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Report: Primary Care Doctors in Greatest Demand
Date:6/24/2009

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Merritt Hawkins' report tracks the types of incentives typically used to recruit physicians. Signing bonuses were offered to physicians in 85 percent of the searches Merritt Hawkins represented in 2008/09, up from 74 percent the previous year and up from 58 percent three years ago. The report shows that the average signing bonus offered to physicians is $24,850, in addition to salaries ranging from $171,000 for pediatricians to $481,000 for orthopedic surgeons. The widespread use of signing bonuses underlines the increasingly competitive nature of physician recruiting, according to Smith.

Though physicians have traditionally operated as independent practitioners, the report suggests that more hospitals are hiring physicians as employees and paying them directly through salaries. In 2005/06, 23 percent of the physician search assignments Merritt Hawkins represented featured physician employment by a hospital. In the 2008/09, that number increased to 45 percent.

"Many physicians today are throwing in the towel when it comes to private practice," Smith says. "They are exchanging independence for the relative simplicity and security of employment."

Complete results of Merritt Hawkins & Associates' 2009 Review of Physician Recruiting Incentives can be accessed at www.merritthawkins.com.

About Merritt Hawkins & Associates

Merritt Hawkins & Associates is the largest permanent placement physician recruiting firm in the United States and is an AMN Healthcare company. AMN is the nation's leading healthcare staffing company and the largest nationwide provider in all four of its business lines: travel nurse staffing, locum tenens staffing, physician permanent placement services and allied healthcare professional staffing.


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SOURCE Merritt Hawkins & Associates
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