Physician Staffing Blog

Healthcare News and Trends

Annual Report Examines Physician Starting Salaries and Other Recruiting Incentives

July 08, 2019

2019 Physician Starting Salaries and Recruiting Incentives

By Travis Singleton, EVP at Merritt Hawkins


Twenty-six years ago, Merritt Hawkins began filling a pressing industry need by providing data on starting salaries and additional incentives typically used to recruit physicians.


So began Merritt Hawkins’ annual Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives. At the time of inception, it was the only national source of data on this topic, and it continues to be the most comprehensive resource hospitals, medical groups, and other facilities can use to determine which physician recruiting incentives are customary and competitive in today’s market.


Though other organizations, such as the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and the American Medical Group Association (AMGA), provide nationally benchmarked data regarding total physician compensation, Merritt Hawkins’ Review remains the most widely referenced benchmark on physician starting salaries.


In addition to starting salary data, the Review also includes key findings quantifying physician signing bonuses, production bonuses, continuing medical education (CME) allowances, relation allowances, and other recruiting incentives. Data in the newly released 2019 Review is derived from a sample of 3,131 search assignments Merritt Hawkins and its affiliated companies conducted or that were ongoing from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019. Therefore, it is not reported data as would be gathered in a survey but data derived from real-world recruiting contracts.


The Review has grown in scope over the years and now offers a wide ranging discussion of physician recruiting trends and how these reflect ongoing changes in the healthcare industry overall.


The 2019 Review, for example, examines why a growing number of healthcare facilities are seeking medical specialists and underscores the fact that population aging is creating a robust market for both primary care and specialist doctors. The Review also examines how hospital and health system consolidation is changing the way physicians are recruited, how value-based payments are being incorporated into physician contracts, and a number of other industry trends.


Merritt Hawkins’ 2019 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives offers both a big-picture look at the changing landscape in healthcare and key benchmark data of practical use to hospitals, medical groups, and other organizations and individuals recruiting and interacting with physicians.

Download your full copy of the report here. For any questions regarding the report, please reach out to us here.




Travis Singleton is Executive Vice President of Merritt Hawkins, the nation's leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.


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