Country doctors of all specialties averaged greater buying power than their city-slicker counterparts when the lower cost of living in rural areas was taken into account, according to a recent report by the Center for Studying Health System Change. Country docs averaged $225,000 in buying power, while urban physicians averaged $199,000, according to the report, which was based on a survey of about 12,000 physicians conducted in 2001 that was adjusted for inflation to 2003 levles. The researchers concluded that for all specialties, annual physician incomes in rural areas averaged $204,000, compared with $218,000 in urban areas, a spread the researchers did not consider statistically significant.
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