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News of the Day ... In Perspective

06/29/2006

Doctors’ average pay down 7% in 8 years, report says

While the incomes of lawyers and other professionals rose by 7% between 1995 and 2003, the average net income of doctors fell 7% during the same period, according to a report by the Center for Studying Health System Change.

The report was based on national telephone surveys of about 6,600 physicians.

The average reported net income for a primary care physician in 2003 was $146,405, after expenses including professional liability insurance and before taxes.

Center president Paul Ginsburg said that payments from both Medicare and commercial insurers had lagged behind general inflation, which had reduced the value of the dollar by 21% over this period.

Lower incomes are resulting in fewer physicians entering primary care, stated Dr. Rick Kellerman, President-Elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians (Reed Abelson, NY Times 6/22/06).

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