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Orthopedics, primary care most requested specialties

The average annual starting compensation for orthopedic surgeons climbed 17.8%, settling at $424,385, according to The Delta Companies' January Physician Recruiting Standard Survey, a recruiter survey reporting quarterly data about physician searches from the previous 12 months. Mirroring industrywide trends in recent years, physician shortages played a crucial role in compensation and search-request trends in the survey, says Marc Bowles, CPC-PRC, chief marketing officer for The Delta Companies. For example, orthopedic surgery saw a large compensation jump, in part because more physicians training in orthopedics are opting to specialize in higher-paying subspecialty areas, such as hand or hip and joint surgery, exacerbating the shortage of general orthopedic surgeons, Bowles says.