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Recruiter: 9 in 10 Physicians Got Signing Bonuses in 2016

News  |  By Debra Shute  
   March 02, 2017

In response to continuing high demand for clinicians, the average amount of signing bonuses in 2016 rose 4.8% from the previous year, according to The Medicus Firm.

Organizations recruiting physicians and advance practice clinicians in 2016 were very likely to sweeten the pot with generous signing bonuses, according to data from The Medicus Firm, a national search firm specializing in permanent placement of physicians.

Nearly 90% of clinicians (87.4%) hired through the firm received a signing bonus last year, up from 68% in 2015. Among physicians, 90.4% of placements included a signing bonus.

The top five types of providers, based on volume of placements in 2016 were:

  1. Family Medicine
  2. Physician Assistant
  3. Internal Medicine Physician
  4. OB/Gyn Physician
  5. Hospitalist

The average amount of signing bonuses in 2016 rose 4.8% to $24,802, up from $23,663 in 2015. At the higher end of the spectrum, 34.2% of physicians were offered a signing bonus in the range of $25,000–$75,000, while for 4.2% of physicians, signing bonuses exceeded $100,000.

"In physician recruiting, pairing a signing bonus with a competitive salary offer is still one of the most conducive ways to increase the odds of filling your search, and doing so more quickly," notes the report.

"In 2016, the recruiting regions that had the highest average salary offers and greatest increases in salary offers, also had the highest placement volume, among The Medicus Firm's national client base."

Other data points identified by the 2017 Physician Placement Report:

  • The average relocation amount offered reached its highest since 2010, at $12,996.
  • Placements made in rural communities fell to 26.4% in 2016, the lowest in at least four years, possibly due to intense market competition for physicians.
  • Forty-four percent of 2016 placements took place in mid-size communities with populations of 25,001–500,000.
  • The 2016 placement rate of international medical graduates (31.77%) was slightly higher than the proportion of IMGs in the physician population, which is about 25%, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges and American Medical Association.
  • The hiring of internists, pediatricians, and family practitioners accounted for 35% of placements made in 2016.
  • The hiring of nurse practitioners and physician assistants comprised 12% of total placements, up from 8.3% in 2015.
  • Hospital-based physicians, which include emergency medicine and hospitalists, decreased in proportion of total placements, from 13.04% to 10%, over the past year.

Texas Health Resources has developed a strategy to both recruit and retain top physicians by remaining competitive in an ever-changing marketplace. Learn THR's top tips for physician recruitment and engagement by watching this on-demand HealthLeaders Media webcast, Key Physician Recruitment Strategies from Texas Health Resources.

Debra Shute is the Senior Physicians Editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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