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5 Ways Match Day Impacts Healthcare

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Atlanta — Social media was flooded with #MatchDay2018 tweets, videos and memes when the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP) informed medical students and graduates if they will train at their top-choice program, based on best fit, interview experience and location. As you can see, Match Day is a big moment in a medical student’s life. Now let’s look at the top 5 ways Match Day impacts healthcare:

 

  1. America is Training More – But Still Not Enough – Doctors

The record number of available first-year positions is tempered by this harsh reality: we need to train more physicians as demand continues to outstrip supply, due to the aging population and accelerating retirement of “baby boom” doctors.

 

  1. The Rising Supply of Primary Care Physicians Lags Demand

The shortage of Primary Care Physicians (PCPs), the quarterbacks of value-based care, is one of the top three worries of hospital CEOs. They are desperately needed in rural, remote and low-income communities, where they need not only better compensation, but strong support for themselves and their families.

 

  1. Medicine is a Becoming a Family Affair

More physicians are pursuing medical careers as couples. The downside? Twice the burden of educational debt on one household makes loan forgiveness an essential recruitment incentive. Retention is doubly important, because you risk losing two physicians if they move away from the community.

 

  1. Location is Not the Only Thing

Location may be the top factor as residents decide where to apply. But fit and the interview experience jump ahead in their choice of programs. Ultimate success in recruiting depends more heavily on two extremely controllable factors: 1) assessing for fit and 2) delivering an excellent interview experience.

 

  1. International Medical Graduates are Important in the Physician Pipeline

The number of non-U.S. citizen International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who participated in the Match declined again. The Association of American Medical Colleges, urges support for a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers to ensure academic medicine’s ability to meet increasing healthcare needs, especially for the growing medically underserved and aging populations.

 

A Proactive Recruitment Strategy is More Important than Ever

Now that you know how Match Day impacts healthcare, your next step is figuring out what you can do about it. Avoid the physician gap by developing a strategic physician recruitment plan, assessing candidate fit carefully and delivering an unparalleled interview experience that displays your rewarding workplace culture and welcoming community. See more details.

 

Jackson Physician Search is a leader in the permanent recruitment of physicians and advanced practitioners to hospitals and health systems across the U.S.

5 Reasons Why Match Day Matters

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Amid the fanfare of balloons, school mascots, cheers and tears, thousands of medical school students and graduates experienced life-changing news on Match Day 2018.Social media was flooded with #MatchDay2018 tweets, videos and memes, as medical schools across the country held ceremonies and special events to reveal residency program matches, based on medical students’ top specialty program choices. Clearly, it matters a great deal to new doctors to be accepted into their program of choice on Match Day. Here are five more reasons why Match Day matters to the future of medicine in the United States.

  1. America is Training More – But Still Not Enough – Doctors

The record number of available first-year positions in 2018 rose to 30,232, exceeding 2017 by 1,383 positions. That is encouraging news, but it’s tempered by this harsh reality: demand for physicians will continue to outstrip supply.  Healthcare organizations will continue to address shortages of up to 104,900 physicians by 2030 due to the aging population which drives both higher medical utilization and the accelerating rates of retirement among “baby boom” doctors.

  1. The Rising Supply of Primary Care Physicians Lags Demand

The shortage of Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) is one of the top three worries of hospital CEOs. As the quarterbacks of value-based care, PCPs are in high demand almost everywhere, and they are desperately needed in rural communities and other underserved areas. Even with 3,510 family medicine residency positions filled on Match Day 2018, the challenge of recruiting into rural, remote and low-income communities will grow. To attract – and keep – doctors in underserved areas, they will need better compensation, higher regard for their expertise and more effective practice resources to support work/life balance.

  1. Medicine is a Becoming a Family Affair

Couples continued to enjoy great success in matching to programs together. The 95.8 percent match rate for couples into residencies was highest on record with the NRMP. A record-high of 1,165 couples participated in the 2018 Match, 3.6 percent more than last year. Life partners provide tremendous mutual support as they pursue careers in medicine together. But, they are also doubling the burden of educational debt estimated at nearly $200,000 per person, onto one household. Loan forgiveness will be an attractive incentive for them. But, be ready to address obstacles when recruiting couples into the same practice or community, such as balancing office, call and family schedules; the variance of demand for each partner’s specialty; and the potential risk of losing both physicians if one decides to leave the community in the future.

