Derm Salaries On The Rise

June 7, 2016

Starting salaries for dermatologists spiked 13 percent in the last 12 months, according to a new report from Merritt Hawkins.

The average annual salary for a dermatologist in 2015-2016 was $444,000,  with a low of $250,00 and a high of $650,000, the report found.

Merritt Hawkins is a national healthcare search and consulting firm specializing in the recruitment of physicians in all medical specialties. The new report tracked the 3,342 physician and advanced practitioner recruiting assignments conducted from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016.

The 2016 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives found that starting salaries increased year-over-year in 19 of the 20 medical specialties included in the report. In 2015-2016, urologists earned $471,000, up 14 percent; otolaryngologists brought home $380,000, up 15 percent; non-invasive cardiologists earned $403,000, up 21 percent; and general surgeon’s pay was $378,000 up 12 percent.

What’s more, dermatologists, orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, gastroenterologists, urologists, pulmonologists, cardiologists and other specialists remain in steady demand, underscoring the need for medical specialists among an aging population.

The report also suggests a potential reemergence of private practice.  Five percent of the search assignments in the previous year featured an independent, solo practice setting, up from less than one percent two years ago, the report found.  Many of these solo settings feature the “concierge” or “direct pay” practice model.   However, approximately 90 percent of Merritt Hawkins’ search assignments in the last year featured employment of the physician by a hospital, medical group, urgent care center, Federally Quality Health Center or other employer, indicating that employment remains the dominant physician practice model.

In addition, the new report suggests that the use of value-based physician incentives is gaining momentum.   Of those Merritt Hawkins clients offering physicians a production bonus last year, 32 percent based the bonus in whole or in part on value-based metrics such as patient satisfaction, compared to 23 percent the previous year.  However, the report indicates that only 6 percent of total physician compensation is tied to quality or value-based metrics.

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