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2019 Neurocritical Care Society Compensation Survey

By Currents Editor posted 03-26-2020 09:44


Submitted by the Neurocritical Care Society Survey Working Group Members:

Julius Gene S Latorre, MD, MPH, FAAN, FAHA, FNCS; Abhijit V. Lele, MBBS, MD, MS, FNCS; Navaz Karanjia, MD; M. Moheet, MD, MHDS, FNCS; Peter Papadakos, MD, FCCM; and Syed Omar Shah, MD, MBA 

As the field of neurocritical care continues to solidify and evolve, there has been no comprehensive benchmarking survey that encompasses both compensation and structure of practices. The 2019 NCS Compensation Survey was created to fill this gap in knowledge and will allow practicing physicians to gain insight into their own practices compared to peers across the country.  

We hope to administer this survey annually, allowing a database of knowledge to develop that will give both NCS and its practicing physicians an idea of the benchmarks.  But, more importantly, it will educate us in the areas in which we need to improve. 

The survey was conducted as a collaboration from members of the Advocacy, Finance and Quality Committees. There were two objectives for this survey. First, we wanted to capture all relevant compensation data, including productivity requirements. This should give physicians the much-needed tools to negotiate on their own behalf. Second, we wanted to obtain and analyze practice settings, including ICU structures and staffing models. This second part of the survey will be published separately, as we wanted this report’s focus to be on compensation specifically. 

This is the first iteration of this annual survey, and we expect for it to be revised each year to ensure it represents the most comprehensive list of questions that are relevant to our field.  We welcome direct feedback, as this survey was built for the benefit of the NCS membership.  Please feel free to reach out to the Neurocritical Care Society Survey Working Group directly or through the NCS website.  

Key Findings 

The NCS Compensation Survey was conducted in February 2019. The number of respondents was 372, all of which were physicians who practice neurocritical care.  The survey included 49 questions that encompassed both compensation as well as staffing and structure models of practices. Data was collected anonymously through an online survey website.  

Sixty-five percent of respondents were primarily trained in neurology. There appears to be a gender gap currently, with a total of 65% of male respondents.  This gap is most predominant in physicians greater than 41 years of age. Between the ages of 22-40, there is a much smaller difference in gender.  Non-binary/third gender and prefer not to say were also collected, but due to low reported numbers are not reported here. As for ethnicity/race, 59% of respondents identified as White (Europe, Middle East, North America), and 28% responded as Asian (Far East, South East Asia, India). Practicing neurointensivists are relatively young, with 43% of respondents aged between 31-40, and another 34% are aged 41-50.  Almost half of respondents practice neurocritical care at least 75% of the time.  

The median annual base compensation was a range of $251,000-$300,000. The most common compensation model was receiving salary only. About a quarter of respondents also receive bonus payments along with their salary.  As for the number of service weeks required per year, 28% percent of respondents work 26 or more weeks, and 20% of physicians work 13 weeks or less.  The most common salary for an academic medical center across the country was $251,000-$300,000. As for hospital-based groups, base salaries were commonly $351,000-$400,000. The median salary for males was $276,000-$300,000, while for females it was $251,000-$275,000.    

Annual Base Compensation

Median Salary by Gender

Median Salary by Age

Median Salary by Census Region


Distribution of Gender                                       Distribution of Age

Location of Facilities                                          Types of Hospitals

Number of Neuro ICU Beds                             Unit Structure

Number of Service Weeks in the ICU Required per Year


Sharon Allen, Executive Director, Neurocritical Care Society

Jose Suarez, MD, Professor of Neurology, Director, Division of Neurosciences Critical Care, Johns Hopkins University

James Szalados, MD, Director of Neurocritical Care, Director, Surgical Critical Care, and SICU, Rochester Regional Health Center

Renee' Hebert Martin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina

Virginia Shipes, Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina 

Legal Notice 

The compensation information and related data in this report was collected by NCS in February 2019 from 372 anonymous online survey respondents.  Each of the survey respondents is a physician practicing neurocritical care.  The information and data reported here is historical in nature, all of which is more than three months old.  The information and data is reported in aggregated form, so as to protect its confidentiality and the identity of the respondents.  There are several respondents providing data for each statistic included in this report.  You should not be able to identify individual employers or providers from the data reported here. 

This report should not be used in any way to limit competition, restrain trade, or act in concert with others to reduce or stabilize salary or benefit levels. 

The survey information and data reported here is confidential and proprietary to NCS.  You must exercise a reasonable degree of care to protect and maintain its confidentiality.  You may use the information and data solely for your own personal or business purposes, and you may not disclose it to any third party. 

NCS does not represent or warrant the accuracy of the data in this report.  NCS does not provide any legal or financial advice, and this report should not be interpreted as providing any such advice.


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