10 most in-demand medical specialties & average base salary

Family physicians were the most in-demand specialty for the 13th year in a row, according to physician search firm Merritt Hawkins' annual report of clinician recruitment incentives.

While primary care physicians are still the top need, it appears the demand is finally starting to be met. Merritt Hawkins reports that primary care physician recruitment activity declined 8 percent year-over-year and by 38 percent from four years ago. Meanwhile, medical specialist demand has started to grow.  

Here are the top 10 most recruited medical specialties from April 2018 to March 2019 and the average base salary offered:

  1. Family medicine physicians — $239,000
  2. Psychiatrists — $273,000
  3. Obstetrician/Gynecologists — $318,000
  4. Internal medicine physicians — $264,000
  5. Radiologists — $387,000
  6. Hospitalists — $268,000
  7. Nurse practitioners — $124,000
  8. Neurologists — $317,000
  9. Gastroenterologists — $495,000
  10. Pediatricians — $242,000

The report is based on 3,131 physician and advanced practitioner search assignments conducted by Merritt Hawkins and other staffing companies under its parent, AMN Healthcare, between April 1, 2018, and March 31, 2019. The income includes base salary only.

Editor's note: This article was updated July 10 at 9 a.m. CT. The headline previously read "10 most in-demand physician specialties & average base salary." This has been updated to "medical specialties" to reflect that nurse practitioners are not physicians. 


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