Average signing bonuses for 5 most recruited medical specialties

Family medicine physicians saw the greatest average signing bonus offered to recruits among the five most requested medical specialties, according to Merritt Hawkins' "2021 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives." 

The review, released Aug. 9, is based on a representative sample of 2,458 permanent physician and advanced practitioner search assignments that were ongoing or conducted by Merritt Hawkins/AMN Healthcare's physician staffing companies from April 2020 to March 2021.

Those searches were primarily conducted for hospitals (33 percent), group practices (29 percent) and academic settings (20 percent). The searches also occurred for urgent care, federally qualified health centers, the Indian Health Service and concierge medicine.  

Analysts found that signing bonuses offered to physicians averaged $29,656, up from $27,893 in the 2020 Merritt Hawkins survey. Average signing bonuses offered to nurse practitioners and physician assistants declined year over year, from $8,500 to $7,233. 

The following figures are signing bonuses for the five specialties most in demand. Specialties are in descending order based on the most requested searches. 

Nurse practitioner

Average: $6,939

High: $20,000

Low: $990

Family medicine

Average: $34,644

High: $240,000

Low: $2,500


Average: $23,235

High: $50,000

Low: $10,000


Average: $33,260

High: $75,000

Low: $1,000

Internal medicine

Average: $22,861

High: $100,000

Low: $5,000

To view a list of average base salaries for 20 most recruited medical specialties, click here.  

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