Specialist Nurses Paid Higher Salaries than Family Doctors in the US
According to the latest reports from Merritt Hawkins & Associates, a physician recruiting and consulting firm in the United States, medical centers last year offered higher salaries and incentives to specialist nurses than to primary care doctors.
Primary care doctors were offered an average base salary of $173,000 in 2009 compared to an average base salary of $189,000 offered to certified nurse anesthetists, or CRNAs.
In 2010 their projection indicate that the average base salary for family physicians will be about $178,000 compared to $186,000 for CRNAs.
CRNA salaries have trended higher as the number of surgical procedures picked up pace over the past few years, fueling demand for anesthesiologists and anesthetists.
Looking at these compensation trends, the biggest concern for America’s health care system is how to encourage more medical students to pick primary care as their specialty at a time when the nation is already facing a shortage of about 60,000 primary care doctors.
As of now there is a growing shortage of family doctors in America and this is expected to continue when health reform happens and millions of more Americans have access to health care.