The 2020 Medscape Physician Compensation Report is out, and it shows that plastic surgeons earn $479K per year on average, up 2 percent from 2019, while dermatologists earn an average of $411K per year, down 2 percent from 2019.

Fully 55 percent of plastic surgeons and 65 percent of dermatologists report feeling fairly compensated. 

This is not to say that earnings have not been hit by COVID-19-related shutdowns. Respondents reported a 55 percent decrease in revenue and a 60 percent decrease in patient volume as a result of the pandemic.

That said, remote patient engagement via telemedicine increased by 225 percent in 2020, the survey showed.

Male specialists earn more than females, $375K versus $386K, respectively. Just 16 percent of plastic surgeons are women, the survey showed. By contrast, 49 percent of dermatologists are female.

Administrative Burdens Quantified

Plastic surgeons report spending 14.2 hours each week on paperwork and administration and dermatologists spend 13.2 hours on these matters. The specialty that spends the most time on paperwork and administration is critical care medicine, with respondents reporting that they spend 19.1 hours per week on administrative duties. Plastic surgeons report that this occurs 28 percent of the time. Dermatologists note that 15 percent of their insurance claims are denied and must be resubmitted.

Despite administrative burdens and other hassles,  94 percent of plastic surgeons and 95 percent of dermatologists would do it all again. They rank among the highest of all specialists when it comes to choosing their specialty all over again.

About the Survey

The new survey included 17, 461 physicians nacres 30 specialties. Data was collected from October 2019 to February 2020.