  1. Location is Not the Only Thing

If trends hold true when the 2018 applicant survey is reported, there will be a clear difference in how they decide to apply to programs versus how they rank their top choices once they visit.  In previous years “desired geographic location” was the top factor in deciding where to apply. But fit and the interview experience jumped ahead when they ranked their choice of programs. Last year, “overall goodness of fit” was cited by 88 percent and rated 4.8 (with 5.0 being extremely important); “interview day experience” was selected by 80 percent and rated 4.6 in importance. Location came in third, cited by 75 percent and rated 4.6 in importance.

The data reinforces what experience has shown: location is an important – but uncontrollable – factor. Ultimate success in recruiting physicians depends more heavily on two extremely controllable factors: 1) assessing for fit and 2) delivering an excellent interview experience.

  1. International Medical Graduates are Important in the Physician Pipeline

The number of non-U.S. citizen International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who participated in the Match declined for the second consecutive year. To help address the physician shortage, in part, the U.S. relies on IMGs, who undergo rigorous screening by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates as part of the J-1 visa process. Darrell G. Kirch, MD, President and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, expressed concern that “uncertainty surrounding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and physician immigration introduced new challenges into this year’s residency application process, as evidenced by a 22.7% drop in applicants from countries named in the three immigration executive actions last year.” He urges support for a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers to ensure academic medicine’s ability to meet increasing healthcare needs, especially for the growing medically underserved and aging populations.

A Proactive Recruitment Strategy is More Important than Ever

Residency trends may change from year to year. But one thing is constant: the importance of forming a strategic physician recruitment plan. Healthcare facilities can make smart hiring choices and avoid the physician gap by creating a rewarding workplace and strong organizational culture, assessing carefully for fit and delivering an unparalleled interview experience.

Working with an experienced search consultant can improve your competitive advantage by empowering you to accomplish those goals. Contact us to learn more.

For more information about Physician Recruiting, read one of the articles below:

White Paper: Physician Workforce Through 2030

Guide to Developing a Strategic Physician Recruitment Plan

How Personal Recruitment Will Ease Your Physician Shortage

Rural Recruitment and Retention Playbook

Hiring Physicians That Fit, Succeed, and Stay

Discover Your Differentiators to Recruit Physicians

Record Number of Med Students Celebrate Match Day 2018

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For many students across the country, this is going to be a big weekend. In addition to St. Patrick’s Day festivities, over 30,000 medical students will also celebrate Match Day 2018.

Congratulations to all the medical school graduates who just learned where they will spend the next several years training at residency programs around the United States! There were 33,167 positions filled, the most ever offered in the Match according to the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP). This year’s 2018 Main Residency Match had 1,383 more positions than in 2017. One major contributing factor was the monumental increase of U.S. osteopathic medical school graduates. The NRMP expects the number of matches to continue to rise.

Match Day is considered by many to be more exciting than graduation day, as medical schools across the country hold special reveal events. NRMP simultaneously releases match results based on medical students’ top specialty program choices, which the applicants’ rank on best fit, interview experience and location. If an applicant did not match, they have an opportunity to obtain an unfilled position through the Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program®(SOAP®).

Your hard work and commitment as a medical student is rewarded as you take the next step in your journey toward practicing medicine. Friends, family, faculty and other trusted advisors will continue to support you throughout your residency and fellowship training experience. When you are ready to navigate the best options for your medical practice, check out our resources and reach out to experienced recruiters you can trust. We wish you the best of luck and a long career.

