- Rural and lower cost cities tended to have higher physician compensation than higher cost areas, such as New York and San Francisco, a new Doximity report of 36,000 physicians found. The report covered a fair amount of compensation ground including highest areas for primary care compensation and gender information.
The top five metro areas with the overall highest compensation for primary care providers includes: Charlotte, NC ($285,109); Bridgeport, CT ($279,138); Minneapolis, ($272,610); Indianapolis, ($270,468); and Phoenix ($268,869), according to the report.
Female physicians on average earn 26.5% less less than their male counterparts, according to the report, and there is no medical specialty identified in the study in which women earn more than men.
Doximity's report adds to the literature that shows a gender gap over compensation for care professionals. In addition, the report highlights pay data in geographic areas which can be used for both health system administrators and physicians to their advantage.
The report backs up findings from HIMSS last year on 1,900 healthcare professionals that found nearly a $30,000 wage gap between men and women. Doximity's findings, in comparison, find an on average difference of $91,284. On the gender pay gap findings, lead researcher of the Doximity report and Berkeley School of Public Health assistant adjunct professor Dr. Chris Whaley told Healthcare Dive he hopes the study shines a light on compensation transparency. He thinks the wage gap could be one policy intervention from lawmakers to help lessen that disparity.
One of the striking conclusions from the study for Joel Davis, VP of Strategic Analytics & Growth at Doximity, was the evidence on how localized healthcare markets are. "The local healthcare market itself has an impact on physician compensation," he told Healthcare Dive.
As an example, the findings show disparate results in the New England region where in Bridgeport, CT, physicians are among the highest paid with an average annual salary of $353,925. Not too far down I-95 are some areas where physicians are paid the lowest average annual salary: Boston ($286,971) and Providence, RI ($294,103).
Whaley says the study did not look into the causation or correlation of compensation in different geographic regions but posits some theories for the results: the presence of medical schools and/or desirable areas to live could have more supply of available healthcare professionals which could drive down average wages.
Conversely, cities in less "desirable" areas may pay more on average, which could explain the recent finding that Alaska pays well for physician services. In addition, a recent WalletHub study similarly found there to be more opportunities for physicians in states like Iowa and Minnesota over states like Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.
Whaley says the Doximity report data may be useful for physicians seeking employment as well as health administrators to know what physicians can get paid in certain geographic areas.