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Physician Pay: A Big Driver of Health Care Costs? (Forbes)

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How much does a doctor’s income impact health care costs? A McKinsey study found that in other developed countries, generalists earn double and a specialist earns 2.7 times more than the average worker. Primary care physicians in the U.S. earn five times and specialists earn 10 times more than the average worker. Based on these statistics, “The United State would have spent $120 billion less in 2008 if the U.S. physicians were compensated in the same proportion to the national average worker as their counterparts in other developed countries,” the study stated. That is about 5% of the total money spent on health care in the U.S. that year. What’s the difference between U.S. physicians and those in other countries? Medical education is usually free in other countries, U.S. physicians train longer, the pressure for perfection is higher for doctors in the U.S.