There are close to 23,000 OB/GYNs currently employed in the United States, 79.1% of whom are women and 16.4% of whom are men. Despite the female predominance in this field, a recent physician compensation survey shows significant income disparities between the sexes in this specialty in 2020, with men earning $348,000 and women earning $286,000, a more than 20% difference. Similar disparities were reported by OB/GYNs in 2019 and across other physician specialties, showing such disparities to be widespread and persis

  1. The average income for OB/GYNs was $312,000 in 2020, which was slightly higher than the $308,000 annual income reported in 2019. Despite a small increase in income, 45% reported declines in compensation. Most respondents, 91%, attributed the decline to factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83% believing their income will return to pre-pandemic levels in the next few years.
  2. Average incentive bonuses for OB/GYNs remained similar to those of 2019 ($48,000), coming in at about 14% of their total income. On average, OB/GYNs received two-thirds of their potential bonus, which aligns with what other physicians typically receive.
  3. On average, self-employed OB/GYNs earned more than employed OB/GYNs, with average incomes of $352,000 versus $300,000, respectively.
  4. Average work hours for OB/GYNs declined to 54 hours per week, matching the number of hours from before the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite average work hours being back down, more time is being spent on paperwork and administrative work, with OB/GYN respondents reporting up to an average of 15.1 hours per week, about 1 hour more than in 2019.
  5. OB/GYNs have seen a decline in patient volume per week of 7%, with 76 patients seen on average, compared with the prior years’ 81 patients per week. When asked if this drop in patient volume is permanent, 38% of OB/GYNs said they believe that up to one- quarter of the drop will be permanent.
  6. Most physicians will continue to take Medicare and Medicaid patients, and 70% of OB/GYNs will do the same. However, the other one-third of OB/GYNs will either stop taking new patients, stop treating their current patients, or remain undecided. Only 15% of OB/GYNs were planning to use the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2021, with a majority (45%) remaining undecided on what system they plan to use.
  7. Slightly more OB/GYNs reported feeling fairly compensated in 2020 than in 2019 (55% vs 51%, respectively), but only infectious diseases physicians, diabetes/endocrinology physicians, internal medicine physicians, and orthopedists reported less compensation satisfaction.
  8. When asked what is the most rewarding aspect of their work, most OB/GYNs gave reasons related to gratitude from, and relationships with, patients (34%), with slightly fewer respondents pointing toward making the world a better place (23%) and being good at what they do (22%). Only 11% deemed “making good money at a job that I like” as the most rewarding part of their job.
  9. Among the biggest challenges OB/GYNs face, most stated the long work hours (21%) and too many rules and regulations (21%). Other prevalent concerns were working with an EHR system (14%) and difficulty getting fair reimbursement (12%).
  10. When asked if they would choose medicine as their career path again, 74% of OB/GYNs said they would, similar to the 2019 results.

The survey was conducted by Medscape and MDedge and included 17,903 participants across 29 specialties. Among these respondents, 5% were OB/GYNs.