According to a recent Medscape compensation report that surveyed almost 18,000 physician respondents across more than 29 specialties, urologists remained near the top earners and increased their average income year-over-year despite the hardships brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Urologists earned $427,000 on average compared with $417,000 in the previous survey year. These earnings placed urologists third among the specialists surveyed, behind cardiologists—who averaged $459,000—and ahead of otolaryngologists, who averaged $417,000. However, urologists, like all other specialists surveyed, were not immune to the negative impact of the pandemic.

The most recent Medscape report details this financial impact, with some of the key findings below.

  • Just under half of urologists, or 41%, reported some decline in compensation.
  • A large majority, 92%, of urologists who saw a drop in income cited COVID-19-related issues like job loss, reduced hours, and decreased patient volume.
  • Just over a quarter, or 27%, of urologists who saw a drop in income believe it will take 2-3 years for earnings to return to normal.
  • Urologists are seeing far fewer patients per week on average this year, at 77 versus the previous year’s average of 86. This compares with some other medical specialists like pediatricians, dermatologists, orthopedists, and otolaryngologists, who were seeing 15% to 18% fewer patients than in the previous survey year.
  • Of the self-employed urologists, 42% believe that a drop in patient volume of up to a quarter is going to be permanent.

The report also detailed some positives.

  • The average payment among urologists who received a bonus was 17% of the total salary, a 2% increase over the previous survey year.
  • Among urologists who earned an incentive bonus, 65% achieved more than three quarters of their potential annual payment, up from the prior survey year’s 58%.
  • On average, urologists achieve 71% of their potential bonus.
  • Just over half, or 51%, of urologists who suffered financial- or practice-related ill effects due to the pandemic expect their income to return to normal this year.
  • Urologists spent slightly less time on average this year, 14.8 hours per week, on medical-related work outside of patient visits versus 15.1 hours in the previous survey year, including time devoted to paperwork, EHR documentation, administrative and managerial work, participation in professional organizations, and clinical reading.
  • Urologists are working 2 less hours per week on average, at 55 hours versus 57 in the previous survey year.

Survey respondents reported on income, including compensation for patient care, bonuses, hours worked, their greatest challenges, and the impact of COVID-19 on their compensation. For employed physicians, the data included salary, bonus, and profit-sharing contributions. For self-employed physicians, the data included earnings after taxes and deductible business expenses, but before income tax. Only full-time salaries were included in the overall results, which were rounded.