Radiologists report declining incomes

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Physician compensation in 2010 flattened, while radiologists faced a decline in average salary, the likely results of dropping reimbursements, according to a survey released this week by Medicus.

Following several consecutive years of growth, physician salaries averaged a 0.14 percent decline in 2010 compared with 2009, based on a survey of approximately 2,300 physicians covering 19 specialties and all 50 states.

The eighth annual Physician Compensation and Relocation Report found that despite little change in aggregate income for physicians, both emergency medicine physicians and psychiatrists saw income gains, at 5.5 and 11.5 percent, respectively.

But radiologists and oncologists experienced declines in average compensation. And a majority of physicians expressed dissatisfaction with their levels of income, Medicus reported.

The survey also queried physicians on their most important considerations in choosing a new practice. The number one factor among residents and fellows (38 percent) was location, while primary care physicians and medicine subspecialists emphasized compensation as the most important draw. Surgeons reported the quality of practice to be their top priority.