of men.
- Two-thirds of physicians are considering an employment change due to overwork.
Ironically, Doximity cited results of a recent survey in which 71% of physicians said they would accept lower compensation for better work-life balance.
The news about salaries could be a gut punch to many physicians, who are already dealing with epidemic levels of burnout. Radiology salaries bucked the trend by rising 1.6%, which could explain its popularity among medical students over the last three years.
The question remains, is the money worth it? Rising imaging volumes have been tied to burnout in radiology, and the Doximity report indicates that some physicians are willing to forgo money for better quality of life.