Doctors getting signing bonuses more often

CFO, be prepared. While doctors' salaries may not be climbing quickly, it's getting more common for them to get substantial signing bonuses. A new study by Merritt Hawkins & Associates, drawing on 3,000 physician searches in 47 states, concluded that 85 percent of searches offered a bonus during the period studied.

Signing bonuses averaged $24,850 for the year ending March 31, up 46 percent from 2004-05. This is on top of income guarantees and base salaries.

Base salaries for the most commonly recruited specialties included $173,000 for family practice; $184,000 for family practice with obstetrics; $186,000 for internal medicine; $201,000 for hospitalists; and $321,000 for general surgery.

To learn more about this trend:
- read this Wall Street Journal blog item

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