Demand for radiologists stabilizes, starting salaries rise

March 3, 2005

The Physician Recruiting Standard reports steady demand for the new placement of radiologists in 2004. Starting salaries rose, and financial inducements for radiologists to change jobs became more widespread.

The Physician Recruiting Standard reports steady demand for the new placement of radiologists in 2004. Starting salaries rose, and financial inducements for radiologists to change jobs became more widespread.

The 53 radiologists placed across the country in 2004 by the survey's sponsor, Delta Medical Consulting in Irvine, TX, will earn an average of $350,979. Their salaries rank fourth among all physician specialists, according to Physician Recruiting Standard's survey.

Newly recruited neurosurgeons received the highest salaries at $559,625. Orthopedic surgeons and gastroenterologists were also recruited into positions that pay more than radiologists. Newly recruited physicians in these subspecialties will earn an average of $372,850 and $363,131 respectively, according to the survey. Pediatricians ranked at the bottom with an average starting compensation of $156,000.

The survey was based on data collected from hospital-based physician recruiters and administrators involved with 325 physicians placed by Delta Medical Consulting in 2004. The firm actually placed nine fewer radiologists in 2004 than the 62 recruited in 2003, according to Jamie Watson, marketing director.

"We didn't see much change in demand for radiologists," Watson said. "It came down a little in 2004, but we also saw increases in their compensation and their sign-on bonuses."

Recruiters needed an average of 112 days in 2004 to fill an open radiology job. That was 11 days longer than during a 12-month period from October 2003 to September 2004 also reported in a Physician Recruiting Standard survey, Watson said.

The average sign-on bonus for all medical specialties in 2004 was $22,106, down by about $2800 from the previous year. Urologists secured the largest sign-on bonuses, averaging $52,068. The average relocation allowance was $8900, and this benefit was offered to 98% of physician recruits.

Offers of student loan repayment are the fastest growing form of enticement. According to the survey, 31% of physicians recruited in the fourth quarter of 2004 were offered student loan repayment, up from 22% in the third quarter. On average, employers will pay a physician's school loans after 2.5 years on the job.

For more information from the Diagnostic Imaging archives:

Feeding frenzy abates in radiology recruitment

Rad departments may stash 'help wanted' signs

Creative solutions can help alleviate staff shortages