I recently referred to a public salary website for Utah physicians (and other employees who receive taxpayer money for a portion of their salary). Some of the numbers seemed quite high, so I went to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections.
There, I found this: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition: Physicians and Surgeons (here, you'll probably get a more "average" perspective on physician salaries.
The U.S. Department of Labor indicates that: "Many physicians and surgeons work long, irregular hours. Over one-third of full-time physicians and surgeons worked 60 hours or more a week in 2006. Only 8 percent of all physicians and surgeons worked part-time, compared with 15 percent for all occupations."
There's no doubt that many physicians work too many hours. It's no wonder that so many get burned out and choose a non-clinical career!
What was also interesting was the section on Job Outlook: "Employment of physicians and surgeons is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities should be very good, especially for physicians and surgeons willing to practice in specialties—including family practice, internal medicine, and OB/GYN—or in rural and low-income areas where there is a perceived shortage of medical practitioners... Employment of physicians and surgeons is projected to grow 14 percent from 2006 to 2016, faster than the average for all occupations." Wow! This growth will definitely happen because new medical schools are opening in the United States and we always have foreign graduates who doing their residency here in the U.S.
Did you notice how the U.S. Department of Labor refers to the "perceived shortage of medical practitioners?"