Shortage of Primary Care Providers Affects Recruitment

By Hillary Eames
Monday, January 6, 2020

High demand and low supply for primary care physicians impact recruitment packages and benefits.

Current health care trends towards primary care, as more patients seek preventive medicine and treatment for chronic conditions. At the same time, a rapidly-aging population leads to more physicians retiring just as growing numbers of elderly patients need more face-to-face time with the family doctor. The result is a significant shortage of primary care physicians. Recruiters are working to provide attractive offers to these providers.

What Employers Offer Primary Care Providers

Merritt Hawkins has identified some common trends in recruitment contracts, including:

  • Flexible scheduling to allow for better work-life balance and prevent physician burnout
  • Higher starting salaries, as well as sign-on bonuses averaging roughly $30,000
  • Medical scribes and dedicated staff to relieve physicians of electronic medical record-keeping
  • Specialized interests, such as obstetrics, practiced in conjunction with primary care

“It’s like a buyer’s market,” explains Tom Florence, Executive Vice President of Recruiting for Merritt Hawkins, in a recent blog post. “With more open positions and fewer primary care physicians to go around, today’s candidates are more likely to get what they want.”