For the ninth straight year, family medicine was the most recruited medical specialty, according to a new report from physician job placement firm Merritt Hawkins.

During 2014-2015, there were 734 search assignments performed for doctors in family medicine, nearly one-quarter of the 3,120 total searches conducted during the period from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015, according to the company’s 2015 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives. No other specialty came close to this number of search requests.

Internal medicine, the other primary care specialty and a nine-year stalwart of the faraway second position, finished the year with 237 recruitments, Merritt Hawkins reported.

Psychiatry was the most recruited non–primary care specialty with 230 searches, falling just short of usurping internal medicine in second place. Other specialty categories with more than 100 recruitments in 2014-2015 were hospital medicine with 176, nurse practitioner with 143, ob.gyn. with 112, and orthopedic surgery with 106.

Demand for primary physicians, NPs, gynecologists, and physicians who work with chronic illness increased from the 2013-2014 period. “Implementation of population health management through integrated systems such as accountable care organizations is likely to keep demand strong for these types of clinicians,” Travis Singleton, senior vice president of Merritt Hawkins, said in a written statement.

Nearly all new employments were done by a hospital or other large employer, and only 5% of recruitment was conducted by private, independent practices, continuing the decline of private practice. Value-based incentives have decreased, with 23% of employers basing the bonus on value, compared with 39% 2 years ago, according to Merritt Hawkins.


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