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The True Cost of Physician Vacancies

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This article is the first in a series of content that reflects upon the findings in a recent white paper published by Tony Stajduhar, President, of Jackson Physician Search, titled Physician Recruitment: The Costs to Hire and Return on Investment.

According to a 2018 Association of Physician Recruiters’ (ASPR) survey, 40% of physician vacancies in 2017 went unfilled.  The largest number of hiring searches were for family medicine, hospital medicine, internal medicine, neurology, and urgent care.  With these shortages in mind, it is even more concerning when you realize that by 2020, almost 33% of active physicians will be 65 years of age and older.  If you are struggling with filling physician vacancies, check out our Guide to Physician Recruitment.  But first, let’s examine the true cost of physician vacancies.

Loss of Revenue 

The first and most obvious cost of a physician vacancy is the loss of revenue. For example, a Gastroenterologist generates almost $2 million in gross charges, while an Orthopedic Surgeon can generate almost $1.8 million in charges. Annualizing these numbers show that a hospital or medical group can lose between $150,000 and $170,000 per month for specialist vacancies.

Patient Migration 

Not as clearly defined, but just as critical are the numbers of patients that are lost while there is a vacancy. If a physician leaves, there is the danger of losing all of the patients that were already loyal to that doctor, especially if there is not a viable alternative already on staff. Hospitals and groups also lose out on referrals and the peripheral losses of not having a flow of patient to doctor and doctor to doctor referrals.

Market Share 

When vacancies are unfilled, that doesn’t mean that patients needing services halt until the position is filled. Anytime patients are forced to seek specific services elsewhere, your competitor is reaping the benefit. Once a competitor has an opportunity to develop a relationship with someone who was once loyal to your facility, the opportunity to recover them as a client diminishes exponentially.

Longer Time to Fill = More Costs

Different specialties have a wide variation in the typical time to fill. Bearing in mind the monetary losses and the ancillary losses the length of time your vacancy goes unfilled is critical. The ASPR reports that a family medicine vacancy is typically open 4.3 months, while a surgical vacancy can be open for 10 months or more based on the specialty and the location.

 

It is clear that the demand for physicians, coupled with a dwindling supply is not going away anytime soon. As physician vacancies continue to go unfilled and healthcare organizations struggle to manage the costs, the industry as a whole will be in a perpetual state of “all hands on deck” until the physician pipeline is stable once again.

If your organization is all too familiar with the costs associated with lingering physician vacancies, check out our report on How to Create Growth and ROI through Recruitment and Retention.

Physician Hiring Outlook
Create a Cultural Blueprint for Successful Physician Recruitment

2019 Outlook for Hiring Physicians

For several years, reports of the ongoing physician shortage have dominated the headlines.  To give healthcare leaders the comprehensive information they need to invest and adjust to the physician shortage…

How to Create a Cultural Blueprint for Successful Physician Recruitment

Culture is defined as “values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that employees share and exhibit on a daily basis in their work and in the community”. And, lack of cultural fit is among the top reasons…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

Click the Get Started button if you’re ready to speak with one of our physician recruitment experts.

The Job You Want May Not Be the One You Need

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We’ve recently worked with a physician who thought it was time to make a move from a small rural community setting into a large metro area.  By working with a recruiter at Jackson Physician Search, he found a position that met all of his personal and professional needs.  Here is his recruitment story.

Our physician, let’s refer to him as Dr. Smith, had been working in rural Northern Kentucky for several years.  Having recently married, Dr. Smith felt he was ready to explore opportunities in larger metropolitan areas.  He began by considering cities like Chicago, hoping for access to cultural activities and better schools for his daughter.  He quickly learned that his personal and professional needs might be better met in a mid-sized community and practice. It surprised him to find that the large group he was interviewing with wasn’t very responsive and he felt that working there, he would be just another number.

He began working with Helen Falkner, Sr. Director of Recruiting at Jackson Physician Search, who has been helping doctors, and other medical professionals find their perfect job for years. They began by narrowing down the things that were most important to him and his new family. He wanted a position affording him a better work/life balance and a location that offered the amenities of a larger metropolitan area.  When Helen told Dr. Smith about an opportunity she had in a Midwestern university town, he was unfamiliar with the community and initially skeptical.  However, Dr. Smith knew that keeping an open mind is critical and that it would be worth it to do his due diligence on the job.

