PHYSICIAN PRIVATE PRACTICES IN DECLINE: Merritt Hawkins report says doctors are 'seeking employed settings to mitigate financial risks' of private practice. Photo: Pinterest.com
PHYSICIAN PRIVATE PRACTICES IN DECLINE: Merritt Hawkins report says doctors are ‘seeking employed settings to mitigate financial risks’ of private practice. Photo: Pinterest.com

More than 90% of new physician job openings feature employment “by hospitals, medical groups, community health centers or other healthcare facilities” that shows doctors’ private practices are steadily declining, according to a report by Merritt Hawkins, America’s leading physician search firm.

The report tracked 3,158 physician and advanced practitioner recruiting assignments from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014 and found that “less than 10% of the recruiting assignments featured independent practice settings, such as partnerships, concierge practices or solo practice settings, down over 45% in 2004.”

The UMHS Pulse takes a look at the findings, as well as average salaries for various specialties, for students at American and Caribbean medical schools studying to become doctors.

“The employed model is almost the only choice for physicians seeking practice opportunities today,” said Travis Singleton, senior vice president of Merritt Hawkins, in a company press release. “However, it is also the first choice for most physicians. Very few are seeking small, independent practices.”

Average Salary By Specialty

Merritt Hawkins also listed the average physician salary by specialty. Physician News Digest.com (http://www.physiciansnews.com/2014/07/11/what-were-the-best-paying-medical-specialties-last-year/) listed the following:

• Family Medicine: $199,000
• Internal Medicine: $198,000
• Hospitalist: $229,000
• Psychiatry: $217,000
• Pediatrics: $188,000
• Emergency Medicine: $311,000
• OB/GYN: $288,000
• Neurology: $262,000

Largest increase: Urology (up 18.8% to $504,000 annually last year).

Largest decrease: Neurology (down 12.7% to $262,000 annually).

Signing Bonuses & Loan Forgiveness

The report said the average signing bonus for physicians was $21,000, with a high of $150,000.

For employers offering loan forgiveness, the average amount was $77,000. The report said 90% of searches give relocation benefits (an average of $10,000, with a high of $25,000). The report said 64% of searches were hospital-employed positions.

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