Functional Medicine or Hospital Employee?

Don’t Fall Prey to the Hospital Corporate Buy Out

With the recent passage of healthcare reform, many doctors are unsure about future income earnings.  Currently, about 50% of physicians in the US work as employees in the hospital system.  The other 50% in private practice are weighing their options.  With increasing overhead and reduced insurance reimbursement, it will become more and more challenging to stay in business.  To make ends meet, doctors will have to –

  1. Find new sources of income in private practice
  2. Increase the quantity of patients they are currently seeing.
  3. Find ways to reduce overhead costs.

According to a recent physicians compensation report put out by Becker’s Hospital Review, the average salaries for doctors employed in the hospital system are as follows:

  • Anesthesiology: $325,000
  • Radiology: $321,000
  • Cardiology: $254,000
  • Orthopedics: $251,000
  • Critical care: $247,000
  • Emergency medicine: $247,000
  • General surgery: $226,000
  • Pathology and lab medicine: $221,000
  • Gastroenterology: $205,000
  • Obstetrics/gynecology/women’s health: $194,000
  • Urology: $192,000
  • Oncology: $190,000
  • Psychiatry and mental health: $174,000
  • Pulmonary medicine: $174,000
  • Family medicine: $169,000
  • Infectious diseases: $168,000
  • Internal medicine: $163,000
  • Nephrology: $161,000
  • Dermatology: $157,000
  • Plastic surgery and aesthetic medicine: $155,000
  • Endocrinology: $153,000
  • Neurology: $150,000
  • Pediatrics: $150,000
  • Ophthalmology: $147,000
  • Rheumatology: $139,000

Now if you are a chiropractor or naturopathic doctor, you most likely won’t have the option of hospital employment.  Private practice earnings for these professions range greatly.  According to BLS data, the range for chiropractors is between 37,000 and 228,000. According to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges, the average salary for and ND ranges between 80,000 and 200,000.

This Pay Grade is Too Low

From the lowest reported salary of 37,000 to the highest of 325,000, I can honestly say that the trade off is unfair.  Doctors go to school for 8 plus years spending anywhere from 150,000 to 250,000 dollars getting educated before they can even practice.  Add to this the tremendous overhead of running a clinic.  Employees, insurance, specialized equipment, continuing education…  Now consider the tremendous stress and liability involved.  Taking care of sick people is one of the biggest stresses, but add lawsuits, dealing with potential board complaints, and politics to the equation and you have a recipe for misery.

The Trends are Changing

functional medicine successMany doctors are moving toward hospital employment.  Many are moving away from traditional medical models and into functional medicine models.  What are you going to do? Going into hospital employment means having a boss.  A boss who can dictate treatment, quantity of patients that you need to see, how you should keep notes and records, what treatment protocols you need to follow, etc.  Those doctors who are independent thinkers and want to do things outside the box won’t thrive as employees. The Functional Medicine Model of practice allows for much greater freedom.  Freedom to choose and dictate the direction of patient care.  Freedom to step outside of the traditional treatment box.

Don’t get wrapped up in the corporate take over of health care.  Real care lies in the one on one relationship of the doctor and the patient.  Real care lies in the ability to make decisions about treatment without the boss influencing choices because of finances.  The only way to accomplish real care is in a private practice setting.  The only way to deliver quality care is using the functional medicine model.

Put your time and effort into growing your FM practice now.  Step outside the box now.  Plan your long term practice success now.  Doing so will allow you not only the financial freedom that comes with an FM practice, but it will also allow you to practice the way you want to.  The salaries listed above are a fraction of what you are worth.  Functional medicine doctors save lives, and saving lives is priceless.

To your success,

Dr. O


If you need help, grab your copy of My FM Blueprint here <<<

Dr. Peter Osborne

Dr. Peter Osborne