Physician executives who are considering leaving management positions in managed care organizations should look to greener pastures at practice management companies, medical/health care associations, health system corporate offices, and foundations, according to results of a physician survey conducted by Cejka Search and the American College of Physician Executives. Physician executives employed by these types of organizations reported median salaries of as much as $360,000.
That's not to say physician compensation at health plans has languished, however. The same survey shows that median physician executive compensation increased by 7 percent during the past two years to $220,000 in 2002. Further, chief medical officers at HMOs saw a 30 percent jump in median compensation (from $231,000 in 2000 to $300,000 in 2002). Associate/assistant medical directors reported a 20.1 percent increase during that time, from $169,000 to $202,939.
"The fact that there is much more demand and limited supply bodes well for physician executives," says Bill Wendt, vice president for marketing and business development at Cekja Search. "I expect we'll continue seeing fairly significant increases in salary for health care professionals, particularly physician executives."
For comparison, private-practice internists, family practitioners, and general pediatricians reported a median salary of only $149,000 for the same year.
SOURCE: 2003 PHYSICIAN EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION SALARY, CEKJA SEARCH AND THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PHYSICIAN EXECUTIVES