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3 in 10 Doctors Called a Recruiter in 2016

News  |  By Debra Shute  
   August 04, 2017

Fewer than 12% of mid-career physicians reported dissatisfaction with their jobs in 2016, but 25% were unhappy with their pay, according to a new survey.

Physicians’ satisfaction with their careers and compensation varies widely by experience level and specialty, according to a 2017 salary survey from healthcare staffing company PracticeMatch.

Among the 1,959 respondents, the highest earners by average annual income, including bonus, were as follows:

  • Cardiologists—$364,000               
  • Urologists—$357,400
  • Dermatologists—$325,667

Surgeons were not amply represented in the survey sample to report an average annual income, the researchers noted.

Related: 9 in 10 Physicians Got Signing Bonuses in 2016

Cardiologists also reported receiving the highest average signing bonuses—of $26,536—upon joining their current practice. Meanwhile, the average signing bonus of the sample was $18,137.

Hospitalists were the most frequent recipients of signing bonuses for their current roles, at 44%, followed by cardiologists at 33% and urologists at 32%.

Nearly one-third of physicians surveyed (29%) reported having an outstanding student loan balance, which is noteworthy considering that the average tenure of the respondents was 11 years in their current role, and 17 years in practice.

Among those still carrying educational debt, about a third received some type of medical student loan assistance in 2016.

By specialty, dermatologists and psychiatrists reported the highest career satisfaction, while 11.8% of the entire sample reported being dissatisfied with their careers in 2016. Nearly half of the group (47.6%) reported being more than satisfied with their current roles.

Related: Economic Pressures Weigh on Specialty Physician Compensation

Physicians were not as pleased with their pay, however, as 24.5% reported being dissatisfied with their income in 2016, while 30% were more than satisfied.

Overall, 33% of respondents had reached out to a medical recruiter to inquire about a new opportunity at least once in the past year.

Debra Shute is the Senior Physicians Editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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