The most common incentives offered to attract physicians

A signing bonus is among the most common perks offered by employees to attract physicians, according to the "2022 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives" released by AMN Healthcare's physician recruiting division, Merritt Hawkins.

The report, released in July, is based on a representative sample of 2,695 permanent physician and advanced practitioner search engagements that were ongoing or conducted by Merritt Hawkins/AMN Healthcare's physician staffing companies from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.

Those searches were primarily conducted for hospitals (34 percent), group practices (18 percent) and academic settings (34 percent). Searches also occurred for urgent care, federally qualified health centers, the Indian Health Service and concierge medicine.  

Signing bonuses were offered in 92 percent of the recruiting assignments during the review period, compared to 61 percent the previous year, according to the report.

"This is a significant increase that speaks to the resurgence in demand for physicians after a pandemic-driven lull," Merritt Hawkins wrote.

Signing bonuses offered to physicians averaged $31,000 compared to $29,656 the previous year, according to the report. Signing bonuses offered to nurse practitioners and physician assistants averaged $9,000 compared to $7,233 the previous year.

Merritt Hawkins said the significant year-over-year increase "is a signal of a more competitive market, but it may represent a one-year aberration. Subsequent reviews will indicate if this trend will be sustained."

Other takeaways from the report include:

  • Relocation allowances were offered in 78 percent of the recruiting engagements during the review period, compared to 74 percent the previous year.
  • The average relocation allowance offered to physicians was $10,718, up from $10,634 the previous year.
  • The average relocation allowance offered to nurse practitioners and physician assistants was $8,542, up from $8,363 the previous year.
  • Ninety-two percent of incentive packages tracked during the review offered a continuing medical education allowance.

To access the full report, click here.

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