Compensation Survey Provider Review: AMGA

Healthcare provider compensation varies substantially, because it’s independently negotiated between providers and employers. One way providers can better position themselves for salary negotiations is by researching how specialty, region, employer size, and other factors impact pay. The AMGA salary data that’s published annually contains some of the most detailed information on physician salaries in the United States.

The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) is far from the only research organization that collects physician salary data. It’s one of the older organizations doing this work, though, and its data is both highly informative and highly regarded.

Who is the AMGA?

The American Medical Group Association is a trade association comprised of healthcare organizations. It includes mostly larger organizations employing 100+ physicians. Individual providers aren’t eligible for membership.

Organizations that are part of the AMGA receive access to industry data and analytics (e.g. the AMGA employment data). The trade association also advocates on behalf of its member organizations, offers consulting services, researches improvements that might help employers, and hosts networking events.

While the AMGA’s data is highly detailed and highly reliable, the association isn’t neutral. This is a trade organization that advances the interests of larger employers in the healthcare industry (its members).

History of the American Medical Group Association

The AMGA was established in 1950 as a group practice association that represented physicians who worked in group practices. The association was subsequently named the American Group Practice Association, and then the American Medical Group Association as it grew.

Today, the association is officially named AMGA and headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. It represents larger healthcare employers throughout the country.

Where Does AMGA Get Its Data?

AMGA salary data has been collected for 35 years via an annual survey. A total of 2,500-4,000 surveys have been sent to member organizations in recent years, with an average response rate hovering slightly above 10 percent. The number of responses has been around 250-400 lately. For example 383 member organizations responded to the 2021 survey.

A few hundred survey responses might not seem like a large response, but these are responses from organizations that employ 100+ (and sometimes many more) physicians. The salary data reported represents tens of thousands of salaries. It’s actually a much larger sample size than many well-established surveys, medical or otherwise, rely on.

The most recently published AMGA salary data report is the 2022 Medical Group Compensation and Productivity Survey. The survey was conducted during Q1 2022, with responses due by April 15, 2022. (There was an extension for responses, but it shouldn’t have a material impact on the data collected.)

Is AMGA Salary Data Reliable?

The reported AMGA salary data is highly regarded for both its credibility and its depth.

The 2022 Medical Group Compensation and Productivity Survey is the main survey that AMGA conducts, but it’s not the only benchmarking survey. The association also publishes an Operations and Finance Survey, Benefits Survey, Telehealth Survey, Recruitment and Retention Survey, Risk Survey, and Provider Satisfaction Survey.

While the specific details in each survey are tailored for the particular topics studied, each survey goes into comparable levels of detail. A brief overview of the 2022 Compensation and Productivity Survey shows how the AMGA presents its extensive data.

The 2022 Compensation and Productivity Survey included pay breakdowns by:

  • Specialty (177 total)
  • Region (East, North, South, West)
  • Experience (new hire, years of experience)
  • Role (clinical care, executive, etc.)
  • Productivity (gross productivity, net collections, patient visits)
  • Demographics (gender, age, etc.)
  • Many other details

The survey also breaks compensation down to salary, fringe benefits, bonuses, and any other pay that providers might receive.

All of this data is trusted, because it’s reported by organizations that are members of the AMGA. The survey is conducted anonymously, but the association knows who’s responding. All respondents are current member organizations.

The people filling out the surveys are administrators who understand physician compensation, who have work-related responsibilities to be accurate and reasonably thorough, and who don’t have motivation to provide false information. After all, the ~90 percent of organizations that don’t want to fill out the survey simply don’t respond.

Unlike many other medical data surveys, individual physicians are unable to participate in the AMGA’s survey. Even organizations that respond usually have an administrator respond, rather than a physician.

Related reading: The Definitive Guide to wRVU Physician Compensation

Additional Information About Insurance Benefits for Physcians

Many physicians’ compensation packages include insurance coverages that account for a portion of the total compensation. Health insurance is the most common and most important, but physicians may also receive vision insurance, dental insurance, life insurance and disability insurance (among others).

The life and disability insurance offered as part of a compensation package doesn’t always meet the full needs of physicians, however. Replacing a physician salary, whether due to death or disability, requires substantial insurance coverage. Employers might pay for some coverage, but they often won’t pay for all of the coverage that a physician needs.

If you’d like more information about life insurance, check out our complete guide to life insurance. The guide explains what life insurance is, how to calculate your coverage needs, what types of life insurance coverages are available, and other related topics. It’ll give you the information needed to make an informed decision about your life insurance coverage.

Should you decide that you need more life insurance than your employer provides, we can also assist with getting quotes for affordable yet extensive life insurance policies. You can use one of the suggested policies as your primary life insurance policy, or as a policy that supplements employer-provided life insurance coverage.

The disability insurance that employers provide can be short-term and/or long-term disability insurance. Each type can play an important role, and you may want either or both.

Should you want more disability coverage than you receive from an employer, we also can assist with getting a disability insurance policy. Our policies can serve as your sole coverage, or complement what an employer provides.

Read this:  Group vs Individual Disability Insurance for Physicians

AMGA Salary Data vs. Other Compensation Survey Providers

AMGA is one of the most respected surveyors of physician compensation, but several other companies conduct their own surveys. Here’s how AMGA stacks up compared to the other main ones:

Sullivan Cotter

Sullivan Cotter is one of the most well-established healthcare compensation survey providers. Those in the industry widely consider its data as accurate, comprehensive and as detailed as AMGA’s salary data. Both names are two of the most respected in this business.

