Compensation Issues

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Physician Signing Bonuses Up 30% in Last 6 Years

Roughly 76 percent of physician search assignments in 2010-11 offer a signing bonus, up from 46 percent in 2004-05, according to a Merritt Hawkins report.

Merritt Hawkins' "2011 Review of Physician Recruiting Incentives" report indicated that physician search assignments in the 1990s offering signing bonuses were the exception. Now they are routinely a part of physician hiring and have been since 2006-07. The average signing bonus offered in 2010-11 was $23,790.

The report also found that other incentives such as paid relocation, paid continuing medical education, health insurance and malpractice insurance are standard in the majority of physician search assignments. Housing allowances are also a rising incentive offered, as some physician candidates are unable to leave their current homes in order to relocate.

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