Number of Days Needed to fill Physician Primary Care at Five-Year Low

RPT_CoverPDFNumber of Searches per Health Care Organization Continues to Rise

According to a recent physician and provider recruitment benchmark study, filling surgery and primary care physician positions took less time last year — a five-year low for Primary Care placements. The study, reflecting data just prior to COVID-19, also showed that health care organizations continue to grow and seek more physicians. The report comes from the Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment (AAPPR), whose members are the leading authorities in the recruitment to retention continuum.

Nearly 150 AAPPR health organizations participated in the extensive annual research study representing more than 11,000 searches, almost two-thirds specific to physician searches. Additional findings from the just-released 2020 In-House Physician and Provider Recruitment Benchmarking Report include the following:

  • Organizations continue to increase their searches and are hiring more in-house physician recruiters as a result.
  • The time needed to fill physician searches fell in 2019.
  • As in past years, primary care specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, and hospitalist physicians are the most sought-after specialties, making them among the most competitive positions to fill. Physician positions least likely to be filled in 2019 included allergy/immunology, rheumatology, and dermatology.
  • Provider turnover lessened for physicians and APPs  last year.
  • The increasing difficulty of filling physician vacancies and the overall economy and job market further boosted recruiter compensation levels for the 24-7 role they filled in 2019.

“The time it takes to fill a physician search is a metric tracked by all health organizations and is often the most important data point to health care executives. I’m happy to see this number decreasing as it may point to added efficiencies and the leveraging of technology within inhouse recruitment teams,” said Emerson Moses, AAPPR board president-elect. “It is good to see that organizations continue to add recruitment and talent acquisition staff to their in-house teams, which must almost certainly contribute to increased effectiveness.”

Carey Goryl, CEO of the AAPPR stated, “It was a positive sign that so many organizations participated in the study even amid the start of COVID-19 in the United States. It was important to capture the industry’s data as it was pre-COVID. What we’re seeing and hearing now is that there are more physician candidates in the search pool, especially in rural areas. And from in-house teams to placement firms, many are noting that the time to fill positions is getting even shorter.”

In an effort to help health care organizations predict the time it will take to fill a particular physician specialty search, anyone can access the online Days to Fill Calculator. This online predictive tool provides an estimated range of time that it will likely take to fill a specific physician specialty vacancy based on circumstances such as the organization’s size, geographic area, or desirability of location.

The AAPPR also offers a Compensation Calculator that estimates a recruitment professional’s compensation based on factors such as role in the company, years of experience, formal education, organization size, etc. to anyone who purchases the benchmarking report.

The Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment is a professional organization comprised of nearly 2,000 members focused solely on advancing in-house physician and provider recruitment professionals. The AAPPR is the leading authority on physician/provider recruitment and retention.

The complete 2020 In-House Physician and Provider Recruitment Benchmarking Report is available to organizations for $399. To order, please visit or email