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Osteopaths and MDs

Published November 23, 2012 11:00 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I voice strong skepticism about the editorial "More doctors: U. needs funding to fill need" (Our View, Nov. 16) with its assertion that osteopathic physicians earn less than MDs. Many factors determine physicians' compensation, but their medical degree is not one of them. Osteopaths are paid through the same private and public health care insurers. They see a diversity of patients who are uninsured, privately insured or publicly insured, just like MDs.

Medical specialty is a key variable in determining wages for both DOs and MDs. According to the recent "Exclusive Physician Earnings Survey" in Medical Economics, the median salary for primary care physicians was $163,000, while plastic surgeons and cardiologists earn more than double that amount.

Geographic location also has a significant influence on earnings for all physicians. For example, the survey found the best-paid physicians in the Midwest ($213,000) compared to the West ($188,000). And as with any industry, experience influences pay as well.

Ray E. Stowers, D.O. President

American Osteopathic Association

Chicago