Put aside such mitigating factors as medical school costs in the United States compared to other countries. Ignore cost of living considerations in the world's wealthiest nation. Put aside the obvious correlative between being the richest nation in the world and having professionals who correspondingly earn more than counterparts in less wealthy nations. His cited evidence is simply shoddy. When measured in the context of the ratio to relative wage per country, the average general practitioner in the United States is remunerated no differently than practitioners in other westernized countries like Germany, the Netherlands, Iceland, and the UK. Furthermore, although GP wages have been on the upswing in countries with more socialized medical subsidization schemes, in the United States the story is the opposite:
In several countries, the growth of GP remuneration has been relatively modest. In Canada, the remuneration level of GPs in real terms grew by about 5% between 1997 and 2004. In Austria and the United States, the average remuneration of GPs in real termdeclined by around 5% between the mid-1990s and 2003.6 In Austria, the decline in average remuneration may be due at least partly to a change in the proportion of part-time practitioners during that period (since the data include both part-time and full-time GPs). In the United States, the decline of GP incomes in real terms was driven mainly by a reduction (in real terms) of fee levels paid by Medicare and private insurance (Center for Studying Health System Change, 2006).Again, this is all from the same OECD report that Yglesias initially used to argue for more Draconian cuts in physician compensation.
It's a dreadfully incomplete, sloppy piece of reasoning from a guy who's usually pretty sharp.