In the case of some specialties, starting salaries for doctors who join physician-owned medical group practices are catching up to those offered by hospital- and integrated delivery system-owned (IDS) practices, according to a recent survey from the Medical Group Management Association.

The “Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey: 2007 Report Based on 2006 Data,” conducted in collaboration with the National Association of Physician Recruiters, found that physician-owned practices offered comparable salaries to hospital/IDS salaries for family practice without obstetrics ($130,000 versus $135,000), general internal medicine ($150,000 vs. $145,000) and noninvasive diagnostic radiology ($350,000 vs. $345,000).

Data also indicated a shift in starting compensation from 2005 to 2006. While previously, hospital- and IDS-owned practices offered higher salaries to experienced physicians who were new to the practice and physicians in their first year out of residency or fellowship in neurology, OB/GYN, pediatrics, emergency medicine, family practice, internal medicine, hospitalist internal medicine, orthopedic surgery and general surgery, in 2006 physician-owned practices offered higher compensation in internal medicine, hospitalist internal medicine, orthopedic surgery and pediatrics.

“To attract physicians, physician-owned practices have had to step up and match their salaries with those offered by IDS-owned practices to be competitive,” says Crystal Taylor, MGMA Survey Operations assistant director.