Salary and compensation myths in Nephrology
There is a misconception that salaries of nephrologists are low. One needs to look at actual data before making such conclusions. Salaries of physicians in general are being disturbed by variety of factors that are currently not under our control. Besides that, here is some data from peer reviewed publications talking about different compensations and comparative earnings. This first publication by Leigh JP et al looked at life time earnings of medical specialties.
This figure suggests that life time earnings of a nephrologists are not that bad. We are right in the middle and actually close to dermatologists and allergists. For a limited procedural field, we are actually not doing that bad.
This figure from an article that had looked at work hours spent less or more than family practice as bench mark and we do spend more time ( hours) but so does some of the other specialties. But overall, we are not that far off from the center. So far, to me – nephrology is not looking that bad based on this data( which compiles not just academic but private practices as well). One has to keep in mind that the private practice nephrologists can earn substantially more than academic counterparts. Some of my fellows over the last few years have gone into practice in private settings all around the country and are very satisfied with their compensation.
A different study compared mean hourly wages of nephrologists to other fields and general surgery was the bench mark. Also the table below shows the mean number of hours.
We are right up there after GI and Cards in medical subspecialties.
I think the three tables from articles in the fairly recent era suggest that myths of poor compensation is exactly what it is- a myth.