Family physician total compensation averaged $234,000 per year at the start of 2020, according to the latest Medscape Family Medicine Physician Compensation Report. Data include salary, bonus, and profit-sharing for employed physicians; for self-employed physicians, data include earnings after deductible business expenses but before income tax.
For comparison, total average compensation for pediatrics was $232,000 and for obstetrics/gynecology was $308,000. Although family medicine compensation is among the lowest for all physician specialties, it has increased somewhat from last year's average of $231,000.
But many are wondering what effect COVID-19 will have on physicians financially. Since the start of the pandemic, practice revenues have declined 55% and patient volume has decreased 60%, according to the report, leading to layoffs, furloughs, and pay cuts nationwide. Nine percent of independent practices report that they have had to close their doors, at least temporarily.
To provide financial relief to physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Physicians on May 22 urged the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make a targeted allocation from the Provider Relief Fund to “support primary care physicians and their practices, sufficient to keep their doors open, by offsetting lost revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
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