The first thing that struck Dr. Smith when he arrived for his interview was that he was meeting directly with the CEO of the clinic.  He felt very comfortable having that direct line of communication with the CEO, and it allowed for a streamlined decision-making process. Dr. Smith was pleasantly surprised to find that the facility was very physician-centric and they were extremely motivated to learn more about him and his family. He knew if he joined them, that he would be more than just another doctor.

Being a college town, and also located less than an hour from a major metropolitan area, Dr. Smith and his family found that they would have access to vibrant cultural scenes, concerts, great restaurants, and a top school system.  The organization was very accommodating with Dr. Smith’s salary and scheduling preferences, and he gladly accepted their offer to join the team.

Dr. Smith’s story is not unlike many others in today’s ultra-competitive physician search environment, and it includes some key takeaways for consideration. Dr. Smith kept an open mind throughout the process and working with his recruiter, stayed focused on the things most important to him and his family.  He also recognized that in a smaller setting, he had the opportunity to become a part of the community and work in a more comfortable, inclusive environment. The only investment Dr. Smith had to make was the time he spent interviewing.  By overcoming his preconceived notions of what he thought he wanted, Dr. Smith ended up as part of a tight-knit team in a location that met all of his family’s needs.

If you are ready to find your next opportunity, check out our job portal to search for your next job or connect with Helen directly on her LinkedIn page.

choosing education the right shcools
5 Reasons Why Doctors Search for a New Jobs

JPS Recruiters Live: Optimizing for Your Children’s Education

Often, we get asked by doctors that are looking to relocate for help with assessing schools and school districts. We know that the education of their children is very important to…

Five Reasons Why Doctors Search For a New Job

If you pay any attention at all to the stock market or financial news, you already know that the economy is booming and the outlook for jobs is better than it has been in decades…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

Gift Yourself a New Job This Holiday Season

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The holidays are here, and 2019 is around the corner. You suddenly realize that the job search you vowed to start early is now behind schedule.  Don’t panic! You still have time to start your holiday job search — Just use our guide and the holiday calendar to plan, prioritize and set deadlines for achievable milestones.

Make your List (and check it twice):

  • Create a checklist of criteria so you can objectively prioritize your search.
  • Be sure your CV is ready to submit for practice opportunities that meet your criteria.
  • Finalize your short list of appealing communities and organizations.
  • Identify your references and alert them to possible inquiries.

Get a Helper:

  • Share the details of your career and personal goals with a trusted recruiter.
  • You can rely on their objectivity, network of connections and knowledge of the marketplace.
  • They will help focus your search and avoid roadblocks, without charge or obligation.

Plan Ahead to Avoid Dashing Around:

  • With holiday calendars (and available flights) filling up, be quick and decisive about scheduling interviews.
  • Outline pertinent questions about compensation, practice parameters and the community.
  • Start phone interviews in December and schedule on-site interviews to take place just after New Years.

New Year’s Day Assessment:

  • Assess your progress, including upcoming interviews and offers on the table.
  • Ask for feedback to understand where any disconnects occurred.
  • Share that information with your recruiter – you need objective advice!
  • Plan your follow-up steps. If no offers are in hand, you may need to change the parameters of your search and conduct more due diligence to improve your chances of success.

MLK Day Decisions:

  • Prioritize the offers you have received.
  • Compare compensation packages using trusted sources for salary surveys and calculators that incorporate multiple variables.
  • Consult trusted advisors who can help compare the variables and explain contractual terms.
  • Be prepared to make a decision.

Sweet Success by Valentine’s Day:

  • Celebrate the sweet success of accepting an offer!
  • Meet the deadlines for securing your license, hospital privileges and credentialing with payers.
  • Explore housing and make relocation plans.

Physicians who accept an offer early enjoy:

  • The opportunity to earn a stipend, signing bonus or another incentive for early commitment.
  • Less stress and fewer scheduling conflicts during their final semester of residency.
  • Peace of mind to enjoy their first few months after graduation.
  • The opportunity to be productive in your practice as soon as you arrive.

