Primary care salaries hold steady

Primary care physicians did not see much change in their compensation last year compared to 2002, according to a survey by Sullivan, Cotter & Associates, a consulting company that specializes in physician compensation. That was not the case with specialists, whose compensation soared (cardiologists, anesthesiologists) or dipped (oncologists, hematologists, pathologists).

The data were collected mainly from hospitals and large multispecialty medical groups. The overall sample size is 19,000 physicians in 180 organizations.

“Generally speaking, physician salary increases averaged about 3 percent between 2002 and 2003,” says Kim Mobley, a principal at Sullivan, Cotter & Associates. “Increases for 2004 are expected to be about the same.”