Most Frequently Placed Specialties, Signing Bonus Trends, and More Revealed in New Placement Report

The Medicus Firm, a national, leading healthcare search firm specializing in the permanent placement of physicians and advanced practice clinicians, released its 2016 edition of the annual placement summary report. The placement summary includes all data from placements made in partnership with The Medicus Firm, at hundreds of hospitals, health systems, medical groups, and academic medical centers nationwide, in a variety of practice structures and types of communities.

One notable statistic is the extreme decline in private practice recruitment. Fewer than eight percent of placements were made in private practice settings, and the remaining 92 percent of physicians placed were as employees.

Additionally, the average amount paid in signing bonuses increased, which was probably helped in part by the $250,000 bonus paid to one physician. The three highest signing bonuses paid, each in the six-figure range, were for pulmonary/critical care, internal medicine, and hospital medicine.

Other key findings revealed from the 2015 placement analysis include the following:

  • Primary care once again dominated placement volume nationwide, comprising 35.57 percent of all placements made in 2015.
  • The overwhelming majority of physicians placed were hired as employees (92 percent). About 6 percent of physicians were placed into a private practice on a net income guarantee, and 1.7 percent were placed in a private practice with a gross income guarantee.
  • Placements in urban and metropolitan areas (pop. > 500,000) outpaced mid-sized and rural communities, for the first year in the company’s history of tracking this. Placements in urban communities comprised 36.76 percent of all placements, up from 33.66 percent in 2014, and 25 percent in 2013.
  • Non-physician advanced practice clinicians (PA/NP) placements continue to increase substantially, to 8.3 percent of total placements, up from 6.34 percent the previous year, and 1.32 percent in 2012. Physician assistants were the fourth most frequently placed provider in 2015, up from fifth highest in 2014.
  • The placement of American Medical Graduates reached another new high of 71.43 percent, up from 68.78 percent last year, and 58.55 percent in 2012, despite the fact that the proportion of international medical graduates has actually increased in the active U.S. physician population, according to the AAMC physician workforce report released in December 2015.
  •  D.O. placements (doctors of osteopathic medicine) increased as a percentage of total placement volume, to 11.74 percent, up from 9.9 percent the previous year, and up from 5.4 percent in 2011.
  • In addition to primary care, hospitalists, physician assistants, and OB/Gyn rounded out the top five specialists (most frequently placed) with the greatest placement and hiring activity for 2015. Family practice represented the highest volume of placements in 2015, with internal medicine ranking second highest for placement volume.

“This year’s report contained many continued, expected trends, with a few interesting, unexpected takeaways,” states Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm. “In general, we continue to see all indications that many of the physician workforce projections seem to be coming to fruition, and competition continues to intensify in searches for any and all types of physicians, regardless of specialty, location, or amenities. That said, primary care, and rural areas continue to experience the toughest competition – for those searches, hospitals and hiring entities must utilize all resources and be prepared for an intense battle for top talent.” Stone adds that physician assistant demand has increased significantly, particularly in primary care.

The Medicus Firm is part of the M3 USA family of companies, operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the healthcare solutions conglomerate.

For a copy of the report, or for media inquiries, please contact Andrea Clement Santiago, Director of Communications,