In 2009, there were over 970,000 doctors of medicine
all over the United States. This figure included more than 120,000 inactive and some 57,000 unclassified physicians. Thus, the U.S. has a less marked physician density
compared to some other countries. Looking at individual states, Washington D.C., Massachusetts and Maryland have the highest number of physicians per civilian population. Among specialists
, psychiatrists are the most prevalent physicians. Approximately one quarter of all active U.S. physicians were educated abroad.
Expenditure for physician and clinical services
stood at some 500 billion U.S. dollars in 2009. Thus, such services accounted for one fifth of total U.S. healthcare spending. The largest proportion of costs
for these services was paid by private health insurance firms, followed by Medicare payments.
Compensation for physicians is always a controversial issue, especially in times of economic crisis and growing health costs
. Surgical specialists are the highest-earning physicians
. With some 530,000 U.S. dollars, cardiac and thoracic surgery specialists have the highest annual median compensation, while orthopedic surgery specialists have the highest median starting compensation
. The highest-paid physicians live in the north central part of the U.S., where the median compensation stood at 234,000 U.S. dollars in 2012.
In the U.S., a generalist physician receives more than 3,500 annual visits
, while a specialist receives around 2,700 visits. According to a survey, the most frequently mentioned amount of time spent with each patient is within the range of 13 to 16 minutes. 70 percent of all general physicians provide more than 31 hours of direct patient care per week
, and 40 percent have evening and weekend working hours. For specialists, these figures stand at 61 and 19 percent respectively. In general, the level of satisfaction
of U.S. Americans with their physicians is very high.
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