When politicians and government officials talk about high healthcare costs, physician earnings and salary tend to be at the heart of those discussions.

At a lot of health insurance companies, hospital systems, and large academic hospitals, many chief executive officers (CEOs) earn millions of dollars per year, far exceeding what any practicing physician makes.

This wide gap is troubling to some doctors. They wonder what it says about the importance of clinical work, the stress of patient care, and the training needed to become a physician.

Does the amount of CEO pay have anything to do with raising quality of care, or even improving the hospital’s bottom line?