Both AMGA and Sulivan Cotter are credible enough to base compensation negotiations on. Sulivan Cotter may be more suitable for smaller practices, and AMGA may be more suitable for larger ones. There are legitimate reasons to use either in almost all negotiations, however.


The Medical Group Management Aassociation (MGMA) provides physician-specific compensation reports, but it focuses more on smaller practices that have 6 or fewer employed physicians. The data is similar to what AMGA collects for larger employers. The sample size is small, though, and the smaller sample size doesn’t equate to tens of thousands of reported salaries when employers only have a few physicians.

A person shouldn’t confuse MGMA with AGMA. MGMA is reliable for small employers, while AGMA is better for large employer situations.


Medscape also conducts compensation surveys focused specifically on healthcare providers. While Medscape’s sample size is somewhat comparable to AMGA’s, the sample quality isn’t as accurate because participants aren’t necessarily part of a trade organization. The data that Medscape publishes thus isn’t always as precise and accurate as AMGA’s.

Medscape presents the data in well-presented, quickly digestible reports. They’re worth referencing, but providers should expect employers to negotiate using AMGA and not Medscape data.

Merritt Hawkins

Merritt Hawkins is a placement agency specializing in healthcare professionals. The agency has thousands of job postings throughout the United States, and it’s from these postings that compensation data is derived.
Merritt Hawkins’ data isn’t as extensive or reliable as AMGA’s data. The agency doesn’t have as many job postings as AMGA collects salary data for, and data isn’t as parsed out as what’s in AGMA’s reports. Because the data is based on postings and not actually paid employees, it’s also not as accurate. One advantage that Merrit Hawkins does have is that its data covers healthcare providers other than physicians (although physicians account for the bulk of its information).

The jobs that Merritt Hawkins has posted are certainly worth checking. Physicians may see trends reported by AMGA play out in the available positions.

Zip Recruiter

ZipRecruiter gathers salary data across industries and vocations, drawing on job postings that the employment database has. The data is fairly generalized, not nearly containing the level of detail that AMGA publishes. It’s also much less accurate, because data comes from postings that anyone can place.

A physician can quickly search ZipRecruiter’s database online for free. Physicians can use it as a quick way to check, to determine whether a more detailed report is worth accessing.


Comparably draws from the same database as ZipRecruiter, but has a more company-specific focus. Physicians may find that Comparably has more information specific to their specialty than ZipRecruiter, but the data again isn’t too detailed or accurate.

Comparably is most useful if considering whether to apply with a particular employer, and for getting a sense of what an employer’s potential salary range might be when negotiating.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is part of the Department of Labor, and it’s the only federal agency on this list. The agency’s data is considered authoritative, and is unique in a few ways.

The BLS publishes the most geographically detailed salary data, reporting physician pay by county. The data doesn’t have the same level of detail on how compensation packages are structured, though.

The BLS’ also uses its data to forecast 5-year trends in vocations. It’s the only one of these companies that doesn’t focus on current trends, but instead has a heavier emphasis on future salary trends.

Physicians may want to consult the BLS data when considering a relocation or specialty change. The data is highly useful for geographic and long-term considerations.

How Can Physicians Access AMGA’s Salary Data?

AMGA’s salary data is only available through it’s annual report, which costs $900 for the 2022 Compensation and Productivity Survey. The price is high in part because AMGA intends it for employers, and not necessarily individual doctors.

If employers base their salary negotiations on AMGA’s salary data, physicians can request to see the data for reference. It’s a very reasonable request to see another party’s dataset during negotiations, and employers using the data will be aware of the report’s cost.

Other physicians who want to access this data will find it available through the 2022 Physician Thrive Report. The report aggregates data from multiple physician compensation surveyors, including the AMGA. The report has the most pertinent information from AGMA, and it’s enough information to use when considering offers and negotiating salaries.

How Can Physicians Use AGMA’s Salary Data?

Again, AGMA’s salary data is among the best physician compensation information published. It’s current, authoritative, reliable and detailed.

Physicians should expect larger employers to base their salaries partly on AmGA data. Physicians likewise should feel comfortable referencing the AGMA’s data during initial and advanced salary negotiations, especially if applying to work with a large healthcare practice.

Get More Physician Compensation Data

For a convenient report that encompasses AMGA and other surveyors’ physician salary data, download our Annual Physician Thrive Compensation Report. The report has information from all of the relevant compensation surveyors that provide healthcare salary data, and we’ve compiled the various data into easy-to-read tables and charts that convey the most important information. Of course, the report includes data from AMGA and other surveyors that charge for their reports.

When you find a position that’s worth applying for, the team at Physicians Thrive is further able to assist with reivew of the contract as well as negotiations. Our team members are experts in contract review, and will review a specific contract offer with you. We’re here to make sure you get the best possible salary that you can negotiate.

Need help with something else?

Get Free Disability Insurance Quotes

Get Financial Planning

5 Steps to Organize Estate Documents for Your Executor

Subscribe to our email newsletter for expert tips about finances, insurance, employment contracts, and more!

Comments (0)

About the Author