5 statistics on surgeon and physician signing bonuses

Physician shortages are heating up competition for both surgical and nonsurgical specialists. One way to stay competitive is through signing bonuses.

Less than half of newly hired physicians were offered signing bonuses as part of their contract, according to MGMA's 34th annual DataDive Provider Compensation report. Signing bonuses were more common among physicians who had been in practice for a while before switching employers.

Five notes:

1. Nearly 46 percent of physicians were offered signing bonuses in 2022.

2. The average signing bonus for surgical and nonsurgical specialists was $25,000.

3. For physicians just starting their careers, 21.9 percent were offered signing bonuses.

4. The median bonus for physicians entering their first role was $30,000 for surgical specialists.

5. About one-third of physicians who were offered a signing bonus but did not start employment with the practice after signing the contract were required to pay back the full bonus amount. Forty-six percent of the physicians who accepted a signing bonus but did not work at that employer had a prorated payback.

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