Primary Care Physician Income
In the 2020 Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that found primary care physicians earn less in the United States than specialist. According to the study, primary care physicians made $220,380 annually, while specialists were paid $316,000 each year (Shanafelt and co-authors, 2020). These differences in reimbursement might discourage medical students to pursue primary care careers. This could lead to a shortage for primary care doctors (Shanafelt, et al. 2020). Shi et al. 2019, 2019 also note that there has been an increase in demand for primary healthcare services due to the aging population. This increased demand for primary care hasn’t necessarily led to a higher income level for primary care doctors. According to Shi et. al. 2019, a 2019 Health Affairs study found that primary care physicians received less in 2017 than in 2012. This was despite the fact that medical costs rose. The income of primary care doctors is affected also by their health insurance reimbursement policies. The low reimbursement rates of primary care services for Medicare (government-run insurance program for seniors) has led to criticisms from Shanafelt and colleagues, 2020.