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Did You Know? 9 Medical Facts to Face


Primary care physicians in the south get paid the most, but specialists are highest-paid in the midwest. California has the highest number of physicians, while Wyoming has the fewest. Here's a look at physicians by the numbers.

“Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.”—Mark Twain

Here are 9 fascinating facts for busy doctors to review:

1. Primary care physicians who received the highest total annual average compensation last year practiced in the southern section of the country ($236,775). For specialist physicians, the highest average pay came in the nation’s midwest ($423,039). The lowest average yearly compensation for PCPs ($222,300) and specialists ($373,847) was in America’s eastern sector.

(Medical Group Management Association)

2. They are currently 893,851 professionally active physicians in the nation; 425,032 are primary care physicians and 468,819 are specialists. California (101,232) and New York (77,332) have the most doctors; Wyoming (1,118) and Alaska (1,710) have the fewest.

(Kaiser Family Foundation)

3. When physicians go online the 3 most commonly reported types of professional misconduct are inappropriate patient communication (69%), practicing with no established clinical relationship (63%), and misrepresentation of credentials (60%).


4. Nearly one-quarter of the nation’s independent practicing physicians are looking to sell their medical business. Doctors in internal medicine subspecialties are most likely to be looking to sell their practice.

(Becker's Hospital Review)

5. Among those physicians who have sold their medical practice within the past 3 years, 44% are working for their buyer; 55% say they don’t miss private practice; 60% are “satisfied” or “very satisfied;” and 76% would make the same decision again.

(Jackson Healthcare)

6. The average physician spends 16.6% of practice time on administrative duties. Psychiatrists (20.3%) spend the most time on non-patient work, followed by internists (17.3%), and family practitioners (17.3%). Pediatricians (14.1%) spend the least time on medical office administration.

(International Journal of Health Services)

7. About 32% of current practicing doctors in the nation are female and 47% of current first-year US medical school students are women.

(Association of American Medical Colleges)

8. A new performance analysis on healthcare quality outcomes places the US system last among 11 western nations. The ranking was: 1) United Kingdom, 2) Switzerland, 3) Sweden, 4) Australia, 5) Germany and Netherlands, 6) New Zealand and Norway, 7) France, 8) Canada, and 9) United States.

(Commonwealth Fund)

9. Each year more than 157 million patient diagnostic lab tests are ordered by primary care doctors. About 15% of doctors reported uncertainty about ordering tests while 8% had problems interpreting test results. The top 3 reasons for confusion were: lack of info as to patient costs (53%), health insurance restrictions (40%), and different test names (20%).

(The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine)

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