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Report: Physician pay increases, but so too do frustrations


Doximity study also points out a huge pay gap between male and female doctors

Doctor pay is up, but so are frustrations: ©KrakenImages -

Doctor pay is up, but so are frustrations: ©KrakenImages -

Doximity released its 2024 Physician Compensation Report, which highlights several critical issues affecting the medical community. According to the report, doctors saw a 5.9% increase in average pay in 2023, reversing a 2.4% decline from the previous year. Despite this rise, the report underscores a persistent 23% gender wage gap, with male physicians earning nearly $102,000 more than their female counterparts, even when adjusted for specialty, location, and experience.

The comprehensive report also delves into physician career satisfaction, revealing that many doctors are grappling with overwork, burnout, and the repercussions of a widespread physician shortage. Alarmingly, half of the surveyed physicians have considered leaving clinical practice, and 86% express concerns about the U.S. health care system's capacity to manage an aging population.

Nate Gross, MD, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Doximity state: “The U.S. health care system continues to face significant challenges that are taking a toll on even the most dedicated medical professionals. Physicians are increasingly tasked with achieving more with less. The goal of this report is to empower physicians to advocate for themselves and make better-informed career decisions.”

The report’s insights are drawn from over 150,000 survey responses collected over the past five years, including feedback from more than 33,000 full-time U.S. physicians in 2023.

Key findings from the report include:

Physician compensation and gender wage gap

- The gender pay gap among physicians has narrowed slightly to 23% in 2023, from 26% in 2022 and 28% in 2021. Nevertheless, female physicians earn less than their male counterparts across all medical specialties.

- Only 40% of physicians are satisfied with their current salary and compensation packages.

- Instead of negotiating for higher pay, 75% of physicians indicated they are willing to accept, or have already accepted, lower pay in exchange for greater autonomy or better work-life balance.

Overwork, burnout, and doctor shortage

- 81% of physicians reported feeling overworked, with 59% considering a change in employment, including 30% contemplating early retirement.

- To combat overwork and burnout, 75% of physicians suggested reducing administrative burdens, a preference that outweighs increased compensation or reduced patient loads.

- The physician shortage has impacted 88% of clinical practices, with 74% describing the shortage as “moderate” or “severe.”

- Overwork or burnout due to the shortage has affected 67% of physicians, while 60% reported diminished job satisfaction. Additionally, 27% of physicians have experienced anxiety or depression as a direct result of these conditions.

The full report can be accessed here.

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© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health