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Infectious Diseases Physicians: Improving and Protecting the Public’s Health- Why Equitable Compensation is Critical
Clinical Infectious Diseases
Infectious diseases (ID) physicians play a crucial role in public health in a variety of settings. Unfortunately, much of this work is undercompensated despite the proven efficacy of public health interventions such has hospital acquired infection (HAI) prevention, antimicrobial stewardship, disease surveillance, and outbreak response. The lack of compensation makes it difficult to attract the best and the brightest to the field of infectious diseases, threatening the future of the ID workforce. This paper examines compensation data for ID physicians compared to their value in population and public health settings and suggests policy recommendations to address the pay disparities between cognitive and procedural specialties which prevents more medical students and residents from entering the field. All ID physicians should take an active role in promoting the value of the subspecialty to policymakers and influencers as well as trainees.