OCTOBER 15 - 30, 2006


Canadian MD earnings inch upward

NRM survey shows practice revenue remains healthy

Gross and net earnings rose in 2005
  Gross Net
Dermatologists $360,000 $240,000
Internists $310,000 $200,000
Ob/gyns $320,000 $195,000
Pediatricians $250,000 $160,000
Psychiatrists $190.000 $160.000
GPs $260,000 $155,000

"Things seemed pretty steady to me, money-wise" says a Montreal GP. Her view is in keeping with the majority of respondents in NRM's latest Practice Management Survey, which revealed that most doctors' earnings held steady in 2005. But when you closely look at the numbers, there's actually much to happy about. For instance, physicians were more likely to see a wage increase and less likely see their pay decline last year compared the year before.

Overall, 41%* of Canadian doctors said their gross practice revenue increased during last year. This is up from 33% in 2004. Also, fewer doctors complained of a drop in gross revenue in last year (14%) compared to the previous year (21%).

The past year's numbers were similarly pleasant for Canadian MDs after practice expenses. In 2005, 34% reported a higher take-home pay, compared to 27% in 2004. After taxes too, MDs were farther ahead of the game in 2005 than 2004; in 2005 18% of doctors reported a drop in net income compared to 28% in 2004.

NRM Practice Management Survey Results 2006
Gross practice revenue for GP/FPs and selected specialties

click here for pdf chart

Primary care physicians had a pretty good year in 2006. An equal number of respondents (43%) earned a higher practice revenue compared to the previous year; only 13% had a lower gross income. After-tax earnings weren't quite so good for Canada's GPs. While 34% saw their net salary rise, 51% saw it hold steady, and for 18% of respondents, after-tax revenue was down in 2005.

According to the survey, 2005 saw a jump in the number of physicians in the top-tier income bracket of $300,000 or higher. All-in-all 27% of respondents grossed more than $300,000 in 2005 — that's an eight percent jump from the previous year. Also, in 2005, 37% of respondents earned a gross income between of $200,000-$300,000 — a 1% gain from last year's survey. Not surprisingly, a higher proportion of specialists (31%) surpassed the 300K mark than GPs (20%). Nine percent of GPs found themselves in the lowest MD income bracket — less than $100,000. Surprisingly, an even greater percentage of specialist respondents (10%) reported earning less than 100K.

Things haven't been so rosy of late for doctors south of the border. A survey published in Medical Economics found that net earnings for both the average primary care doctor and the average specialist remained unchanged over a one-year — and when inflation was added to the picture, their wages actually declined. Canadian doctors, despite the problems with our system, might want to thank their lucky stars that the tort environment here is nowhere near as poisonous as it is in the United States. In fact, extortionate American malpractice insurance premiums — which shot up 18% in a year — were the biggest factor in holding back growth in US doctor compensation.
US MDs gross more, net less
  Gross Net*
Dermatologists $560,000 $282,000
Ob/gyns $569,300 $215,000
Pediatricians $380,000 $147,900
Internists $350,000 $150,000
GPs/FPs $320,900 $134,000
(*2004 median income, after tax-deductible expenses, but before income taxes, in US funds. Source: Medical Economics)




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