Median compensation for academic physicians rose slightly from 2001 to 2002, but pay for academic administrators did not increase, according to a report by the Medical Group Management Association.
Primary care specialists saw a 3.8% increase and specialty physicians a 2.4% increase, according to the report, released Tuesday.
Among specific academic specialties, gastroenterologists saw a 13% increase and anesthesiologists a 9.2% increase, while orthopedic surgeons saw not change and obstetricians/gynecologists say pay fall, by 3%, MGMA reports.
"Academic practices find it's more difficult to attract new physicians when their compensation is considerably less than the private sector," says MarieAnn North, an advisor to the MGMA and senior vice president at The Hunter Group in Tampa, Fla., in a release. "Academic practices can lose business to more appealing, better-located private facilities."
The report also found that management compensation was flat or fell from 2001 to 2002.
For example, salaries for chief department administrators for pediatrics without additional responsibilities increased .05%, while general surgery administrators' salaries fell 8%.
With many academic practices having financial problems, North says "the bottom line affects academic practice administrators most, especially when groups are fighting to keep their physician compensation competitive."
"While academic practice administrators' salaries remain flat, the level of competency needed in these roles have increased," she adds. "Administrators must consider HIPAA, Medicare compliance and other challenges."