The coronavirus pandemic has significantly altered the job market for physicians, leading to the temporary reduction of both starting salaries and practice options for doctors, according to an annual report tracking physician recruiting trends.
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Prepared by Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare, the 2020 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives tracks a sample of 3,251 physician and advanced practitioner recruiting engagements that the firm conducted from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020. Now in its 27th year, the report includes analysis suggesting that the previously robust job market for physicians has softened since the emergence of COVID-19.
“Over our 33-year history, most physicians had little difficulty finding a job opportunity, with multiple offers to choose from,” said Travis Singleton, executive vice president with Merritt Hawkins/AMN Healthcare. “Today, we are seeing a growing number who are unemployed with a limited number of roles available. This is unprecedented. COVID-19 essentially flipped the physician job market in a matter of 60 days.”
The report indicates that while Merritt Hawkins saw an increase in physician search engagements over the 12 month period ending March 31 of this year, demand for physicians since March 31, as gauged by number of new search engagements, has declined by over 30 percent. At the same time, the number of physicians contacting Merritt Hawkins about job opportunities has increased. This has created an opportune market for those healthcare facilities seeking physicians.
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