Administrative, Reimbursement Issues Frustrate Psychiatrists -- Physician Salary Survey Indicates 77% of Psychiatrists Would Choose Medicine Again

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Among 647 respondents to a national psychiatrist salary survey conducted this summer by LocumTenens.com, only 9% said they were not frustrated about practicing medicine in today's healthcare marketplace. The remaining respondents identified with a list of possible frustrations as follows: Administrative and business agendas interfere with clinical decisions - 33%; Reimbursement issues - 19%; Lifestyle issues: Too much time at work - 13%. Regardless of their frustration, more than three-fourths of respondents (77%) said they would choose medicine as a career path if they had it to do over again. The psychiatrist salary survey results indicate the average psychiatrist salary increased by almost 3%, from $173,408 in the recruiting firm's 2005 survey to $178,000 in 2006.

Among 647 respondents to a national psychiatrist salary survey conducted this summer by LocumTenens.com, only 9% said they were not frustrated about practicing medicine in today's healthcare marketplace. The remaining survey respondents identified with a list of possible frustrations as follows:

  • Administrative and business agendas interfere with clinical decisions - 33%
  • Reimbursement issues - 19%
  • Lifestyle issues: Too much time at work - 13%

"Earnings potential wasn't the reason most physicians chose to practice medicine," LocumTenens.com Executive Vice President Michael Davis said. "Many don't anticipate the bureaucracy and business challenges of doing so today, particularly in the mental health field."

Regardless of their frustration, more than three-fourths of respondents (77%) said they would choose medicine as a career path if they had it to do over again. This compares with respondents from other specialties as follows:

  • 56% of obstetricians/gynecologists
  • 57% of orthopedic surgeons
  • 67% of anesthesiologists
  • 69% of general surgeons
  • 70% of pediatricians, internists and radiologists

Almost a third (34%) of survey respondents said they planned to change jobs within the next year and, including those, almost half (46%) said they planned to change jobs within 2 years. However, 43% said they had no plans to change jobs in the foreseeable future. (To see complete psychiatrist survey results, click here: http://www.locumtenens.com/psych-salary06.)

As the U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress prepares to meet in New Orleans this weekend, physician recruiting firm LocumTenens.com shared these and other highlights of its 2006 psychiatrist salary survey.

Regarding physician salaries, the LocumTenens.com survey results indicate the average psychiatrist salary increased by almost 3%, from $173,408 in the recruiting firm's 2005 survey to $178,000 in 2006. This year's survey results indicate that 79% of psychiatrists earn salaries of $200,000 or less, with 39% of that group earning $150,000 or less. Almost two-thirds (64%) said they receive no bonuses or other incentives in addition to salary.

Physicians in the following specialties reported the largest increases over 2005 salaries:

  • Obstetrics & Gynecology - 19% increase
  • Family Practice - 12% increase
  • Non-invasive Cardiology - 10% increase
  • Gastroenterology - 8% increase
  • Neurology - 7% increase

Sixty-nine percent of survey participants were male, 69% were board-certified, and more than half (61%) had practiced medicine for more than 10 years. Only 31% of respondents said they had worked as a locum tenens provider, but another 61% said they would consider it.

Founded in 1995, LocumTenens.com is a full-service physician/CRNA recruiting firm specializing in supplemental placement of anesthesiologists, radiologists, psychiatrists, surgeons and CRNAs with U.S. hospitals, medical groups and community health centers. LocumTenens.com is part of the Jackson Healthcare Staffing family of companies. To learn more, visit the company's web sites at http://www.locumtenens.com/media and http://www.CRNAjobs.com.

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BILLIE WICKSTROM
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