Orthopedic surgeon compensation, net worth & gender wage gap — 20 insights for 2020


Here are 20 insights on orthopedic surgeon compensation, net worth, the gender wage gap and more, drawn from four separate reports:

1. Orthopedic surgeons generate on average $3.29 million a year in revenue for hospitals, the fourth-highest of any specialty, according to Merritt Hawkins' "2019 Physician Inpatient/Outpatient Revenue Survey.

2. Orthopedic surgeons earned the highest incentive bonuses in Medscape's "Physician Compensation Report 2020," taking home $96,000 on average each year. 

3. Compensation rose 6 percent from 2019 to 2020 for orthopedic surgeons.

4. Orthopedic surgeons topped Medscape's compensation list with an average annual income of $511,000. Merritt Hawkins found that orthopedic surgeons earned an average salary of $533,000.

5. Sixty percent of orthopedic surgeons reported being fairly compensated for their work.

6. However, female orthopedic surgeons earn on average $122,677 per year less than their male counterparts, according to Doximity's "2020 Physician Compensation Report."

7. Doximity found orthopedic surgery to be the specialty with the third-largest gender wage gap. Male orthopedists earn an average salary of $614,447, compared to $491,770 for women.

8.Only 11 percent of women physicians specialize in orthopedics, up just 2 percent from 2015.

9. Average guaranteed income/base salary offered to orthopedic surgeons over the past five years was:

2019-20: $626,000
2018-19: $536,000
2017-18: $533,000
2016-17: $579,000
2015-16: $521,000

10. Orthopedic surgeons' average income increased 16.7 percent year over year for 2019-20.

11. Orthopedic surgeons were the 15th most-requested specialists from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020, according to Merritt Hawkins' "2020 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives and the Impact of COVID-19."

12. In Medscape's "Physician Debt and Net Worth Report 2020," 19 percent of orthopedic surgeons reported having a net worth of more than $5 million, the highest of any specialty.

13. Compensation and reimbursement factor into burnout for 34 percent of orthopedists, according to Medscape's "Orthopedist Lifestyle, Happiness & Burnout Report 2020."

14. More than one-third of orthopedists are burned out. 

15. The top three burnout contributors are bureaucratic tasks (65 percent), increasing computerization of medical practice (44 percent) and insufficient compensation/reimbursement (34 percent).

16. Orthopedic surgeons reported spending 13.7 hours per week on administrative work, the eighth lowest of any specialty.

17. Orthopedic surgeons reported having about 18 percent of their claims denied.

18. Among specialists in Medscape's survey, 22 percent of orthopedic surgeons had a mortgage of over $500,000.

19. Twenty-eight percent of orthopedic surgeons are still paying medical school debt.

20. If given the opportunity, 97 percent of orthopedic surgeons would choose orthopedics as their specialty again.

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