The Medicus Firm’s 2016 Provider Placement Summary

RPT_CoverPDFThe Medicus Firm is a national healthcare recruiting firm,
specializing in permanent placement of physicians and
advanced practice providers. This annual report summarizes all 2015 provider placements (or hires) made in partnership with The Medicus Firm, at hundreds of health systems, hospitals, and medical groups nationwide, in a variety of practice structures and types of communities. The objective of this report is to analyze national healthcare recruiting and placement activity, and in turn highlight new and ongoing trends and statistics, particularly in physician placement.

Key Highlights

  • Primary care once again dominated placement volume nationwide, comprising 35.57 percent of all placements made in 2015. (For the purposes of this report, “primary care” includes those physicians placed to practice internal medicine, pediatrics, or family medicine.)
  • The overwhelming majority of physicians placed were hired as employees (92 percent). About 6 percent of physicians were placed into a private practice on a net income guarantee, and 1.7 percent were placed in a private practice with a gross income guarantee.
  • Placements in urban and metropolitan areas (pop. > 500,000) outpaced mid-sized and rural communities, for the first year in the company’s history. Placements in urban communities comprised 36.76 percent of all placements, up from 33.66 percent
    in 2014, and 25 percent in 2013.
  • Non-physician advanced practice providers (PA/NP) placements continue to increase substantially, to 8.3 percent of total placements, up from 6.34 percent
    the previous year, and 1.32 percent in 2012. Physician assistants were the fourth most frequently placed provider in 2015, up from fifth highest in 2014.
  • The placement of American Medical Graduates reached another new high of 71.43 percent, up from 68.78 percent last year, and 58.55 percent in 2012.
    This is notable as the proportion of international medical graduates has actually increased in the active physician population.
  • D.O. placements increased as a percentage of total placement volume, to 11.74 percent, up from 9.9 percent the previous year, and up from 5.4 percent in 2011.
  • In addition to primary care, hospitalists, physician assistants, and OB/Gyn rounded out the top five specialists with the greatest placement and hiring activity for 2015. Family practice represented the highest volume of placements in 2015, with internal medicine ranking second highest for placement volume.

All data is presented as a percentage of total placements made in 2015 with client companies of The Medicus Firm,
unless otherwise noted. Figures represent hundreds of placements made throughout the year, at more than 200 hospitals and health systems nationwide.


For the first time in the history of The Medicus Firm, placements in urban settings (with a population of more than a half million) surpassed placement volume in rural and mid-sized community settings. This increase in search and placement activity in urban and metropolitan areas is indicative of the intensified level of competition for physicians, regardless of how desirable or attractive a particular practice location may be.




While the average size of signing bonuses and relocation bonuses increased for 2015, the percentage of placements paid a signing bonus actually decreased slightly.

This is likely due to the increase in nonphysician placements and academic physicians, which are traditionally less likely to receive a signing bonus than physician employees of a for-profit or not-for-profit
community hospital or health system. Additionally, the largest signing bonus paid to a physician placed in 2015 was a staggering $250,000. Combined with other forms of student loan forgiveness and repayment options sometimes provided by employers or by the government, signing
bonuses help physicians pay off their substantial student loan debt, which averages $166,750, according to a CBS news report on the topic.

2015 Placements by Employment Model

The overwhelming majority of physicians are being hired as employees in today’s market, including hospital and group settings. Of the 92 percent employed placements indicated in the above graphic, 25.1 percent of those candidates were hired as employees of groups, and 69.2 percent were hired as hospital employees, with the remaining 5.2 percent
employed in unknown or “other” practice settings.

Income guarantees are a complex form of compensation similar to a forgivable loan. These guarantees used to be very common, and were once a popular way for hospitals to help physicians to establish their own private practice. However, clients of The Medicus Firm have largely abandoned private practice in favor of employment, based on the placement percentages for 2015.

While there are many benefits for physicians practicing as employees, physicians often indicate they wish for more
autonomy. More physicians are choosing employment out of necessity, than by personal preference.

About the Medicus Firm
The Medicus Firm ( is an award-winning, leading healthcare search firm specializing in the permanent placement of physicians and advanced
practice clinicians. Since 2001, The Medicus Firm (TMF) has partnered with hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, and physician groups nationwide to provide comprehensive recruitment services in community settings ranging from rural to metropolitan.

To view the full study, visit