Freedom of Information Acts and Physician Salaries

Many states have passed freedom of information acts that force public universities to publish the salary data for all of their employees. Whether you agree or disagree with this form of legislation, you should all know what information these acts provide you.  There are now a large number of academic medical centers whose salary information is available to you and the public.  A quick Google search will find the university you are interested and the department, specialty, or physician you would like to learn about.

If you are interested in working in academics, estimating your future salary was next to impossible before this information was made public.  We all know that academic docs usually make less money than private docs, but the taboo issue is never discussed.  Many sites provide survey information on how much physicians make in different specialties, but these rarely distinguish between private and academic physicians.  Now, thanks to the Freedom of Information Acts, you can know.

Because this information is public record, you can just search for it on the web.  I have found that the Collegiate Times website is very well organized and lets you search by University, Department, or Name.


One last caveat.  You will see some information that is surely inaccurate.  Many physicians’ income in an academic center comes from a number of different sources (multiple departments, multiple hospitals, bonuses for productivity etc).  So, if you see an orthopedic surgeon making $60,000 don’t get an aneurysm, there is something else going on.

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