By Kurt Mosley, vice president of strategic alliances at Merritt Hawkins, an MHA Endorsed Business Partner
For the last 29 years, Merritt Hawkins, a division of AMN Healthcare, has released its annual Review of Physician and Advanced Practice Practitioner (AP) Recruiting Incentives.
The recently released 2022 Review is based on a representative sample of over 2,600 recruiting engagements and, like previous reviews, tracks physician and AP starting salaries, signing bonuses, relocation allowances and related incentives. Over the years, the Review has provided benchmark data that many hospitals, medical groups and others use to determine if their recruiting packages offer customary and competitive incentives.
The new Review indicates that demand for physicians, and the salaries they are offered, has rebounded dramatically from COVID-19. Patient backlogs, an aging population and widespread chronic medical conditions have caused a strong surge in physician demand.
Increased from last year, the average starting salaries for orthopedic surgeons and most other specialties are shown on a downloadable infographic. The 2022 Review also shows that demand for medical specialists is rising, while demand for primary care physicians has declined. Most of Merritt Hawkins’ search engagements (64%) over the prior 12 months were for medical specialists, while only 17% were for primary care physicians. The remaining 19% were for advanced practice professionals such as nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs), and certified registered nurse anesthetists.
Two factors account for this shift. One is an aging population that needs more specialists to care for ailing internal organs, musculoskeletal conditions and neurological problems. The other is the growing use of NPs and PAs to provide primary care, often in “convenient care” settings such as urgent care centers, retail clinics and through telemedicine.
The Review includes a wide range of additional data and analysis. MHA members can obtain a copy of the review by contacting Merritt Hawkins Regional Vice President Ben Jones.