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Starting Salaries Offered to the 20 Most Recruited Specialties

An analysis of starting salaries and other recruiting incentives provides insight into what it takes to attract health care professionals into new practice settings.

Each year, healthcare staffing firm AMN Healthcare publishes a report on the healthcare search and consulting engagements conducted on behalf of its clients.

The data was collected for the 12-month period from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023. During that time, the firm conducted more than 2,600 professional search engagements.

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Shutterstock, 101302759

Key trends in recruiting healthcare professionals

For the third consecutive year, nurse practitioners top the list of most requested search engagements. Demand is being driven by alternative care settings including retail clinics, urgent care centers and telehealth platforms.

There were more requested searches for advanced practice professionals, including nurse practitioners, physicians assistants and CRNAs than for primary care physicians. This highlights the continued migration of primary care into alternative care settings. Despite this trend, family medicine physicians still landed in the number two spot on the list.

Roughly 70% of the total search engagements were conducted in communities with populations of 100,00 or more. This dispels the notion that most recruiting engagements are for rural and/or small communities.

Salaries offered through recruiting engagements

The data below is sorted in order of number of search engagements.

Nurse Practitioner$115,000$151,000$271,000
Family Medicine$120,000$255,000$375,000
Internal Medicine$168,000$255,000$350,000
Cardiology (Non-Invasive)$281,000$433,000$584,000
Cardiology (Interventional)$300,000$517,000$800,000
Orthopedic Surgery$450,000$633,000$900,000
Pulmonology/Critical Care$325,000$418,000$530,000

Additional insights on compensation

The vast majority (94%) of employment contracts offered include salary or salary with production bonus. The metrics most often used for production bonuses remain RVUs (59%), followed by net collections (20%).

Other recruiting incentives include the following:

  • Relocation assistance
  • Signing bonus
  • Paid continuing medical education (CME)
  • Health insurance
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Retirement/401k
  • Disability insurance
  • Educational loan forgiveness

The future demand for recruiting engagements

Despite the widely known physician shortage, half of healthcare administrators report that their organizations do not have formal physician retention plans in place. Two out of three administrators also reveal they do not have formal succession plans in place.

When physicians depart their positions, healthcare organizations are forced into immediate recruiting engagements to meet demand and recapture lost revenue.

As physicians continue to switch careers and/or retire, the demand for physician recruiting engagements will only continue to rise.

Was this helpful?
  1. Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives 2023.
  2. Physician Recruitment Trends: Responding to a Changing Post-Pandemic Market. Tony Stajduhar, Jackson Physician Search. February 2023.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.