7 key findings on physician placement

Provider placement data confirms a significant need for primary care clinicians still exists, according to national healthcare recruiting company The Medicus Firm. Although more providers are increasingly being hired as hospital employees, exactly where primary care clinicians are placed may come as a surprise.

The Medicus Firm tracks hiring trends annually, based on hundreds of placements at more than 250 hospitals and health systems. Here are seven of its findings on physician and clinician placement in 2015.

1. Primary care — including physicians in internal medicine, pediatrics and family medicine — was the most sought after and placed specialty this year. Despite this high volume of hires, the percentage of primary care placements did decline about 3 percentage points from 2014. After primary care, hospitalists, physician assistants and Ob/GYN were among the top specialists with the greatest placement and hiring activity for 2015.

2. An overwhelming majority of physicians choose employment over private practice out of necessity, according to The Medicus Firm.The data shows in 2015 that 92.07 percent of physicians were placed as employees. Just under 8 percent of physicians were placed in private practice, according to the report. Among private practice placements, more physicians — 6.17 percent — opted for a net income guarantee, and 1.76 percent opted for gross income guarantee.

3. For the first time in The Medicus Firm history, urban and metropolitan areas had higher placement and hiring activity than mid-sized or rural communities. This trend likely indicates intensified competition among physicians, despite how desirable a location may be, according to The Medicus Firm. Urban and metropolitan areas are defined as having a population of a half million or more. Across all states, the most placements were made in Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, California and Georgia.

4. The average signing and relocation bonus increased in 2015, though the percentage of placements who received signing bonuses declined from 74 percent to 68 percent. This is likely due to the increase in placements that traditionally do not give signing bonuses, such as non-physicians and academic physicians, according to The Medicus Firm,. The average relocation amount offered in 2015 was $12,125 and the average signing bonus was $23,663. However, the largest signing bonus paid to a physician in 2015 was $250,000.

5. The upward trend of non-physician advanced practice clinician placement has continued. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners accounted for 8.3 percent of total placements, up from 6.3 percent in 2014, and up from 1.3 percent in 2012. Notably, PAs were the fourth most placed provider in 2015.

6. DO placements also increased in 2015. Osteopathic placements were up to 11.7 percent from 9.9 percent in 2015. This is a marked upward trend, as DO placement has increased significantly from 2011, when it accounted for 5.4 percent of total placement volume.

7. The Medicus Firm also noted an upward trend of placing American Medical Graduates over International Medical Graduates. This is significant because the proportion of IMGs in the active physician population has increased to about 24 percent, according to the report. AMG placement is up to 71.4 percent from 68.8 percent in 2014 and 58.6 percent in 2012.


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