2010 Outlook World Science News for Surgeons
The Advisory Council for General Surgery reported that the number of general surgeons in the US in 1994 was between 17,289 and 23,502, or a ratio of 7.1 general surgeons per 100,000 population. As many as one-third of today’s practicing physicians may retire by the year 2020. It is projected that because of the number of retiring surgeons employment for them is strong and should continue to grow. There is particular concern about shortages in the near future as older physicians retire. Rural areas are especially vulnerable to attracting and retaining physicians.
Increased job opportunities will be available for surgeons in areas of low-income populations or rural areas. Surgeons earned an average annual salary of $240,533 to $361,589 in 2008, based on reports. Salaries vary based upon experience in the field and professional specialty.
General Surgeon’s Salary Range
As with most specialties the years of experience, geographic location, the type of facility and determine the General Surgeons salary. General Chemotherapy The Allied Physicians Salary Survey revealed a difference in salary for general surgeons by years of experience as follows:
* 1-2 Years – $226,000
* 3 or More – $291,000
* Maximum – $520,000
General Surgeon Job Outlook
The job outlook for general surgeons is good as the shortage for physicians is occurring around the world. Employment opportunities are expected to grow faster than average between now and 2014. The Department of Labor reported that 14.6 of all practicing physicians specialized in surgery.
The Aging Population in the US
The US population is aging. From 2010 and 2035, all age groups 70 and above will increase over 95%. This means there will be a greater demand for all health care services and relatively smaller younger population of physicians taking the retiring physicians place. Some fear that as the Baby Boom generation starts receiving Medicare coverage the older physicians may retire more quickly rather than accept the lower fees and higher workload of the government funded insurance. Further, it is estimated that as many as one-third of today’s practicing physicians will retire by 2020. However, the recession and massive job loss across the country has had a direct impact on the revenue stream to physicians. When people lose their job, they also lose their health care benefits and so access to health care.
Stock Market Decline impact on Retirement
The recent stock market decline has impacted older physicians’ decisions. Some physicians are postponing retirement because of the economy’s impact on their retirement savings. But even a three- to five-year delay won’t address the impending loss of experienced physicians. Some new physicians are looking to Locum Surgery jobs for the short term to remain available for better opportunities.
Health Insurance Reform
The final uncertainty is the outcome of national health reform. If the reform actually works in increasing the enrollment into health care insurance programs then when combined with the long term the aging population and these increased numbers should push demand for services and therefore cost higher. However, no one yet knows what will happen to reimbursement rates from Medicare and this new program. The question is will there be rate a cut of reimbursement rates for different procedures by Medicare and this new program that may ultimately decrease the income of all specialties.