Radiologists are third most sought-after specialists among providers
by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | August 17, 2023
Radiologists are the third most sought-after specialists among healthcare provider employers.
In its 2023 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives report, AMN Healthcare ranked radiologists as the third most sought-after physician specialists among healthcare provider employers and the second most among academic medical centers.
The recruitment company recorded 155 search requests for radiologists, behind 279 for family medicine physicians and nurse practitioners. It also found a 4% increase from its previous 2021/2022 report in average annual salary for these medical professionals at $472,000 and an average signing bonus of $82,826, with some sign-on incentives as high as $570,000.
Among academic medical centers (AMCs), radiologists were only second in demand to anesthesiologists, with popularity for both attributed to rising procedure volumes, which are outpacing recruitment efforts and retainment of providers. The three most requested specialists at these sites after them were in family medicine, hematology/oncology, and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs).
“Demand for anesthesiologists, CRNAs, and radiologists underscores the growing role of AMCs as clinical care providers and the rising number of medical procedures performed at AMCs, almost all of which require radiology and anesthesiology,” wrote AMN Healthcare in its report.
Along with other physicians, radiologists are retiring at higher and faster rates. This has created a widespread shortage in the U.S. and worldwide as providers struggle to replace and retain them. And because of the higher number of volumes, coverage needs have expanded into weekends and evenings, putting greater pressure on hospitals and health systems to fill these roles.
Due to high demand and high patient acuity, recruitment of radiologists at AMCs is significantly challenging, and more so than for other providers because they often cannot provide as high compensation packages. According to AMN Healthcare, the average starting salary for radiologists in academia is $424,000, almost 12% less than in other settings ($481,000).
Additionally, the growing number of cases daily at AMCs cuts into the 20% administrative time they often include in contracts with specialists, preventing radiologists and others from using their allotted time.
On a regionwide level, radiologists earned the most on average in starting salaries in the Midwest at $495,600 and the least in the Southeast ($438,622).
In terms of absolute demand, as in the number of search engagements and job openings as a percent of all active providers in a given specialty, radiologists were the fifth most sought-after medical specialists, with pulmonology the highest on the list.
The report is based on a representative sample of 2,676 permanent physician and AP search engagements that AMN Healthcare carried out between April 2022 and March 2023.
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