The Advisory Council for General Surgery reported that the number of general surgeons in the US in the mid 90′s was between 17,289 and 23,502, or a ratio of a little over 7 general surgeons per 100,000 people. As many as 33% of today’s practicing physicians may retire by the year 2020. It is hence projected that because of the number of retiring surgeons, available work opportunities for them is solid and should continue to grow. There are actual concerns about a probable scarcity in the near future as older physicians retire. Rural areas are markedly vulnerable, as they are prone to being unable to attract and retain physicians, statistically.
Increased careers will be available surgeons in areas of poorer populations or rural areas. Surgeons brought in an average annual salary of $240,533 to $361,589 in 2008, as quoted from Salary.com reports. Salaries vary according to experience in the field, geographic location, and professional sub-specialization.
General Surgeon’s Salary Range
Like most medical specializations and sub-specializations, the amount of experience, geographic location and the type of facility and determine the General Surgeons salary. The Allied Physicians Salary Survey exposed a difference in salary for general surgeons by years of experience as follows: * 1-2 Years – $226,000 * 3 or More – $291,000 * Max – $520,000.
General Surgeon Job Overview
The international job overview for surgery physicians is good as well because the shortage for physicians is taking place around the world. Job opportunities are estimated to grow more rapidly than the usual between ’10 and ’14. The Department of Labor published a report that 14.6 percent of all practicing doctors are specialized in surgery.
The Aging Population in the US
The US demographic is growing old. From ’10 and ’35, all age groups 70 and above will go up by over 95%. This indicates that there will be a larger demand for all physician services and a relatively lesser and younger population of surgeons taking the outgoing doctor’s place . Some fear that as the Baby Boomer generation starts receiving Medicare coverage the older physicians may retire more quickly rather than accept the lower fees and larger workload of the federally sponsored Medicare. Additionally, it is estimated that as many as one-third of today’s practicing physicians will retire by 2020. However, the recession and great job loss across the land has had a direct impact on the revenue intake to doctors. When people lose their job, they also lose their health care benefits and as a result access to health care.
Stock Market Decline impact on Retirement
The latest stock market decline has impacted older physicians’ choices. Some physicians are putting off retirement because of the economy’s impact on their retirement funds. But even a 3 to five year delay won’t address the impending shortfall of experienced doctors. Some newer doctors are looking to Locum Surgery jobs for the short term to remain on hand for better work.
Health Insurance Reform
Even with the health insurance reform bill at last signed into law, its effect on our health care is not yet known. By 2014 there will be an increase in the enrollment into health care insurance programs. This increase, when combined with the sustained aging of the population, should push need for services and therefore expenses higher. Then again, no one yet knows what will come about with reimbursement rates from Medicare and this new program. The uncertainty is will there be rate a cut of remuneration rates for different specialties by Medicare, and will this new program develop into a decreasing factor of the earnings of all specialties including Surgery, its related specialties, and subspecializations.
Clearly the Obama administration has it’s work cut out for it. We are aging and there are less and less young people to carry this growing fiscal burden. The Sins of the Fathers…
Watch the video related to surgeon salary
This second of two clips from a 1946 film produced by General Motors provides a fictional history of the development of industrial medicine in the United States in the early 20th century. Medical services for workers in the United States were quite limited in the 19th century. The role of the company doctor was confined mainly to the surgical repair of victims of industrial accidents. In the early 1900s, while the surgical treatment of accidents remained paramount, industrial doctors began conducting periodic as well as pre-employment health exams and became more concerned with the health supervision of workers. With the adoption of workers comp laws beginning about 1910, industrial medicine also became increasingly involved in preventive medical engineering of the workplace. Doctors who worked for companies were generally regarded with suspicion by workers and by the medical profession. For a surgeon or physician to accept a position with a manufacturing company was to earn the contempt of his colleagues, wrote Alice Hamilton, physician and toxicologist who played a prominent role in exposing dangerous working conditions in the early decades of the 20th century. Industrial physicians were among the first doctors to work for salaries and quickly ran afoul of an American Medical Association, for which salary was anathema, but this distinction became blurred as more and more physicians joined salaried ranks. Read more in Paul Starrs book – The Social Transformation of <b>…</b>