Primary Care Pay Jumps 7%

A new report shows primary care doctors are finally seeing their pay spike. The report also contains the latest salary figures for other specialties.

“Anything that just costs money is cheap.”

—John Steinbeck

There was little doubt in my physician-dad’s mind that he should be well compensated. His work was a great trust. And it was work—being an effective doctor always meant hard work, he maintained.

For his dripline and devotion, he wanted a better than good payday. It was a sign of respect. From my observations, while he did leave some bucks on the table, he was an above-average earner for his medical specialty in his times.

Dad was a diagnostician—one the best of his day on the Jersey Shore. Today, he’d be called a primary care physician. A healthcare gatekeeper—board-certified in medical examination and internal medicine that is.

The guy wasn’t Dr. House, but he did it well for enough people over enough years for you to realize that he was pretty good at what he did. I figure if he could do it other doctors can too.

The 2015 Physician Compensation and Productivity Survey from Sullivan, Cotter & Associates is out with findings showing that primary care physicians are experiencing bigger increases in total cash compensation than their specialist peers.

Family practice ($225,546) and internal medicine ($230,000) total pay was up more than 7% in a year and about 3.5% annually over the past 5 years. Psychiatry ($223,380 up 9% in ‘15) and hospitalists ($249,458, up 6% in ‘15) also did well.

While those docs certainly think there’s more catching up to do, even with today’s low inflation, that’s not too bad. Certainly headed in the right direction.

Continue reading to see a chart of pay changes in 10 other specialties.

Below are yearly compensation figures for other medical specialties along with their ‘15 pay increase:

All data from Sullivan, Cotter and Associates.