Okay, now this is something that I have talked about at some length for some time.
No one should argue that specialists should earn a little more than primary care due to their longer residencies, fellowships, and training. The question is, and has been how much more?
In 2008 dollars, the average Family Medicine physician earned approximately 148,000 dollars. Meanwhile, a comparison to Neurosurgeons, again using 2008 dollar figures, reveals that the average Neurosurgeon makes about 475,000. That is over a 300% increase over their primary care colleagues. This is not sustainable and is a primary driver of rising healthcare costs. Why?
Cause the specialty lobbies have fought hard for the current reimbursement system which is heavily biased towards procedures. It is far more lucrative for a cardiologist to simply cath a patient with persistent chest pain, than to sit down for an hour, and review all of the patients history, testing, and make a conservative treatment decision.
NOW, NOW, I am not implying that ALL cardiologists do this, however, the incentives are perverse.
This is a great article in the WSJ talking about this discussion.
I remember a year ago seeing a specialist quoted as saying "Sure, primary care deserves more pay, but you cannot take it from us"...
Apparently he is not aware of the pie concept.