Emergency departments continue to see growth in the number of patients they serve, stretching resources and capacity limits. However, there’s some good news (and a little troubling news) regarding the compensation emergency physicians receive for their hard work.
This year’s report shows a compensation increase of 10.16 percent nationally, from highs of 13 percent in the Middle Atlantic and the Pacific Northwest to lows of 6 percent in the Northeast. The market continues to reflect the lack of standardization in the specialty, with jobs in areas with highly desirable lifestyles featuring significantly lower incomes than nearby positions in “geographically challenged” areas.
There are some overall trends that can spotted in our report:
- The percentage of jobs open to primary care boarded physicians is 45 percent, up 8 percent from last year.
- Sign-on bonuses are increasing, with the average at $25,000 and the high at $100,000; most do not include relocation costs.
- Scribes are becoming the norm, no longer a major plus, in emergency departments nationwide.
- The benchmark of $200 per hour continues to prevail, spreading into the Middle Atlantic but not translating to the Northeast.
- Urgent care jobs are rife in all states, with increasing incomes as high as $350,000.
The following regional numbers are based on 1,632 clinical hours per year and reflect all employment models, including employed directly and employed by a group or immediate care center, that were all input and averaged out. They include incentive bonuses and productivity components measured in relative value units (RVUs) where applicable. The picture of the emergency medicine market comes from data drawn from primary emergency medicine job websites, including EDPhysician.com, EDSource.com, EDOpenings.com, and ACEP’s Career Central, as well as from inquiries sent to all large national contract management groups. The annual incomes include a basic benefits package worth $25,000. Sign-on bonuses, loan assistance, and other perks are not included. Rankings are based on state averages rather than sporadic highs. (See Figure 1 for the top 10 and bottom 10 states in terms of overall compensation.)
The Southeast leads the country in compensation, with all state income averages well over $200 per hour and a regional income increase of just over 9 percent. However, Louisiana and North Carolina saw compensation drop this year.
ALABAMA: Average: $206/hr., $362,000 annually; high of $291/hr., $500,000 annually in the Gulf Coast
ARKANSAS: Average: $232/hr., $403,000 annually; high of $245/hr., $425,000 annually
FLORIDA: Average: $220/hr., $385,000 annually; high of $300/hr., $515,000 annually on the Gulf Coast