Median compensation for specialty physicians rose to $316,620 in 2005, a one-year increase of 6.6% and a 20.3% jump since 2001, according to an annual survey by the Medical Group Management Association. Primary-care physicians saw slightly slower growth. Their median compensation hit $168,111 in 2005, a 3.9% increase from the previous year and a 12.8% rise since 2001. Physicians' work volume as measured by gross charges also rose, a sign that physicians are boosting productivity, the MGMA said.
From 2004 to 2005, specialists' gross charges rose 6.5% and primary-care physicians' gross charges increased 6.8%. Anesthesiology and emergency medicine -- the two specialties that posted the strongest compensation growth -- reported hefty increases. Anesthesiologists' median compensation rose 10.3% to $359,699; their gross charges increased 18.8%, the MGMA said. Emergency medicine physicians' median compensation was up 9.8% to $243,449, as gross charges climbed 17.5%.