Finding your first or next practice opportunity can be challenging and overwhelming.  An experienced recruiter can ease the process and serve as a guide through the process. They know the hiring organizations first-hand and have visited the practice sites you’re considering. They will streamline the process and keep you on track.

Get started now by exploring Jackson Physician Search opportunities and learning why physicians choose to work with Jackson Physician Search recruiters.

2019 Physician Job Search Outlook
Advance Your Physician Career with a New Job

2019 Physician Job Search Outlook

Let’s look at the 2019 Hiring Outlook for Physicians.  With 2019 right around the corner, is it the perfect time to start planning to change jobs, retire early, get out of private practice…

How to Advance Your Physician Career With a New Job

As you look to advance your physician career with a new job, the most important question you must ask yourself is why are you considering a change?  Your reasons will drive…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

Five Ways Physicians Can Improve Their Job Satisfaction

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Is your career as a physician becoming less satisfying?  Ranked as one of the most trusted professions, some doctors today are not feeling the love.  According to a 2018 Medscape survey, more than 50% of doctors are feeling the negative impacts of a stressful working environment.  If you are one of those physicians experiencing burnout, there are some things you can do to improve your practice experience.  While not a comprehensive list, below are five ways physicians can improve their job satisfaction.

Find Work/Life Balance.  If you don’t have a healthy balance in your life between home and work, the chances are you won’t be satisfied in either.  With the demand for your services as a physician, you have more control over your current position than you think. Take the time to self-reflect and determine what your work/life balance looks like and what you can do to find the balance you want.  Maybe it includes reducing the time you are spending on administrative tasks, or less call during the week or on weekends. Much like treating an illness, once you know what the imbalance is, you can begin prescribing whatever it will take to improve the condition.

Challenge Yourself.  Has your career as a doctor gotten too much like punching a clock?  Think back to your early days of practicing medicine and how exciting every day seemed.  You were solving complex medical puzzles, helping your patients, absorbing information, and learning new techniques.  You can achieve that feeling again by taking on new challenges.  This can be as simple as learning a new skill, or getting a new certification, or as involved as advancing your career to a C-Suite level.

Reignite Your Passion.  There is nothing quite like finding an activity that causes the fire in your belly to burn brighter.  If that flame is dimmer than it used to be, you need to throw another log on the fire.  Find a way to take up a cause that is close to your heart, or dive back into a hobby that you are passionate about.  When was the last time you picked up that guitar you used to play in the dorm?  You might even consider checking out a volunteer organization like Doctors without Borders, or other physician volunteer opportunities through the AMA.

Become a Mentor.  When you were a fresh-faced resident or young practicing physician, you may have relied on a mentor to help you navigate the intricacies of your first years of practicing medicine.  If you had a mentor, the chances are you still rely on them from time to time. One way to improve your own job satisfaction is to act as a mentor to others.  Taking a young physician under your wing can help you rediscover why you became a doctor in the first place. And better yet, sometimes being around a young doctor who has the passion and energy you once had, can help you recharge your own batteries.

Change Jobs.  If you have already tried the recommendations above without positive results, maybe it is time to consider finding a new place to practice.  You are in demand, and many organizations would be thrilled to have you join them. Negotiating optimal schedules, minimal call, vacation time, research opportunities and more, it is all out there for negotiation.  Sometimes change is necessary and if your current job no longer feels like the right fit, the coming year is shaping up to be a good one for physicians looking for greener pastures.

If you are a physician who is unhappy in their current position, or you just feel like it is time for a change, let Jackson Physician Search help you find your perfect fit. Our nationwide reach means that we have access to thousands of opportunities with provider systems of all sizes in all types of communities.  Contact one of our physician recruitment professionals today to get started.

