Primary care doctors (general practitioners, family practitioners, internists, pediatricians and OB/GYNs) earnings rose in nearly every region of the country from 2006 to 2007, the 2008 Medical Economics survey reports. But, the increase in earnings was most noticeable in the East. In that region, annual earnings rose from $158,000 in 2006 to $212,000 in 2007a gain of nearly $50,000. This year, respondents in the Midwest saw the least gain, from $175,000 to $187,000.

The survey also found that the gap between earnings of primary care doctors in small practices and those in medium or large groups widened. Doctors in solo practice reported earnings of $162,000, while doctors in groups of 26 to 50 physicians reported earnings of $262,000. Also, primary care reimbursement rose substantially, but not all specialties benefited. Many respondents reported only receiving 55% of the Medicare fee schedule, but receiving more from private insurance companies. Overall, nearly one-fifth of primary care practitioners earn less than $120,000.

Terry K. 2008 exclusive surveyearnings: good news for primary care income. Med Econ 2008 Aug 1. Available at: memag/Medical+Economics/2008-Exclusive-SurveymdashEarnings-Good-news-for-p/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/532638 (Accessed August 2008).

Vol. No: 145:09Issue: 9/15/2008