ASN Data Bytes: Interpreting the Medscape Young Physicians Compensation Report

By Kurtis Pivert

Medscape recently released the Young Physicians Compensation Report. What are the takeaways for ASN as it continues to expand nephrology workforce initiatives? ASN Data Science Officer Kurtis Pivert provides some insights.

ASN Data Bytes September 2016

This subset analysis of the 2016 Medscape Physicians Compensation Report isolated respondents younger than 40 years of age. Researchers gathered data from 19,183 physicians across 26 medical specialties, with nephrologists comprising 1% of respondents (approximately 192).

What did the survey report?

Annual compensation for young nephrologists—$233,000—was directly in the middle of the 26 specialties captured (in 14th place), outpacing general surgery and internal medicine (IM).

Of those who responded to this survey, fewer young nephrologists indicated they were still paying off student debt (47%)—only 6 other specialties reported lower percentages—although this rate was virtually identical to IM physicians (48%). This is not unexpected since international medical graduates, who typically have little or no educational debt, have comprised the majority of nephrology fellows since 2007.

Despite relatively positive compensation and student debt data, only 47% of the young nephrologists responding to this survey would choose medicine again and only 9% would choose nephrology. The closest specialties were IM (23%) and family medicine (28%), of which 72% and 76% of respondents, respectively, indicated they would again choose medicine as a career.

What are the limitations?

As with all survey-based studies, the Medscape report has some limitations. It was unclear how many nephrologists were in the under-40 subgroup. With approximately 192 nephrologist respondents overall, it’s uncertain if the number of under-40 responses comprised a representative sample.

The report did not indicate if compensation data presented was the mean or median for each specialty. (Median is the preferred summary statistic for income since it’s more resistant to outliers.)

What is the takeaway for ASN?

Approximately 2% of practicing US physicians and 2% of practicing nephrologists responded to this survey. There is a clear need for more representative data—from more than 192 physicians—on kidney health professionals at every stage of their careers.

Compensation and career satisfaction are issues central to the health of the specialty, and to attracting the best physicians who will continue to advance patient care and research.

As part of its significant investment in supporting the nephrology workforce, this year ASN established the ASN Data Analytics Program. Through this program ASN will gather comprehensive data on kidney health professionals, identify trends, and provide analyses that will help ASN improve current, and develop new initiatives to support nephrologists across the career spectrum.

ASN is focused on gathering better data on kidney health professionals at all stages of their careers. The report raises some important questions about gaps in the current knowledge.

How many young nephrologists are in clinical practice, and of these how many are involved in providing specialized kidney care as opposed to practicing as a primary care provider or hospitalist?

How do geographic variation and other contributing factors influence compensation data across the kidney health workforce?

What contributes to career satisfaction among nephrologists at every career stage?

These are just a few examples of the knowledge gaps ASN is committed to addressing as it extends its support for all kidney professionals. Let us know what areas you think require more comprehensive data: info@kidneynews.org.

 

Category:
Author:
Kurtis Pivert
Article Image:
Body:

Medscape recently released the Young Physicians Compensation Report. What are the takeaways for ASN as it continues to expand nephrology workforce initiatives? ASN Data Science Officer Kurtis Pivert provides some insights.

ASN Data Bytes September 2016

This subset analysis of the 2016 Medscape Physicians Compensation Report isolated respondents younger than 40 years of age. Researchers gathered data from 19,183 physicians across 26 medical specialties, with nephrologists comprising 1% of respondents (approximately 192).

What did the survey report?

Annual compensation for young nephrologists—$233,000—was directly in the middle of the 26 specialties captured (in 14th place), outpacing general surgery and internal medicine (IM).

Of those who responded to this survey, fewer young nephrologists indicated they were still paying off student debt (47%)—only 6 other specialties reported lower percentages—although this rate was virtually identical to IM physicians (48%). This is not unexpected since international medical graduates, who typically have little or no educational debt, have comprised the majority of nephrology fellows since 2007.

Despite relatively positive compensation and student debt data, only 47% of the young nephrologists responding to this survey would choose medicine again and only 9% would choose nephrology. The closest specialties were IM (23%) and family medicine (28%), of which 72% and 76% of respondents, respectively, indicated they would again choose medicine as a career.

What are the limitations?

As with all survey-based studies, the Medscape report has some limitations. It was unclear how many nephrologists were in the under-40 subgroup. With approximately 192 nephrologist respondents overall, it’s uncertain if the number of under-40 responses comprised a representative sample.

The report did not indicate if compensation data presented was the mean or median for each specialty. (Median is the preferred summary statistic for income since it’s more resistant to outliers.)

What is the takeaway for ASN?

Approximately 2% of practicing US physicians and 2% of practicing nephrologists responded to this survey. There is a clear need for more representative data—from more than 192 physicians—on kidney health professionals at every stage of their careers.

Compensation and career satisfaction are issues central to the health of the specialty, and to attracting the best physicians who will continue to advance patient care and research.

As part of its significant investment in supporting the nephrology workforce, this year ASN established the ASN Data Analytics Program. Through this program ASN will gather comprehensive data on kidney health professionals, identify trends, and provide analyses that will help ASN improve current, and develop new initiatives to support nephrologists across the career spectrum.

ASN is focused on gathering better data on kidney health professionals at all stages of their careers. The report raises some important questions about gaps in the current knowledge.

How many young nephrologists are in clinical practice, and of these how many are involved in providing specialized kidney care as opposed to practicing as a primary care provider or hospitalist?

How do geographic variation and other contributing factors influence compensation data across the kidney health workforce?

What contributes to career satisfaction among nephrologists at every career stage?

These are just a few examples of the knowledge gaps ASN is committed to addressing as it extends its support for all kidney professionals. Let us know what areas you think require more comprehensive data: info@kidneynews.org.