News in brief: December 2010
Primary care physicians in the United States earn around $60 (£37; €42) an hour, according to a survey of more than 6000 doctors, and of the main specialty groups studied they are the lowest paid for their time.
Surgeons took home the highest average hourly wage, $92, whereas within subspecialties, neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists earned $132 and $126 an hour respectively, according to the study (Arch Intern Med 2010;170:1728-34).
The United States has a shortage of family practitioners, and the study’s authors suggest the difference in pay may have contributed to this.
“It’s not just doctors themselves that are looking at this disparity and choosing higher wages,” lead researcher J Paul Leigh, of the University of California Davis School of Medicine, told Reuters Health. “The economic incentives for medical schools and their students have been out of whack. Schools understand that a cardiac unit is going to bring in more