Between 2007 and 2008, the biggest increases in entry level salaries for physicians out of residency were in noninvasive cardiology, anesthesiology, emergency medicine and neurology, according to a survey conducted by the Medical Group Management Association of Englewood, Colo., in collaboration with the National Association of Physician Recruiters.

Offering data on starting salary, signing bonuses and other benefits for physicians, the MGMA Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey: 2009 Report noted that with exception to surgery, starting salaries were highest for physicians entering hospital-department practices.

Furthermore, the survey reported that while experienced physicians migrated to Florida and Texas, doctors directly out of residency headed to North Carolina and Illinois.

“Practicing physicians appear to relocate to Florida and Texas for a variety of reasons," said MGMA member and NAPR Immediate Past President Martin Osinski of American Medical Consultants. "Those states don’t have state income tax, which could add a significant amount to a physician’s income — especially now, when physicians experience consistent financial burdens from managed care and reduced Medicare/Medicaid payments.”

The survey did not find much differnce among signing bonuses for physicians a year out of residency or fellowship and all other physicians. Experienced physicians in primary care, cardiology and general surgery indicated they received similar signing bonuses despite their years in practice.