Physicians are increasingly seeking security in the form of a salary, according to search firm Merritt, Hawkins & Associates.
Meanwhile, demand for specialists continues to grow and is particularly strong in cardiology, orthopedic surgery and oncology, the firm reported.
Seventy-three percent of hospitals, medical groups and other recruiting organizations offered salaries, according to a review of the firm's 1,807 search assignments conducted in the 12 months ended March 31. That was up from nearly 64% two years earlier.
More-traditional income guarantees, which carry risk for physicians because they are tied to practice performance, slumped to 27% from 36.2% two years earlier.
Salaries are becoming more popular despite the collapse of the physician practice management industry, which has spun many physicians back into self-employment.
Sixty-nine percent of the company's searches were for specialists last year, up from 28% three years earlier. Merritt, Hawkins cited declining participation in some residency programs, consumer demand for greater access, early retirements and an effort by smaller communities to add specialty services.
For the first time, a hospital-based specialty, radiology, was one of the 10 most requested search assignments for the Irving, Texas-based company. Hospital-based anesthesiologists were also in greater demand.