The average starting salary for psychiatrists was up 11% over the last year, with growing physician shortages leading to increased demand, according to physician recruitment firm Merritt Hawkins.
The average starting salary was $250,000 among psychiatrists recruited by the company in the 12 months from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, compared with $226,000 the previous year. Of the 3,342 recruiting searches conducted in that year, 250 involved psychiatry, second highest behind family medicine among the 19 medical specialties tracked in the company’s 2016 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives.
This is the first time in the 23 years of the review that psychiatry has been as high as second on the list of most requested recruiting assignments, although it was third last year and fourth the year before. “This is a clear reflection of the focus health care providers are putting on addressing mental health challenges in the United States,” the report noted.
Starting salaries were up for 18 of the 19 specialties, with only emergency medicine showing a decease. “Demand for physicians is as intense as we have seen it in our 29-year history,” Travis Singleton, senior vice president of Merritt Hawkins, said in a separate statement. “The expansion of health insurance coverage, population growth, population aging, expanded care sites such as urgent care centers, and other factors are driving demand for doctors through the roof, and salaries are spiking as a consequence.”