Gastroenterology: Still a Great Way to Make a Living

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Gastroenterology: Still a Great Way to Make a Living

Summing Up Gastroenterologists' Compensation

The 2013 survey drew similar percentages of responding gastroenterologists from each age group. More than one half (55%) were 40-59 years of age. The age breakdown was as follows:

28-39 years of age (23%);

40-49 years of age (29%);

50-59 years of age (26%); and

≥ 60 years of age (22%).

Gastroenterologists enjoyed a larger average salary, according to the 2013 survey: $342,000 vs the $303,000 reported the previous year. Earnings for all gastroenterologists working full-time are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Gastroenterologists' annual earnings, 2013 survey.

For this survey, compensation for employed gastroenterologists was defined as salary, bonus, and profit-sharing contributions. For partners in private practice, it was earnings after tax-deductible business expenses but before income tax. Activities not related to patient care, such as speaking engagements, expert witness services, and product sales, were not included.

Nearly one half (47%) of gastroenterologists reported that their incomes were unchanged from the previous year. In the 2013 survey, salaries were lower for 28% and higher for 25% than those reported in the previous year.

Among the Best-Paid Specialists

The average salary for gastroenterologists increased by 13% in the 2013 survey. Gastroenterology paid better than 84% of the other specialties included in the 2013 Physician Compensation Report. In the 2012 survey, gastroenterologists ranked sixth of 25 salary-wise, but 1 year later, only orthopedists ($405,000), cardiologists ($357,000), and radiologists ($349,000) had higher average salaries.

Women's Salaries Catching Up

Female gastroenterologists earned less than their male counterparts, but the disproportion was not as large as in other medical specialties. Data from the 2013 Physician Compensation Report showed that among gastroenterologists working full-time, men earned an average of $349,000; women, $308,000. Men earned about 13% more in 2013, whereas in 2012, they reported earning 27% more.

When all specialties were considered, men in the 2013 analysis were paid 30% more. The disparities vary greatly in magnitude from one specialty to another. In pathology, the salary gap is small, with men earning about 8% more. Male obstetrician/gynecologists received 14% more, whereas in primary care, family medicine, and cardiology, men brought in 17% more. Male physicians were paid significantly more in ophthalmology (34%), plastic surgery (38%), and critical care medicine (42%).

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