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Physician pay is changing with increases and decreases in certain specialties this 2022 

  • A recent report revealed several trends within the physician and advanced practitioner recruiting market in 2022.  
  • According to the report, interventional cardiologists saw the biggest drop in pay this year. 
  • The report also stated that OB-GYN saw the most significant pay increase.  

Physician pay is changing, according to a recent Merritt Hawkins and AMN Healthcare’s 2022 report. The report gave an overview of the salaries, bonuses, and other incentives customarily used to recruit physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs).  

The “Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives 2022” report stated that interventional cardiologists had the biggest drop in payments this year. In contrast, obstetrician-gynecologists (OB-GYN) saw the biggest increase in payment, but orthopedic surgeons boasted the highest overall average pay. 

Physicians’ pay increased for OB-GYN, anesthesiology, cardiology, neurology, gastroenterology, orthopedic surgery, urology, and internal medicine. OB-GYN had a 10.3 percent increase, representing an upgrade from earning $291,000 to receiving $321,000. 

Physicians’ pay decreased for these four specialties: cardiology (interventional), hematology, radiology, and pediatrics. Interventional cardiology had a 13.7% decrease going from $611,000 to $527,000. 

Here are some other physician pay key findings of the report:  

  • Orthopedic surgeons are offered the highest starting salary of physicians tracked in the 2022 Review, at $565,000. Meanwhile, pediatricians are offered the lowest starting salary of physicians, followed in the 2022 Review, at $232,000.  
  • Demand for telemedicine physicians is growing, particularly in radiology and psychiatry. 18% of Merritt Hawkins’ radiology search engagements were for teleradiologists, while 15% for psychiatrists were for telepsychiatrists.  
  • Nurse practitioners (NPs) topped the list of Merritt Hawkins’ most requested search engagements for the second consecutive year.  
  • Most Merritt Hawkins’ search engagements (64%) were for physician specialists, including cardiologists, gastroenterologists, orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, oncologists, and others, reflecting the needs of an aging population that is reliant on specialty care.  

Revenue drive to hospitals & healthcare professionals’ recruitment 

The report also visualized the gradual focus shift from fee-for-service to value-based care. “Payment models in healthcare are evolving, with a growing amount of reimbursement tied to value and outcomes rather than volume of services provided.”   

Despite this, the report stated that physicians still drive revenue to hospitals through the volume of patient admissions, procedures, tests and treatments, and drugs they prescribe. The report also indicated that specialist physicians remain the highest revenue generators.  

Lastly, the report gave some general recommendations for recruiting physicians and advanced practitioners in today’s market. The recommendations included virtual interviews, leveraging digital content, COVID-19 protocols, new entrants to the physician recruiting market, a focus on physician well-being/retention, and basic recruiting tenets remain.  

Read the full report here

Stay tuned for this and more industry news through our December 2022 newsletter. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and our Health Prime blog for ongoing leading industry medical practice articles and policy updates. 



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