Signing bonuses, higher pay top docs' wish lists

The competition to recruit physicians is fierce, but a new survey from The Medicus Firm offers insight into physicians' wish lists for an ideal place to work.

Notably, the staffing company's survey of more than 2,500 doctors found that signing bonuses, once considered "icing on the cake" of most recruitment packages, are now an expectation. The firm reported that 85.27 percent of its searches that resulted in an offer last year involved a signing bonus. The average amount was $24,037, but the highest bonus was $150,000.

"There are literally thousands of opportunities that are competing for the same physician, so anything that a hospital or physician group can do to stand out is a good thing," Jim Stone, president and co-owner of the Medicus Firm, told Medical Economics.

Other highlights from the firm's 2013 Physician Practice Preference and Relocation Survey revealed:

  • Fifty-four percent of new physicians (those in training at the time of the survey) indicated a preference for hospital (28 percent) or academic center (26 percent) employment;
  • Physicians were generally disappointed with their pay during 2012 and compensation and reimbursement ranked as top concerns for 53 percent of those surveyed; and 
  • Work-life balance was another high priority among physicians, cited as a top concern by 47 percent of respondents.

"While hospital employers can't change their location, the weather, or the town population or amenities, they can offer other creative perks and solutions tailored to the physician's lifestyle, like flexible schedules and a pleasant work environment where physicians are included in administrative decisions and allowed some of the managerial influence they had when they owned private practices," Stone, who also serves as the newly-elected president of the National Association of Physician Recruiters, said in the survey announcement.

To learn more:
- see the survey from the Medicus Firm
- read the article from Medical Economics