How Physician Can Avoid Burnout
Career Paths for Physicians

What Physicians Can Do to Avoid Burnout

We have all experienced feelings of burnout at different points in our career, being overwhelmed, depressed, and other negative reactions to…

Career Paths for Physicians

In the past, when students graduated with their medical degree, they applied for their medical license and began a long career of seeing…

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Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

2019 Physician Job Search Outlook

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Let’s look at the 2019 Physician Job Search Outlook.  With 2019 right around the corner, is it the perfect time to start planning to change jobs, retire early, get out of private practice, etc.? Here are several things for doctors to consider for 2019.

Escape From the City

We all experience feelings of burnout in our careers from time to time, but if you are one of those physicians who would say that the burnout is pervasive, maybe a change of scenery can do the trick.  Rural communities are struggling to find doctors, and many are sweetening their offers to attract more physicians to “go country.” Physicians who leave the hustle and bustle of the city find lower patient volumes, a better quality of life, more time to spend with your patients, lower costs of living, and much more.

Do Things Differently

Proactive administrators are aggressively pursuing ways to keep their physicians from seeking greener pastures. Reducing the time doctors spend on notes and EHRs by hiring scribes, adding more NPs to reduce workload, and focusing on corporate culture, are just a few of the ways systems are bettering the work environment. Doctors that find themselves somewhere that isn’t seeking continuous improvement, there are plenty of other opportunities out there to consider.

Change in Location

Maybe 2019 can be the year that you get out of the city you’re in and find a new one more conducive to your lifestyle. If you don’t see yourself fitting into a rural setting, a 2018 Medscape survey uncovered the best places to practice.  Topping the list is North Dakota with its booming economy, low numbers of uninsured citizens, and high ranking healthcare quality statewide. Very few other states have lower doctor burnout rates than North Dakota. Not surprisingly, Hawaii is also near the top of the list, as well as several states located in the Great Plains, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota. With opportunities all over the country, with a little research, you can find the perfect place for you.

Retirement

In a recent survey of 9,000 physicians nationwide, over 17% responded that they are planning to retire within 3 years.  This number is up from a similar survey conducted in 2016.  Considering that over 41% of physicians are age 56 and over, these results aren’t surprising. However, that same survey found 47% want to retire sooner than they had planned.  There are many reasons for wanting to retire early, maybe you have saved and invested well, and have achieved some financial independence. Or, maybe you are looking to spend more time with your family, or as in many cases, experiencing burnout.

New Setting, New You

While it is often mistakenly attributed to Albert Einstein, the definition of insanity is most certainly doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  The same can be said for your career as a physician.  If it isn’t going the way it should or you expected, 2019 is the time to make a change as evidenced by the 46% of physicians actively planning a new career path. Many physicians are changing their focus, almost 19% are now practicing telemedicine, 12% are planning to find a non-clinical position, and 30% are planning to cut back their hours with one-third of those going part-time.

If 2019 is going to be the year that you take your physician career to new places, Jackson Physician Search is the partner who can help you achieve new heights, find greener pastures, or simply find an opportunity that reignites your passion for medicine.  Contact one of our recruitment professionals today to get started.

5 Reasons Why Doctors Search for a New Jobs
Physician Job Search

Five Reasons Why Doctors Search For a New Job

If you pay any attention at all to the stock market or financial news, you already know that the economy is booming and the outlook for jobs is better than it has been in…

Keeping up with the Dr. Joneses… and Other Ways to Sabotage Your Physician Job Search

As an in-demand physician, the chances are pretty good that you have plenty of opportunities to consider when and if you are in the market for a new practice opportunity.  There is much more…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

2019 Outlook for Hiring Physicians

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For several years, reports of the ongoing physician shortage have dominated the headlines.  To give healthcare leaders the comprehensive information they need to invest and adjust to the physician shortage, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) began publishing physician supply and demand reports in 2015.  The most recent update projects an even greater shortfall between supply and demand than previously forecasted.

By the Numbers – According to the AAMC, the total physician shortfall will be between 42,600 and a staggering 121,300 by the year 2030. Primary care shortages are projected up to 49,300 and non-primary care specialties up to 72,000 physicians. Oncology and Surgery are projected to be among the hardest hit specialties. The data shows that new cancer cases are likely to increase by 42% by 2025, while the number of oncologists is expected to grow by only 28%. This exacerbates the current shortage, as more than 70% of U.S. counties already have no medical oncologists. General surgery is facing a shortfall of almost 21,400 qualified surgeons over the next 5 years.

