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November 19, 2008

Health Care Overutilization in the United States—Reply

JAMA. 2008;300(19):2250-2251. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.605

In Reply: In response to Drs Moody and Hruza, it is correct that to accurately compare physicians' salaries it is essential to control for purchasing power parity (how much a comparable dollar buys in each country). The data on physicians' compensation we presented in our Commentary did control for purchasing power parity. What these data show is that (in purchasing power parity) US specialists earned an average of $230 000 (2004 dollars) while specialists in France earned an average of $149 000; the average for developed countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) was $113 000.1 Also of importance may be that more physicians are specialists in the United States while other countries favor generalists.