The Advisory Council for General Surgery stated that the total of general surgeons in the US in ’94 was between a little over seventeen thousand and over twenty three thousand, or a ratio of a little over seven general surgeons per one hundred thousand people. As many as a third of today’s practicing doctors may retire by the year ’20. It is hence estimated that because of the number of retiring surgery physicians, the job market for them is solid and should continue to increase. There are special concerns about a likely lack in the near future as older physicians retire. Rural areas are especially vulnerable, as they are prone to being unable to appeal to and retain physicians, statistically.
Increased jobs will be open to surgeons in areas of poorer populations and rural areas. Surgeons earned an average annual salary of $240,533 to $361,589 in 2008, as quoted from Salary.com reports. Salaries vary according to experience in the field, geographic location, and professional specialization.
General Surgeon’s Salary Range
Generally, most medical specializations and sub-specializations, the amount of experience, geographic location and the type of facility and determine the Surgeons salary. 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 * Cap – $520,000.
General Surgeon Job Overview
The international job forecast for general surgeons is good as well because the shortage for physicians is happening around the world. Career opportunities are expected to grow faster than the average between the present and 2014. The Department of Labor showed that 14.6 percent of all practicing physicians are qualified in surgery.
The Aging Population in the US
The US demographic is growing old. From ’10 and ’35, all age groups 70 and above will rise by over 95%. This indicates that there will be a greater demand for all physical wellbeing services and a relatively smaller and younger population of doctors taking the retiring doctor’s place . Some are uneasy that as the Baby Boomer age group starts receiving Medicare coverage the older physicians may retire more quickly rather than accept the lower fees and larger workload of the federal sponsored Medicare. Furthermore, it is predicted that as many as one-third of today’s practicing physicians will retire by 2020. However, the economic downturn and substantial job loss across the country has had a blunt effect on the revenue stream to physicians. When people lose their trade, they also lose their health care benefits and consequently access to health care.
Stock Market Decline impact on Retirement
The recent stock market decline has impacted older doctors’ decisions. Some doctors are delaying retirement because of the economy’s impact on their retirement savings. But even a three to five year setback cannot possibly attend to the impending loss of experienced doctors. Some new doctors are looking to Locum Surgery jobs for the short term to remain available for better employment.
Health Care Bill
Even with the health bill at last signed into law, its effects on our health care is not yet known. By ’14 there will be an increase in the enrollment into health care insurance programs. This growth, when combined with the ongoing aging of the people, should push demand for services and therefore cost higher. Still, no one yet knows what will come to pass with remuneration rates from Medicare and this new plan. The question is will there be rate a cut of reimbursement rates for different specialties by Medicare, and will this new program turn into a decreasing factor of the salary of all specialties including General Surgery, its related specializations, and subspecialties.
Clearly the Obama administration has it’s work cut out for it. We are getting older and there are fewer and fewer young people to carry this growing fiscal burden. The Sins of the Fathers…