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Wide disparities exist in ophthalmology salaries, both based on subspecialty and based on history. Because of reductions in Medicare reimbursement levels over the last decades, general ophthalmology has become substantially less lucrative than it used to be. That said, subspecialization in retinal surgery or vitreous is still well compensated.
Ophthalmology salary results, as well as those provided for different medical and surgical specialties, are based on surveys of physicians and are publicly available on the web (see the Physicians Search website). This information can be used in several ways, specifically in evaluating different physician job possibilities.
First, locum tenens positions will often set base pay scale on the national average income. The pay can be adjusted by local cost-of-living difference from the national average.
In evaluating physician jobs, it is useful to know the average pay for a given specialty. Independent of locum tenens positions, the national average of physician salaries in different specialties is often used as a target: a physician who generates the average patient income for the specialty receives the average . Bonuses are often pegged to the amount of income generated above the average.
The average physician salary for an internist (see Internal Medicine Survey) can be used as a benchmark for comparison with other medical specialities.
Source: Allied Physicians, Salary Survey 2003-2006
(Previous values from Physicians Search 1998 Salary Survey)