March 01 2018

Physician Placement & Compensation Trends Point to Psychiatry Shortage

Physician Placement & Compensation Trends Point to Psychiatry Shortage

Psychiatrists continue to increase in demand, and recent hiring and compensation trends seem to point to a shortage of psychiatrists in the healthcare workforce.

The average compensation package accepted by psychiatrists hired in 2017 grew nearly 10% over 2016, (+9.74%) according to the placement data from physicians placed via The Medicus Firm and their clients nationwide in 2016 and 2017. This is a greater year-over-year increase than any other specialty in 2017, regarding offers accepted by physicians that year.

"Overall, average compensation packages accepted by newly hired physicians increased about 1.8% from 2016 to 2017, across the top ten specialties most frequently placed that year," states Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm. "Therefore, the 9.74 percent increase in psychiatrists' compensation packages is notable, but not surprising, as psychiatry has been one of our most in-demand specialties since 2016." Top specialties (most frequently placed) for 2017 also include family medicine, internal medicine, hospitalists, and gastroenterologists.

Stone adds that internists experienced the second greatest increase in compensation offers accepted by physicians placed in 2017, with an increase of 8.56% over 2016.

Additionally, psychiatrists ranked as the ninth most-placed specialists in 2017, among clients of The Medicus Firm, based on the firm's physician placement records from those years. Psychiatrists joined the top ten most placed specialties in 2016 in eighth place, and demand remains strong, even though they have proven to be a bit more challenging for clients to recruit in recent months. Signing bonuses, coupled with substantial base salaries are one way that employers are wooing psychiatrists to choose them over the competing health systems.

"While most studies show that doctors don't generally choose medicine for the money, money is still a strong motivator when helping a physician to choose between otherwise comparable career opportunities," Stone explains. A signing bonus can be a convincing tipping point, and the highest one recorded by The Medicus Firm for 2017 hires was $200,000, for a gastroenterologist placed that year. Signing bonuses increased across the board for all top specialties of physicians placed in 2017, by 20% over 2016.

The average total compensation package accepted by psychiatrists hired in 2017 was $319,333 (including base and bonuses), up from $291,000 in 2016.

Regarding current need, The Medicus Firm represents openings for psychiatrists and advanced practice clinicians in psychiatry, in most states. The most concentrated need appears to be in the mid-western states, with multiple active searches in Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Nebraska especially.

The above information is based on provider placement records of all physicians, in 50 specialties plus NPs and PAs, placed via The Medicus Firm in 2017, at more than 250 healthcare employers and 42 states.


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