Contributing Factors – A combination of factors are creating this perfect storm which makes recruiting and retaining physicians more challenging than ever:

  • Demographics – The growing shortage is primarily due to an uncontrollable factor: demographics. America is aging, physicians included. By 2030, the number of Americans over age 65 is projected to grow by 50%, consuming healthcare at a higher rate as they age. At the same time, more than one-third of all currently active physicians will be 65 or older within the next decade.
  • Education/Residency Disconnect – Medical schools have been increasing their class sizes, but the number of residency slots have not increased commensurately to keep up with demand.
  • Working Fewer Hours – The trend toward physicians working fewer hours per week is reducing the FTE physician supply. AAMC’s updated report reflects new data showing declines in physician working hours across all age groups, not just millennials.
  • Burnout – According to the 2018 Future of Healthcare Report, 7 out of 10 physicians are unwilling to recommend healthcare as a profession because they are disheartened by changes to the practice of medicine. As many as 78% of physicians experience feelings of burnout associated with paperwork overload, frustration with Electronic Health Records (EHR) and challenges to their clinical autonomy by administrators.
  • Regulatory Burdens – A full 86% of respondents to the Medical Group Management Association 2018 survey reported an increase in regulatory burdens that impact the time they can spend with patients. More than half (54%) said that administrative overload is contributing to their likelihood of retirement within five years.

Looking Ahead – Workforce trends are important to understand for planning yet largely outside your control. But, you can improve the outlook for hiring in 2019 and beyond by focusing on factors you can influence within your organization and community.

  1. Create environments that physicians want to work in. Workplace culture will continue to be a dominant factor in attracting physicians to open positions. Your most important role as a leader is to proactively nurture a healthy cultural environment to support success in hiring and retaining physicians.
  2. Promote patient care over paperwork. Increase the utilization of clinical scribes to increase the quality and quantity of time physicians spend with patients. Also, ensure that EHR workflows are not impacting patient care.
  3. Strive for physician work/life balance. If you do not actively help physicians avoid burnout, you will continually fight turnover rates, retention deficits and prolonged vacancies. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners can ease the burden on doctors, allowing them time to pursue personal activities, research opportunities, and professional development.
  4. Embrace technology solutions. Telemedicine solutions can ease demands on over-extended physicians. Encourage patients to seek out telehealth alternatives to ease overcrowded schedules and increase the efficiency of routine office visits.
  5. Influence legislative reforms. Well-intentioned legislation often carries negative consequences on the practice of medicine.  Seek out opportunities to play a larger role in educating policy-makers about the impact of their actions on physicians and patient care.

For information about how Jackson Physician Search can help you develop attract and retain the qualified clinicians you need, contact one of our industry experts today.

Meeting Urban Recruitment Challenges

The Challenges of Urban Physician Recruitment

While the expansion of community-based facilities is a welcome development for inner cities and rural settings where most are located, it is not without challenges.  The National Association of Community Health Cent…

Recruit Physician to Rural Communities

Successfully Recruit Physicians to Rural Communities

It’s challenging to successfully recruit physicians and even harder for rural communities. Let’s look at the current state of physician recruitment, address some of the challenges rural communities fa…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

Click the Get Started button if you’re ready to speak with one of our physician recruitment experts.

Five Reasons Why Doctors Search For a New Job

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If you pay any attention at all to the stock market or financial news, you already know that the economy is booming and the outlook for jobs is better than it has been in decades.  The same can be said for physicians, as the healthcare industry is grappling with filling open positions around the country.  If you are a physician who has not been considering finding a new job, maybe now is the right time to start looking for a new place to practice.  Let’s take a look at five reasons why Doctors search for a new job to see if any of them apply to your situation.

Experiencing feelings of burnout.

At least 50% of all doctors report feelings of burnout, with some specialties like critical care and emergency medicine slightly higher.  If you are one of those physicians experiencing burnout without a solution or help from the administration on the horizon, now is the time to explore making changes.  Burnout doesn’t just get better by itself. Instead, it takes making changes in your life, or organizational changes to alleviate some of the stressors, or finding a new job that already has processes in place to help physicians avoid burnout.

