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Among medical doctors, primary care physicians rank as the most in-demand, according to the 2009 Review of Physician Recruiting Incentives from physician staffing firm Merritt Hawkins & Associates, a division of AMN Healthcare Services Inc. (NYSE: AHS).
The survey tracked more than 3,200 physician recruiting assignments by Merritt Hawkins between April 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009.
There were 595 searches for family physicians in 2008/2009, up from 257 in 2005/2006.
Increasing demand and a shrinking supply of generalist doctors is spurring the demand, according to Mark Smith, president of Merritt Hawkins. Fewer medical students are choosing primary care specialties at a time when the population is both growing and aging.
General internists ranked as the second most in-demand type of doctor with 391 searches in 2008/2009.
Merritt Hawkins' report also found that physicians were offered signing bonuses in 85% of searches in 2008/2009, up from 74% the previous year and 58% three years ago.
The average signing bonus was $24,850.