Spine surgeon pay hits $844k

Spine

The average orthopedic spine surgeon salary nationwide is $844,422, according to the 2022 Medical Group Management Association Compensation & Production Report.

Physicians Thrive noted some orthopedic spine surgeons make much more. Surgeons on the 90th percentile make $1.4 million while those on the other end of the spectrum, the 10th percentile, make $468,787, according to MGMA.

The report also noted spine surgeons earn around 7% more in multispecialty practices than single-specialty practices, and surgeons in a physician-owned facility typically make 5% more than their colleagues working at a hospital. Despite the higher pay in physician-owned practices, many spine surgeons coming out of training are opting to sign hospital contracts.

The highest compensating practice location is metropolitan areas with a population of fewer than 250,000 people, where the median salary is $882,502. In more densely populated cities where the market is potentially saturated, orthopedic spine surgeons earn between $589,540 and $831,366.

Spine surgeons can add to their income through a variety of ways, including ownership in a surgery center. As more spine procedures are approved for the outpatient setting, surgeons are taking action.

"Considering the looming cuts in Medicare reimbursement for our services in the setting of increased expenses, we are facing significant headwinds that make the practice of medicine almost untable for surgeons, and our industry partners alike," said Peter Whang, MD, professor in the department of orthopedics and rehabilitation at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. "In response to these challenges, I believe that we will see an even greater shift of orthopedic and spinal procedures to the outpatient setting in an attempt by surgeons to establish more diverse income streams while providing more cost-effective care."

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