Feeling a sense of complacency.

You probably didn’t choose to practice medicine because you wanted to “punch a clock.” If you are like most, you were drawn to the excitement of medicine.  Studying different ways to treat illnesses and ailments, and digging into the science of medicine was the attraction.  If you have found that your excitement and passion is waning, and you are simply going through the motions, you have become complacent.  Finding a new job may be just the cure for your “punching the clock” blues.  A new location, new management, new ideas, even new patients can help you inject just enough discomfort into your routine to make your job fun again.

You need to keep learning and growing.

Similar to the complacency rut, when you became a physician, you went to school for a long time.  It was worth it because you knew that in the end, you would have a career and a sense of accomplishment. No matter what career people choose, most of us want to continue to grow personally and professionally.  If you are in a position that is not affording you the opportunity to grow, do research, even practice abroad occasionally, then it might be time to find an employer who wants those things for you.

Not fitting in anymore.

Workplace culture has been a focal point for successful companies for a very long time.  Not surprisingly, the healthcare industry has been behind the curve on understanding the importance of how important culture and fit is for attracting and retaining the best talent.  In healthcare, we have all read about and even experienced the rash of mergers and acquisitions that the industry is experiencing.  These developments are not always good for workplace culture.  When new leadership comes in, often times the culture and communication changes and leads to good people seeking new environs.

Work and life are out of balance.

We all want balance in our life.  As a physician, you know there will be some late nights or the occasional disruption to your social calendar, but you also probably want to have some control over it. Predictable hours, minimal call schedules (if any), and untouchable vacation and personal time should be on your short list to ensure that you can achieve the work/life balance that is so critical to being at your best.  Achieving that is no longer a pipe dream. Hospitals and health systems know that they no longer have the upper hand in physician recruitment and have been much more willing to offer attractive incentives to physician candidates.

Jackson Physician Search has the national reach and healthcare industry experience to help you find your perfect job.  To find out what we can do for your career, contact one of our recruitment professionals today.

Physician-Practice-Like-a-Vacation-1024x536

How to Make Your Next Physician Practice Feel like a Vacation

If that headline grabbed your attention, it’s likely that you are either on vacation or wish you were! By definition, vacation is the time you spend on travel or recreation – away from work. So, ho…

Physician Job Search

Keeping up with the Dr. Joneses… and Other Ways to Sabotage Your Physician Job Search

As an in-demand physician, the chances are pretty good that you have plenty of opportunities to consider when and if you are in the market for a new practice opportunity.  There is much more to th…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

The Challenges of Urban Physician Recruitment

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While the expansion of community-based facilities is a welcome development for inner cities and rural settings where most are located, it is not without challenges.  The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) reports that 95% of health centers have a clinical vacancy and 70% are reporting a physician vacancy.  These trends are even more concerning when you consider that by the year 2020, CHC’s are expected to be managing the care of 35 million patients. Unfortunately, this is becoming the new reality for community health centers, and it is forcing administrators to rethink the FQHC model and adapt to become more competitive in recruitment and retention.

In the past, community health centers could utilize desirable work schedules and quality of life incentives to attract physicians to practice there. Typically, CHC’s would offer attractive schedules, little to no call, better work/life balance and other similar enticements.  Whether it was the slower pace of a quiet rural community or a consistent 9 to 5 schedule in an urban setting, physicians would often forgo some salary in exchange for quality of life.  Today, physician recruitment and retention is so competitive, that CHC’s no longer have exclusivity with convenient work schedules, limited call, and other attractive incentives.  Large hospitals and major health systems have the financial resources to not only offer salary incentives, but student loan forgiveness, favorable work schedules, and so much more that smaller CHCs cannot compete against.

All of these developments are increasingly putting more and more pressure on CHC administrators to adapt.  Many health centers are expanding partnerships and residency programs with local universities to introduce graduating physicians to their systems and potentially attract them to stay on after graduation. Another strategy has been to become even more creative in making work schedules as flexible as possible, including generous leave packages, allowing physicians to focus on limited types of preferred services, part-time work, and more. These types of creative solutions are made possible through the increased use of nurse practitioners.

