New report says primary care salaries jumped by $22K in 2016

Doctor putting money in pocket
Average salaries increased for primary care physicians in 2016.

The average salary offered to primary care doctors being placed in new jobs jumped significantly in 2016, and in an effort to attract doctors, signing bonuses increased in rural and mid-sized communities, according to a new report.

The average salary grew from $207,041 in 2015 to $229,734 in 2016, not including signing bonuses, according to a report from The Medicus Firm, a physician recruitment company. Those numbers include internal medicine and family medicine physicians hired to practice primary care medicine.

The report summarized the salaries at which primary care doctors were placed by the firm with hospitals and healthcare employers nationwide. The numbers reflect the increased demand for primary care providers and a larger placement volume in recent years, said Jim Stone, company president.

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Other top findings from the report include:

  • Signing bonuses also increased from an average of $19,714 in 2015 to $27,799 in 2016. And signing bonuses offered to primary care physicians in mid-sized communities nearly doubled, jumping to $31,967 in 2016.
  • Salary offers for primary care physicians in 2016 were somewhat evenly comparable across community sizes.  However, in an effort to attract doctors, signing bonuses were much higher in rural and mid-sized communities than in larger metro areas. Rural areas have been among the hardest hit by a shortage of primary care doctors.

RELATED: Desperate for a doctor, one rural county gets creative with a unique financial reward

  • By region, Midwestern states saw the greatest increase in signing bonuses from 2015 to 2016. For instance, in Ohio Valley states, bonuses jumped from $18,063 to $35,666.

The Association of American Medical Colleges projects a shortage of between 40,800 and 104,900 doctors by 2030, including a shortfall of between 7,300 and 43,100 primary care physicians. 

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