Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Physician demoralization - Code Blue For Some Medical Specialists

The May 5, 2008, Wall Street Journal reports some medical specialists are feeling blue about flat incomes and growing income gaps between themselves and their procedural colleagues, with whom they must share equally in overhead costs in some groups.

There is nothing new about this, of course, but most news items on low physician incomes focus on primary care doctors rather than the pay cognitive sub-specialists. The article “Medical Specialists Hit by Growing Pay Gap” says the following specialists, who tend to do few procedures but engage in long workups of patients with complicated problems, are falling behind in incomes -- neuro-opthamologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, pediatric subspecialists, metabolic physicians, rheumologists, and pulmonologists.

Particularly hard hit are pediatric rheumologists. There are only 200 of them, but 400,000 new cases of juvenile rheumatology, lupus, and related diseases survace each year. Neuro-ophthalmologists are also in trouble. Of the 400 now practicing, 140 will soon retire in a decade or so, and only 20 physicians have taken neuro- ophthalmology residences in the last 4 years.

The article says the gap all about high tech/low tech, with the procedure-oriented high tech specialists - radiologists, gastroenterologists, invasive cardiologists, and orthopedic surgeons – has grown wider over the last ten years because of higher codes for procedures and the ability to see more patients in a shorter period of time

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Although what you are saying is so correct, please correct the spelling of "rheumatologists" from 'rheumologists."