Additional articles for residents and medical students:

Residents, Avoid the Curse of the #FirstJob

How to Ignite Your Career with a Physician Recruiter

Understanding Physician Compensation Models and Methods

Ask How You Will Earn… Before How Much

Practice Insights from the Future of Medicine

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Healthcare and the practice of medicine are topics that rank high on the list for news coverage. From the rapid advance of pharmaceuticals and medical technology, to the growing physician shortage and politics of access to healthcare, the 24-hour news cycle keeps the controversy and concerns around affordable healthcare at the forefront.

But, taking a step back to see the practice of medicine through the eyes of the medical student brings the future of medicine back into focus. Understanding their aspirations and concerns about their first job as a physician is important to creating a culture in which the future doctors of America remain committed and motivated to deliver care where it is most needed, well into the future.

Learning from Future Docs

During a recent visit to the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Jackson Physician Search executives had an opportunity to share a view of the career landscape with medical students and also take the pulse of these upcoming doctors. It was here we were able to gather practice insights from the future of medicine.

Ideals that resonate with the medical students include the ability to takes their jobs seriously; maintaining high standards while exhibiting sympathetic bedside manner; being both progressive and independent.

The majority are from the state of Michigan, and consistent with norms reported by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), about half will begin practice there.

When asked what their top priority will be when considering their first job, their answers focused on proximity to family and where their spouse will also be happy.

The widely reported demise of group practice in favor of hospital employment may be “greatly exaggerated” if the doctors of tomorrow have a say. When polled, two-thirds of the medical students said they hope to go into group practice rather than hospital employment.

It is tremendously encouraging, yet not terribly surprising, to see that Millennial medical students are interested in practicing in underserved areas. With both an altruistic sensibility and a significant amount of debt, they will benefit from the current trend of higher compensation – that stretches further – in rural towns and small cities where they are most needed.

Questions to Consider from Medical Students

Questions surrounding their future search for their first practice reveal that transparency and setting clear expectations about the recruitment process are important.

“What are the differences in working with an internal recruiter, retained firm or contingency recruiter?”

“How well should the recruiter understand the organization and know the community?”

“Will the recruiter assist me with a position with an employer they don’t represent?”

“How far will the compensation package stretch in this particular market? How do I compare offers on an ‘apples to apples’ basis?”

“When negotiating with the employer, is a handshake sufficient? What points should be spelled out in the contract versus verbal agreement?”

An important insight rings clear with the following question:

“I see my student loans, not as debt, but an investment in my future. But, realistically, how long will it take to start seeing a return on my investment?”

Strengthening Your Competitive Edge

Medical groups, hospitals and communities seeking to compete for bright, qualified and committed physicians cannot control their location (including proximity to family). But you can control many of the variables that will collectively position you as the best choice for candidates who fit. Seeing the future from their perspective, their return on investment will include both the tangible reward of a strong compensation and benefit package, but also the reward of practicing where their family will be happy and where they will be satisfied and add value in their practice.

With the physician shortage projected to intensify, it’s never too late to start asking the tough questions and seeking objective and consultative advice from a trusted recruitment partner.

Visit our Thought Leadership page to access more resources on how to increase your competitive edge and build your medical staff of the future.

Or, contact us directly for an assessment of your practice opportunities and how you can position your organization as the employer of choice.

The Good News and Bad News of the Residency Match

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First, the good news: A record number of graduating medical students get their residency match this year, with 35,969 U.S. and international medical school students and graduates vying for 31,757 positions. The number of available first-year (PGY-1) positions rose to 28,849, which exceeded 2016 by 989 first-year positions, according to the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP.)

Yet, the good news is tempered by this harsh reality: demand for physicians will continue to outstrip supply.  A projection by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) shows a shortage of 40,800 to 104,900 physicians by 2030.

The aging population has long been identified as the “perfect storm” that includes both higher medical utilization required for a growing population of older Americans and the accelerating rates of retirement among “baby boom” doctors.

New Challenges to Growing the Supply

To help address the shortage, in part, the U.S. relies on international medical graduates (IMGs) for a significant portion of patient care, including in medically underserved communities. They undergo rigorous screening by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates as part of the J-1 visa process.

