There is a shortage of physicians in the American healthcare system, and according to national healthcare recruiting company The Medicus Firm, a shortage of psychiatrists is a big part of that. The profession is increasing in demand, and psychiatrists' compensation is growing as a result.
The average compensation package accepted by psychiatrists hired in 2017 grew nearly 10 percent over 2016, according to the firm's data. That's a greater year-over-year increase than any other specialty in 2017, in terms of offers accepted by physicians that year.
The 9.74 percent increase in psychiatrists' compensation far outpaced the average compensation packages accepted by newly hired physicians, which stood at 1.8 percent. Other in-demand specialties this year include family medicine, internal medicine, hospitalists and gastroenterologists.
Internists experienced the second greatest increase in compensation offers accepted by physicians placed in 2017, with an increase of 8.56 percent over 2016.
Psychiatrists ranked as the ninth most-placed specialists in 2017 among clients of The Medicus Firm, based on the firm's physician placement records from those years. Psychiatrists joined the top 10 most placed-specialties in 2016, debuting in eighth place, and demand remains strong, even though they have proven to be a bit more challenging for clients to recruit in recent months. Signing bonuses, coupled with substantial base salaries, are one way that employers are wooing psychiatrists to choose them over the competing health systems.
A signing bonus can be a convincing tipping point, and the highest one recorded by The Medicus Firm for 2017 hires was $200,000, for a gastroenterologist placed that year. Signing bonuses increased across the board for all top specialties of physicians placed in 2017, by 20 percent over 2016.
The average total compensation package accepted by psychiatrists hired in 2017 was $319,333, including base and bonuses. That's up from $291,000 in 2016.
The most concentrated need appears to be in the mid-western states, with multiple active searches in Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin and Nebraska especially.