Another advantage that community health centers may have over large systems is a close-knit sense of family and teamwork.  By promoting the values and culture of the CHC, administrators are able to attract like-minded physician candidates. CHC’s are rebranding their organizations, enhancing their social media messaging and online presence, and ensuring that candidates are a good fit culturally and have similar values to the organization.

There is no magic solution to physician recruitment for small urban and rural community health centers.  It takes a combination of best practices to ensure that not only are the right candidates aware of vacancies but that no stone is left unturned in their pursuit.  This includes having a network of relationships throughout the community acting as an extension of your recruitment team. Whether it is to learn about family members who may be pursuing a career in healthcare, or currently practicing clinicians who may want to return home to be closer to family and friends, the local network is a goldmine for information.

Jackson Physician Search has the expertise and nationwide reach to help solve even the most challenging physician and advanced practice recruiting situations. To find out more, contact a recruitment professional today.

 

reviewing the physician recruitment checklist
Physician Recruitment Guide: How to Execute Physician Site Visits

Community Health Center Physician Recruitment Checklist

The growing demand for affordable primary care, especially among underserved patient populations, has fueled the need for innovative solutions to the most pressing health care issues…

[Recruitment Guide] How to Expertly Execute Physician Site Visits

Part 2 of our Guide to Physician Recruitment focuses on site visits. How you execute a physician site visit has a huge impact on the decision of your candidate. This recruitment guide…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

Click the Get Started button if you’re ready to speak with one of our physician recruitment experts.

How to Create a Cultural Blueprint for Successful Physician Recruitment

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Culture is defined as “values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that employees share and exhibit on a daily basis in their work and in the community”. And, lack of cultural fit is among the top reasons physicians leave a practice – even more than compensation. Many practice executives and recruiters can attest to the challenge of recruiting into an organization with a dysfunctional culture. It doesn’t work!

On the other hand, some organizations have earned a reputation for a healthy culture that supports physician retention, which is key to successful recruitment. By establishing trust and maintaining transparency, from top leadership through the entire organization, they have created an environment that supports faster fills, shorter vacancies, lower turnover and a measurable return on investment.

Culture and Performance

More and more studies are proving the correlation between culture, performance, and growth. Gallup research shows a direct link between employees’ understanding of their organization’s purpose and culture, and important performance metrics that are critical in healthcare.

For example, nearly every healthcare organization says: “We are mission-driven.” It may be the most common catch-phrase in healthcare! But Gallup found that an average of only 40% of employees feel that “their job is important to their organization’s mission,” a key predictor of employee and team performance. They also found that performance improves in organizations where 80% feel their jobs are important.

By moving the dial up to the point where 8 out of 10 employees understand their role is valued – they achieved a very significant improvement in key performance metrics:

  • 33% improvement in quality
  • 41% reduction in absenteeism
  • 50% drop in patient safety incidents

Simply stating the goal of building a “healthy culture” is not enough. It requires a blueprint. Just like building a clinic or hospital, you need to be sure everyone is following the same vision, understands the standards and can measure all the materials and supplies precisely so it both looks and functions as you envision. Building a culture is the same way — you need a vision, a plan to follow and a way to measure it.

Where to Start

One place to start is by participating in a well-structured “best places to work” program. Look for a program with objective assessment tools, a defined process for making improvements, and methods for keeping leadership and workgroups accountable for closing the gaps identified in the assessment. The right tool can:

  • Provide a pathway of discipline and intentionality toward building a healthy culture
  • Give you great data that you can benchmark, act on and measure your progress over time
  • Enable you to tie your initiative back to business results and outcomes

So, whether you call it a blueprint, a framework or a foundation, start by thinking of culture as an intentional way to demonstrate the attributes that are vital to your mission and important to your team.  Doing so will differentiate your organization in the marketplace and clarify how well your culture fits the motivations and personal needs of physicians and advanced practice providers you seek to hire. Becoming known as a genuine “great place to work” will accelerate recruitment and foster retention over the long-term.

