Compensation Survey Provider Review: Medscape

Why do many doctors and medical students rely on resources like the Medscape Compensation Report? To become a doctor, a student needs to make a considerable investment. Completing college, medical school, and a residency takes years of hard work in a highly competitive environment. Thus, doctors deserve a chance to maximize the value of all of their investments in time and money.

Medical training teaches students a lot about medicine. Still, formal education for doctors may not offer much training about the business side of working as a physician. Medical students and residents won’t learn about the value of various specialties, how to negotiate top salaries, or what type of environment to expect when they embark on their careers. That’s the type of valuable information that the data and analysis from compensation reports will offer.

Besides providing a valuable resource for doctors and medical students, healthcare providers must hire doctors and other medical professionals in various specialties. Resources like the Medscape Compensation Report and the Physicians Thrive Compensation Report can help these employers tailor compensation packages and post their listings with competitive deals that will attract talented professionals.

Related Reading: What Doctors Can Expect During Salary Negotiation


What is Medscape?

Medscape stands out as a leading provider of medical information. Medical students, attending physicians, and all sorts of clinicians use their membership to obtain the information they need to maximize the value of their careers, even as these prospective and current healthcare professionals constantly improve the value they can offer to patients.

Medscape doesn’t just offer a compensation report. The publication provides its subscribers with constantly updated information about drugs, diseases, and treatment options. It also provides members with information about various options for education and continuing medical education credits, called CME. Medscape also posts opportunities for its members to participate in paid surveys, which some physicians rely on for additional revenue.


A brief History of Medscape

SCP Communications founded Medscape in 1995, directed by Peter Frishauf, the first CEO of the company. George Lundberg, a former American Medical Association Journal editor, took a position as Medscape’s editor-in-chief in 1999. That same year, Medscape became a public company, later merging with MedicaLogic in 2000.

After MedicaLogic filed for bankruptcy several months later, WebMD purchased the company in late 2001. Beginning in 2009, WebMD launched Medscape as an iOS app, and they provided an Android version of the publication’s app two years later. By 2015, WebMD also provided another Medscape app focused on physicians’ CME and education.

Medscape Criticism

While some sources say Medscape stands out for providing top-rated medical apps for physicians, the company has also faced some criticism. For instance, Vox published a survey that found some doctors have criticized the company for demonstrating bias because of their income-generating model.

Critics have concerns that WebMD and its subsidiaries earn most of their revenue through advertising dollars from health and wellness companies. These advertisers include pharma and medical device companies. Thus, some worry that a conflict of interest may slant content towards its advertisers. This criticism mostly applied to the parent company’s popular WebMD health website for the general public, but some doctors have also applied the same observations to Medscape.

Related: Comparing the Top Reports of 2020


How Does the Medscape Compensation Report Source Its Data?

According to a recent press release about the latest report, data for the Medscape Compensation Report comes from surveys offered to its own members by an email invitation to an online survey. The survey gathered responses for its most recent report from over 13,000 physicians who worked in over 29 specialties. All of these physicians currently practice medicine full-time in the United States.

Medscape released this information about the survey data:

  • Margin for error: +/- 0.86%
  • Confidence level: 95%
  • Sampling error: +/- 0.97%.

What Did the Latest Medscape Compensation Report Cover?

  • MGMA: Medical Group Management Association, or MGMA, provides mentorships and resources to help medical professionals get a job or obtain a certification. It also helps healthcare facilities post jobs. MGMA requires a membership to use its services. Both medical professionals and facilities use MGMA for:
    • Innovative ideas and networking events
    • Information to make a profitable practice
    • Educational certifications
    • Statistics
    • Benchmarking data
    • Success strategies
    • Access to industry experts and thought leaders

Medscape claims to offer the most widely used and comprehensive salary report. The latest Medscape Compensation Report for 2022 took place from October 2021 until January 2022, and the company published the information in April 2022.

Medscape’s compensation report covers more than just economic compensation. Besides salary, bonus, and other income data, the report uncovers such additional information about various medical specialties as :

  • Job aspects physicians find rewarding or challenging
  • Time typically spent with patients and performing other activities
  • Trends in increasing or decreasing income
  • The average number of hours worked
  • Lifestyle factors of the surveyed doctors

All of these factors can vary considerably in various specialties. Each type of doctor can find specific information about their own kind of practice, geographic location, and medical specialty. The survey also reveals differences in compensation between male and female doctors and members of various ethnic groups.

For instance, the latest report found that female doctors experience a wage gap, like the gaps women face in other jobs and professions. For primary care, men earn 23 percent more than their female counterparts. The gap widens to 31 percent for various medical specialties. In addition, white doctors tend to make more than equivalent Black, Latin American, or Asian doctors. While some people may find this information surprising, medical professionals might use this knowledge to inform their contract negotiations and ensure they get paid what they’re worth.

