Primary-care doctors, who have taken a back seat for years to surgical and diagnostic specialists in the physician-recruiting wars, are in high demand again, according to a new survey from a national search firm. Indeed, internists and family physicians top the list of the most sought-after physicians in a survey by Irving, Texas-based Merritt, Hawkins & Associates, which tracked more than 3,000 of the firm's search assignments from March 31, 2005, to April 1, 2006. Officials said the company fielded more requests for internists and family practitioners than for any other type of physician over that period.
Compared with the previous year, requests for family physicians increased 55% to 257, and requests for internists rose 46% to 274. The most-requested physicians after those two specialties were radiologists, orthopedic surgeons, cardiologists and general surgeons.