To learn more about the how to evaluate how your culture fits with physicians and advanced practice providers you want to recruit, contact us.

Cultural Blueprint for Successful Physician Recruitment
Reducing Physician Regulatory Burden

Focus on Fit: A Cultural Blueprint for Successful Physician Recruitment

This presentation, given by our CEO at the 2018 MGMA Annual Meeting, explains why cultural fit is so important and how to create a physician recruitment blueprint that focuses on fit.

Lifting the Regulatory Burden on Physicians

The regulatory burden on physicians and others on the front lines of healthcare is intensifying. A new, comprehensive study echoes growing frustration with the amount of time providers spend pushing paper rather than treating patients.

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

Click the Get Started button if you’re ready to speak with one of our physician recruitment experts.

Culture and Physician Retention

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Imagine a workplace where medical professionals at all levels are highly respectful.

Too many hospitals today are losing valued physicians due to toxic environments. A recent study estimates that “for hospital medicine, the overall cost of turnover is probably at least $400,000 per provider and could easily be $600,000 or more”.

The relationship between culture and physician retention is straightforward. Making a smart hiring decision is just the beginning. Once a physician is recruited, onboarded and in place, the challenge to keep them begins.

Jackson Physician Search did a study in 2016 (The Engagement Gap) revealing a significant difference in how executives and physicians rated their workplace culture.

One example of a gap between physicians and executives revealed their attitudes when asked their level of agreement with the following item:

“Always treats physicians with respect”

  • 48% of physicians agreed
  • 78% of executives agreed

Conflict and communication breakdowns are inevitable.

 

Toxic cultures

What exactly is a toxic culture? Based on my research working with physicians, physician executives, hospital executives, and support teams, toxic cultures often include:

  • Punitive, old-school leadership
  • People are judged quickly, labeled and “singled out”
  • Factions/cliques are strong and you see “in-groups” versus “out-groups”
  • Strong, long-held beliefs about “right and wrong” regarding how physicians should manage patients and nurse practitioners
  • Senior-level physicians or leaders prone to outbursts, yelling, profanity, name-calling and throwing things, creating an intimidating environment
  • Ineffective leadership skills at the highest levels (poor management skills)
  • Unclear vision and performance expectations
  • Low-trust issues; gossip is rampant
  • Power struggles

I’ve observed cultures first hand through my consulting and executive coaching. I’ve conducted 360 leader assessments, including verbal interviews with bosses, peers and direct reports of executives/physicians in healthcare organizations.

I’ve also conducted culture assessments and gained an in-depth look at the inner workings of how things get done behind the scenes.

 

Culture Assessment

Few organizations stop to assess their culture. The cost of ignoring a toxic culture is devastating in terms of turnover, morale and profitability. Patient care also suffers as a result.

Where do you begin to measure your organization’s culture?

Finding a valid and reliable assessment tool is the first step. I prefer an assessment tool called “LEA Culture Survey” from MRG. The result of the assessment is a report that paints a clear picture of “what it’s like to work here”. Leaders shape the culture. They determine what gets noticed, rewarded . . . and in many cases what gets ignored or even punished.

I facilitate the culture assessment process using the following 10 steps:

  1. Identify a sponsor and/or culture project team
  2. Identify critical leadership practices for achieving the mission
  3. Select the best culture assessment (online preferred)
  4. Communicate to all what’s coming and how they’ll be involved
  5. Administer online culture assessment
  6. Preview results with culture project team
  7. Plan roll-out of results to all; hold group feedback sessions
  8. Explain next steps and form action teams
  9. Close the gaps to reach top workplace benchmarks
  10. Re-survey in 12 – 18 months

Invest in your most valuable resource—your people. Rather than guess at what it’s like to work in your organization—measure it. Help shape the culture that helps you achieve your mission.

 

Kathy Cooperman is President and Founder of KC Leadership Consulting, LLC. She specializes in Leadership Development through executive coaching, consulting and facilitation. Her passion is helping organizations accelerate excellence in their leaders—engaging everyone to work together to achieve the business strategy while applying the core principals of Positive Psychology.

 

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