In deciding how to price CME meetings, medical conference organizers must take into consideration the ability of their audience to pay. For the past several years, the received wisdom has been that physician incomes were either stagnant or declining. Now, a new study from the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) says that while some physician incomes fit that description, the median compensation and gross productivity for physicians has generally increased over the past four years.

Findings from AMGA's 2001 Medical Group Compensation & Productivity Survey indicate an increased demand for surgical, and some medical, specialties. For the period 1999 to 2000 the survey found that physicians specializing in urology, gastroenterology, and anesthesiology experienced the largest increases in compensation. Endocrinology showed a slight decline in compensation, and has only reported a 2.8 percent increase in four years.

The 2001 survey includes salary and productivity data on physicians in 93 specialties, 25 other health care provider positions, and 16 administrative positions.

The fifteenth annual American Medical Group Association's compensation and productivity survey was conducted by the national accounting firm of RSM McGladrey, Inc. The survey contains compensation and productivity data from almost 27,000 medical group physicians throughout the United States and is intended to assist various management levels in evaluating and comparing current physician compensation and productivity levels, trends, and relationships between compensation and productivity.