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Specialist Nurses - (Certified Nurse Anesthetists) Earn More Than Family Doctors - Report

Posted Mar 16 2010 8:05pm

The difference in this study shows about 10k a year difference compared to family practice doctors, and the article states this was the 4th year in a row where the CRNA’s were recruited at a higher rate of pay than family practice doctors.  For some reason or another this just does not compute real well as doctors will have 405 years more schooling and training.  No wonder we are looking at shortages for family practice doctors.  BD 

Despite the growing shortage of family doctors in the United States, medical centers last year offered higher salaries and incentives to specialist nurses than to primary care doctors, according to an annual survey of physicians' salaries. image

Primary care doctors were offered an average base salary of $173,000 in 2009 compared to an average base salary of $189,000 offered to certified nurse anesthetists, or CRNAs, according to the latest numbers from Merritt Hawkins & Associates, a physician recruiting and consulting firm.

CRNAs are advanced practice nurses who administer anesthesia to patients. An important distinction between CRNAs and anesthesiologist is that when anesthesia is administered by a nurse anesthetist, it is still recognized as the practice of nursing rather than a practice of medicine.

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) maintains that CRNAs are being fairly compensated.

"From our perspective, we are fairly compensated for the level of responsibility that we shoulder," said Lisa Thiemann, senior director of professional services with the AANA.

"We are at the head of the patient's bed. We deliver anesthesia and we keep the patient safe," said Thiemann, who has been a CRNA for 14 years.

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