Organizers behind an SVS-commissioned financial compensation survey are calling on more members to fill out the short list of questions so that they can break a key 20% response-rate target and begin to publish data gleaned from participants. Any member completing the survey can learn the results, but the goal is to inform the entire membership of the results, they emphasized.
Keith Calligaro, MD, chair of the SVS Compensation Task Force that developed the survey, highlighted the potential value of the data the survey is designed to produce: robust demographic statistics around vascular surgeon salaries and employment conditions. Calligaro also sought to allay confidentiality concerns expressed by some members related to the information they provide in the survey, which is being carried out in partnership with Phairify, a medical profession-focused data collection platform.
“Over the last few years, many SVS members have noted that when vascular surgeons apply for a job somewhere—whether after completing a fellowship or a mid-career move—they are not sure what to expect in terms of financial compensation. This survey will help in terms of dealing with future employers, what to expect and maybe even what to ask for,” he explained.
“We want to emphasize this is confidential information. There is no way anyone can find out which individual is filling out the survey. That’s been one concern we have heard about. People are concerned their responses will somehow be public information, which is not true.”
The point of the survey is to ask questions in key areas around annual salaries, Calligaro said. “What is your annual salary? How old are you? Salaries might vary on age. How many years have you been in clinical practice? Do you identify as a man or a woman? Where do you work? If you work in Philadelphia, do you get paid less or more than if you work in a small hospital in Iowa?
“There are about 25 questions, which are very basic and preliminary. We also created templates for those wishing to learn more about particular issues, such as being on call or serving as a medicolegal expert. If you fill out that template, you get access to the results.”
The crux is this, continued Calligaro: “Twenty percent of the members have to fill out the survey before we can publish anything and allow all members to know the results.”
In essence, in order for the SVS to publish any type of results, a 20% completion rate is required for scientific validity in the publication environment—and filling out the list of questions should take no longer than 10–15 minutes, Calligaro added.
Phairify is working on the logistics to have office hours available to help each individual completing the survey access the data, the SVS pointed out. Once the process is ready, the Society will make an announcement.
“Our members get inundated with surveys, and we understand that,” Calligaro said. “However, the latest figure we have is that only 10% of members have completed the survey, and we’re trying to build that up to at least 20%. If so, then I see the number of participants exploding because then we can start showing the results to all of the members.”
The survey was launched at VAM 2023, which took place at National Harbor, Maryland, in June. Members can participate by visiting vascular.org/CompensationStudy2023.
Members of the Compensation Task Force include Calligaro as chair; Bernadette Aulivola, MD; Ali Azizzadeh, MD; Sara Duson, MD; Geetha Jeyabalan, MD; Judith Lin, MD; Joseph Lombardi, MD; Dan McDevitt, MD; Richard Powell, MD; Matthew Smeds, MD; Mark Kristiansen, co-founder and CEO at Phairify; G. Randall Green, MD, of Phairify; Reva Bhushan, SVS director of clinical guidelines and quality practice; Carrie McGraw, SVS manager of quality improvement and practice; and Jim Wadzinski, SVS assistant executive director.