Employment trumps independent practice as top physician-recruitment model



Employment remains the dominant physician recruitment option, making the pool of physicians joining private practices smaller, according to the Merritt Hawkins 2019 review of physician and advanced practitioner recruiting incentives.

Merritt Hawkins, a national healthcare consulting and recruiting firm, included a sample of 3,131 permanent physician and advanced practitioner search assignments the company conducted for its clients from April of last year to the end of this March.

Five details:

1. Over 90 percent of search assignments were for employed practice settings, and less than 10 percent featured independent practices.

2. Invasive cardiologists have the highest average starting salaries of physicians studied in the review, at $648,000, followed by orthopedic surgeons at $536,000.

3. The five most requested physician specialties included family medicine, psychiatry, OB-GYN, internal medicine and radiology.

4.The average signing bonus for physicians was $32,692. Over 71 percent of physician searches were offered a salary bonus in 2018 and 2019.

5. The use of value-based physician compensation is rising, with 56 percent of physician production bonus formulas including quality metrics.

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