Physician groups in various medical specialty areas made modest gains (6 percent) in income during 2005, according to the American Medical Group Association’s 2006 Medical Group Compensation & Financial Survey. About 89 percent of the specialties experienced increases in compensation, with primary-care specialties seeing an 8 percent increase, with other medical and surgical specialties showing 6 percent and 5 percent increases, respectively.
The specialties showing the largest compensation gains in 2005 were dermatology (12.01 percent), cardiac/thoracic surgery (11.47 percent), and gastroenterology (11.66 percent). Other areas that did better last year included pediatrics and adolescent (7.63 percent), family medicine (8.62 percent) and internal medicine (8.42 percent), and hematology/oncology (3.25 percent).
“The survey indicates that compensation increases reflect the rise in the cost of living,” said Donald W. Fisher, PhD, president and chief executive officer of the American Medical Group Association (AMGA). “However, declining reimbursements, competition for specialists, the cost of new technology, and other factors are having a negative effect on revenues in most parts of the country, a situation that is clearly unsustainable.”