One of the nation’s leading recruiters for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, Merritt Hawkins, has issued a regular report on what the market for these clinicians is like. During the epidemic, hiring for these groups slowed, but it has since begun to rebound. Among clinician types, nurse practitioner searches were the highest, likely due to attempts to find lower cost providers as salaries have soared. The lowest demand by specialty type was for pediatricians, somewhat shocking for a country that supposedly loves its children. Mental health clinicians saw some of the highest demand, which is not at all surprising, given what we continue to put our country and society through.
Nurse practitioner salaries in recruited positions rose 12% in 2021, to an average $140,000. Physician assistant salaries rose 14% to an average $128,000. Among doctors, pay for interventional cardiologists was highest, at $611,000 on average while orthopedists were offered $546,000. At the other end of the scale, pediatricians had an average salary offer of only $236,000. We continue to have warped priorities reflected in physician compensation, as primary care doctors are paid far less than specialists. But if you wonder why health care is so expensive in the US, these salaries explain a lot. That is far, far more than the same physician would earn in another country. (Merritt Hawkins Report)