However, the number of non-U.S. citizen IMGs who submitted program choices declined this year. Because NRMP doesn’t collect citizenship information during the Match registration process, they couldn’t correlate the declining number of non-US IMGs to the executive order on international travel. But it has raised concerns for physicians and educators, alike.

In a statement issued prior to the Match, AAMC’s President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, urged “the administration, at a minimum, to promptly apply waiver and other discretionary authorities to all affected health professionals, including those international medical graduates matching to residency training programs on March 17 who are required to begin training and treating patients on or around July 1, 2017.”

A Proactive Recruitment Strategy is More Important than Ever

The combination of long-term demographic shifts, coupled with intermittent or unexpected geopolitical events, heightens the need for organizations to be proactive in their approach to recruitment.

Due to the shortage of graduating residents, high rates of current doctors reaching retirement age, and uneven distribution of doctors, the physician shortage isn’t likely to be resolved anytime soon. Competition among facilities will remain tight as they vie for new hires in a tight physicians’ market.

By forming a strategic physician recruitment plan, creating a rewarding workplace and strong organizational culture, and incorporating non-traditional practices, healthcare facilities can make smart hiring choices and avoid the physician gap within their own organization.

Working with an experienced search consultant can improve your competitive advantage by empowering you to find, hire and keep physicians to meet your community needs. Contact us to learn more.

The Magic of Match Day

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Is matching to a residency program the luck of the draw or luck of the Irish?

St. Patrick’s Day coincides with Match Day for the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) 2017 Main Residency Match®. Celebrations will ensue as thousands of medical school students and graduates in the United States and around the world learn the specialty and location of the residency programs where they will train for the next three to seven years.

For everyone involved in the delivery of health care, the Match has become a harbinger for the supply of new doctors to serve a growing and aging population throughout the U.S.

This year, the Match brings encouraging news. NRMP predicts this will be the largest match year ever, exceeding the more than 42,000 applicants who registered for the 2016 Match and the more than 4,800 residency programs at institutions across the country that offered more than 30,000 positions last year.

But even as new physicians prepare to enter the market, demographics dictate that demand for physicians continues to grow faster than supply, creating more recruitment competition, especially in underserved areas.

Is it the Match Magic? Not Really

Just like medicine, the Match is exciting, yet far from magical. It takes both art and science to align applicants’ preferences with available programs. The art of human interaction and the science of a computerized mathematical algorithm both factor into the rigorous application, interview and selection process.

The Main Residency Match process begins in the fall for applicants, usually during the final year of medical school, when they send applications to the residency programs of their choice. Throughout the fall and early winter, applicants interview with programs. From mid-January to late February, applicants and program directors rank each other in order of preference and submit the preference lists to NRMP, which processes them using a computerized mathematical algorithm to match applicants with programs.

According to NRMP, the preferences expressed on the rank order lists submitted by applicants, not programs, initiate placement into residency training. As a result, no applicant could obtain a better outcome than the one produced by the algorithm.

And what factors do graduating medical students consider to be the important factors when ranking their top choice? Culture counts! “Resident esprit de corps” and “faculty availability and involvement in teaching” are among their top five priorities, according to a study published in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education.

Is it Life Changing? Likely

“Match Week is an exciting rite of passage in the lives of medical students,” says Mona M. Signer, NRMP President and CEO. “Years of hard work and dedication have led to this defining moment, and it is our privilege to share in this life-changing event.”

In fact, the location where residents train may very well be where they begin their first practice – and even marry!

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), nearly half of physicians practice in the state where they completed their Graduate Medical Education. Two-thirds of physicians who complete both their Under-graduate and Graduate Medical Education in the same state remained in the stat to practice.

And what about marriage? When it comes to the ultimate “match” – the prevalence of healthcare couples is on the rise. Nearly 40 percent of physicians are likely to marry another physician or healthcare professional, according to the Work/Life Profiles of Today’s Physician survey, conducted by AMA Insurance.

A Career-Long Journey

Match Day is just one stop on a physician’s journey in search of a great match and the right fit their medical career. Talk with an experienced recruiter about how to secure your ideal practice in a community you and your family will love. Check out our job list to see what is may be waiting for you!