The medical specialties covered by the Medscape Compensation Report include allergy and immunology, anesthesiology, cardiology, critical care, dermatology, diabetes and endocrinology, emergency medicine, family medicine, gastroenterology, general surgery, infectious disease, nephrology, neurology, women’s health and OB/GYN, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, laboratory medicine, pediatrics, rehabilitation, plastic surgery, psychiatry, public health, radiology, and urology.


How Does Medscape’s Report Compare to Competitors?

Physicians have plenty of choices when they want to review compensation reports. No doubt, some doctors will check out multiple sources of information. At the same time, medical professionals and students generally have a lot on their plates. Thus, a snapshot of how Medscape compares to other sources of information can help save time and ensure each practitioner gets the information they find valuable.

The list below compares the compensation report from Medscape with similar information from Doximity, Merrit Hawkins, Salary.com, the U.S. Department of Labor, Sullivan Carter, and MGMA.

Doximity

Doximity offers detailed compensation reports from full-time doctors based on surveys of about 40,000 respondents. The report offers an excellent snapshot of the market and relies on a larger sample size than Medscape, but it may not reveal income trends and other job-related details.

Merrit Hawkins

In contrast to the Doximity or Medscape reports, Merrit Hawkins only samples about 3,000 doctors. Furthermore, this company mainly functions as a recruiter. It only surveys its job-seeking clients, which may bias the report somewhat. The report offers detailed information about salaries and bonuses, so its data compares favorably to the type of information provided by Medscape.

Department of Labor and Salary.com

These resources can offer a fantastic first glance but not the detailed information and trends that Medscape provides. Neither salary.com nor the U.S. Department of Labor will reveal their sample sizes or details about how they gather data. At the same time, they’re excellent for offering a profile-at-a-glance view of many different medical specialties and job functions.

Sullivan Cotter

Sullivan Cotter may provide some stiff competition for Medscape. The report relies on data from a sample of over 200,000 doctors. It also offers detailed information about all types of compensation, including salaries, various bonuses, etc. Sullivan Cotter also surveys large medical providers, like hospitals and clinics, to understand their compensation structure.

MGMA

Some sources call MGMA the gold standard of physician compensation reports. This report samples over 160,000 doctors in various specialties, settings, and locations to provide both detailed and broad analysis. Doctors who rely on Physicians Thrive to negotiate contracts can access MGMA information. On the other hand, MGMA licenses their data, and thus, individual providers might not find the reports accessible.


Accessing the Medscape Compensation Report

Medscape offers free membership to its website, apps, and network of services, including the annual compensation reports. Medscape doesn’t charge its subscribers for access to its online information or apps. The company only asks providers to register as members and subscribers for free.

How does Medscape earn money if they don’t charge a fee for their subscription services? This company and its parent company, WebMD, earn revenue from advertising, market research, and other promotions. Medscape even offers paid survey opportunities as an additional revenue stream for providers.

As with many other free services, the audience sometimes becomes the product. Medscape offers information that many doctors find valuable and engaging. Companies like this know they earn value from the engagement and attention of medical professionals, which doctors provide in exchange for the services. At the same time, members of this service should understand that they pay for it with their attention, even if the company doesn’t charge a fee.


How Can Doctors Use the Medscape Compensation Report?

Physicians and medical students can find as many ways to use this type of information in as many ways as there are different types of medical specialties and practices. They may use the data and analysis to help choose a specialty or location, ensure they earn fair pay, and learn more about various aspects of different practices.

For instance:

  • Medical students and residents can use competitive salary data and other information about specific practices to inform their career choice. For example, they can determine which specialties enjoy the highest income growth or which do a good job balancing salary with a better work-life balance.
  • Recent salary data uncovered pay discrepancies between genders, geographic locations, and ethnic groups. Doctors can use this information to inform the negotiation of compensation packages or to choose ideal regions of the country and types of practices.
  • Physicians can determine if such experiences as time spent with patients and hours worked fall within a normal range. They can use this broader perspective to look for ways to improve, such as speaking with HR, improving efficiency, or hiring for their practice.
  • Practitioners can spot trends that help inform scaling and hiring decisions about their medical offices. For instance, many doctors feel they face increased competition from nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and many respond by hiring these non-physician practitioners for their own practices.

Maximize the Value of Compensation Reports

Information and analysis provided by compensation reports can help doctors guide their careers. We have summarized  information from the various reports mentioned in this article to produce the Physicians Thrive 2022 Compensation Report. The combined analysis in one report will save time and money in addition to ensuring doctors see the most complete picture of their market.

When reviewing a specific employment contract, these physicians should not leave the fine print to chance. Instead, rely on the contract review experts at Physicians Thrive to ensure every detail ensures fair pay and a positive experience.

The legal and financial team at Physicians Thrive has reviewed 20,000 physician contracts in all 50 states. Physicians deserve the security and peace of mind of knowing their agreement meets expectations and will lead to long-term satisfaction.

Would you like to learn more about how Physicians Thrive can assist you in earning the income you deserve? Contact us today to find out how to meet your goals effortlessly.

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