They are natural questions to ask—how much should I be making? Or am I paying in line with the market?
Both physicians and hospital administrators have questions around salaries and where the market is, so we took the question directly to clinicians. In a survey of more than 2,500 clinicians conducted in the fall of 2022, we asked them to report on their earnings.
In many cases, the numbers were illuminating. We found a great disparity in pay between specialties, roles, location and practice levels. After crunching the data and consulting with experts, we have come up with the 2022 Physician and Advanced Practice Salary Report.
- Physicians on average made $328,025.
- APPs on average made $160,760.
This is important information because it provides context for where a physician stands amongst colleagues nationwide. It can also help to inform next steps in a career and whether a non-traditional role is a career fit.
Here are three of the key findings from the salary reports that help tell the story of the current healthcare landscape.
APP salaries are on the rise
The use of APPs is on the rise, so it should come as no surprise that their salaries have risen as well. The average advance practice provider’s salary has increased 13% since the beginning of the pandemic, and now resides at its highest point in recent years.
There is the potential for APP salaries to continue to increase. Currently, clinicians and healthcare organizations are pushing to allow APPs to practice to the top of their license and even push that further. In most areas of the country, there are stringent requirements for M.D. supervision over APPs, but loosening those regulations could have a significant impact on the care model, allowing hospitals to expand APP utilization and increase the volume of patients seen. That would increase their value to a health system and potentially lead to a further increase in salary.
Physician salaries have dipped
The salary reports do not paint an entirely rosy picture for clinicians. The 2022 average physician salary is 9% lower than it was at the start of the pandemic, settling back to its 2017 average after a significant jump in 2018 that held for years.
This isn’t to say that physicians are earning less in all areas, but it is a snapshot of 2022 and the impact the pandemic had on many medical practices. With numerous disruptors, physicians have been challenged to alter the way they deliver care. In many cases, telehealth services are not reimbursed at the same level as in-person care. That alone can lead to diminished earnings. As team leaders, physicians are on the frontlines of the healthcare industry. Continued innovation and a push for reimbursements that better takes into account value and new technology will help physicians, as a whole, gain higher salaries in line with their contribution to patient wellness.
Fewer than 50% of surveyed clinicians are employed full-time
This is an interesting statistic to dive into: 49% of clinicians report being employed full-time. That means that more than half of clinicians who responded to the survey are either self-employed, working part time or on a contract basis.
This is a major shift from previous mindsets around traditional staffing models. We saw similar findings in our recent report, The Future of Work: Redefining the Role of Physicians in the Gig Economy. Many clinicians are now open to new opportunities as they look for flexibility and a greater quality of life. For some that comes down to locum tenens, which gives clinicians more control over their schedule while still maximizing earning potential. This statistic is something to monitor going forward, as clinicians weigh their options and consider new career pathways.
This year’s salary report is a start to a conversation about clinician pay and the role they play in the healthcare continuum. Beyond the big picture data, we take a closer look at 16 specialties. Be sure to look through them for a more granular look at certain physician and APP fields.