Key Findings of Merritt Hawkins 2012 Physician Survey

Last week I posted a whiteboard cartoon video made by Merritt Hawkins.  I wanted to learn more about their survey, so I emailed them about it and received a copy of it in my mailbox!

I read through the survey and outlined some of the key points that were most interesting and of course, I list some of the physician salaries as well.

Interesting Key Points:

  • Primary care physicians remain at the top of the wish list for most hospitals, medical groups and other healthcare organizations. For the seventh consecutive year, two types of primary care physicians — family physicians and general internists — were Merritt Hawkins’ top two most requested physician search assignments.
  • The dearth of psychiatrists continues to represent a “silent shortage.” Psychiatry was
    third on the list of Merritt Hawkins’ most requested search assignments. Though the
    shortage of psychiatrists receives less attention than the primary care shortage, the 2012
    Review suggests it remains equally acute.
  • General surgeons, the “primary care physicians of surgery,” are in high demand as the number of general surgeons per population decreases. General surgery was Merritt Hawkins’ fifth most requested search assignment in 2011/12, and its most requested surgical specialty.
  • Certain medical specialists, including emergency medicine physicians, orthopedic surgeons, obstetrician/gynecologists, pulmonologists, urologists, dermatologists, and hematologists/oncologists remain in strong demand, underlying the fact that physician shortages are not limited to primary care.
  • Demand for some medical specialists, however, has decreased. Radiology, which
    was Merritt Hawkins’ most requested specialty in 2003, ranked only 18th in 2011/12. Of
    particular note, for the first time since Merritt Hawkins began compiling data for this
    Review, anesthesiology was not among its 20 most requested search assignments.
  • The trend toward hospital employment of physicians continues. Sixty-three percent of
    Merritt Hawkins’ search assignments in 2011/12 featured hospital employment of the
    physician, up from 56% the previous year and up from only 11% eight years ago.
  • The majority of search assignments (73 percent) Merritt Hawkins conducted in 2011/12
    featured a salary with production bonus. Most such bonuses (54 percent) are based on a
    Relative Value Units (RVU) formula. However, a growing number production formulas
    feature quality-based metrics. Thirty-five percent of the search assignments Merritt
    Hawkins conducted in 2011/12 offering production bonuses featured a quality-based
    component, up from less than seven percent the previous year.

2012 MD Salaries:

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