Telehealth Continues to Grow in Popularity – Is it Time to Add it to Your Skill Set?

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One of the things that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us is that patients are willing to adapt in order to continue receiving medical care.  According to a report on CNBC, virtual healthcare interactions could top one billion by the end of 2020. The impact of the current pandemic has driven the rapid adoption of telehealth services to unforeseen heights, easily overcoming the original barriers of cost, availability, and the relationship factor.

In addition, as most healthcare providers are now well aware of, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services paved the way by providing waivers for the duration of the current emergency. These waivers have allowed physicians to offer more than 80 additional healthcare services through telehealth and to bill for them at the same rate as in-person visits versus the previous lower rates.

As reported in a recent article in Healthcare Finance, Atlanta-based Emory healthcare went from offering no telemedicine appointments to over 4,000 each day, and now 91% of Emory’s providers are telehealth-trained. In addition to providing excellent preventative care and other services, Emory approves because it reduces hefty overhead and keeps revenue flowing.

Now, there is widespread talk that telehealth is here to stay, and it should be made permanently available to Americans coast-to-coast and not just in rural areas where access to care is limited. Congress will need to pass several regulatory changes once the pandemic passes, and many believe it will.

These developments open up a viable new career option for many physicians, with primary care and behavioral health the two areas with the greatest demand. Outside of your typical medical school and residency training, there are no other training requirements to inhibit your ability to practice medicine virtually as a full-time or part-time option.  Let’s look at a few things to consider if you’re planning to add telehealth to your physician skill set.

  1. Meet NCQA Standards. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recommends that physicians have a minimum of four years practicing in a typical practice setting before jumping into telehealth services. While individual state requirements may vary, a physician looking for the best telehealth opportunities should ensure that they meet the minimum NCQA standards of four years’ experience.
  2. Telemedicine Providers are not Created Equal. As you would with any job opportunity, a physician who is considering telehealth options should do some homework on the various providers of telehealth services. Basics to consider include Volume, Pay Structure, Work Shifts, Malpractice Support, and Credentialing Support. Another key component in your decision to credential with a particular telemedicine provider is their approach to technology support. The last thing a physician needs is to be experiencing an issue with the virtual platform, and attempts to reach technical support are met with automated email responses. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions about a provider’s technical support process before signing on with them.
  3. Are You Tech-Savvy and Comfortable Caring for Patients Simultaneously? Considering the fact that you will be conducting your patient visits virtually, if you don’t enjoy or struggle to navigate various software applications, telehealth may not be your best career choice just yet. It is never too late to take a couple of courses online to build up your skills. You will quickly master any telehealth interface.
  4. Develop Your Virtual Bedside Manner. One of the biggest learning curves for physicians who begin adding telehealth services to their repertoire is mastering the doctor-patient relationship virtually. When you sit down with your patient face-to-face, it is much easier to cultivate that vital relationship. When conducting a telehealth visit, it is critical for the physician to hyper-focus on listening and observing as much as possible. Instead of a physical examination, you are relying on what the patient is telling you. This means you have to listen carefully and ask the right questions to narrow down the medical issue at hand.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over, but millions of people have grown accustomed to working from home.  Once we are on the other side of this crisis, it will be interesting to see how many industries expand their telecommuting options.  The situation is not much different for physicians who have been working from home and want to continue to do so in a more permanent manner.  Patients that have adapted to virtual medical visits will continue to do so even after the pandemic threat has dissipated.  Now is a perfect time for physicians who want to plan for a full- or even part-time career change to telemedicine.

No matter what direction you envision your physician career path taking you, Jackson Physician Search can help you find an opportunity that best suits your skill set and your lifestyle needs.  Contact one of our experienced physician recruitment professionals today and see how we can help you achieve your career goals.

 

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Looking for Your Next Job? Understanding Physician Compensation, Benefits, and Bonuses

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Psychiatry Career Outlook: How the ‘New Normal’ Could Impact Your Job Search

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A recent APA poll revealed that 36% of Americans feel coronavirus is having a serious impact on their mental health and 59% feel it is having a serious impact on their day-to-day lives. As we progress towards the new normal, it appears already high levels of anxiety may increase the need for mental health professionals and that could exacerbate the psychiatry shortage.

A steady increase in demand means that psychiatrists have more options to find a practice opportunity that fits their career and personal life than ever before. Here are a few ways psychiatry professionals can ensure they are maximizing their career opportunities.

Pursue an In-demand Sub-specialty

If a psychiatrist is willing to pursue additional training, there are a variety of sub-specialties to consider. Aside from child, adolescent, and geriatric psychiatry, there are also opportunities for forensic (legal) psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, administrative psychiatry, public health, military, and psychiatric research. Other highly specialized training includes psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic institutes.

Choose a Setting that Fits Your Lifestyle

Like many physician specialties, psychiatrists can practice in a diverse array of clinical settings. Many (almost half) choose private practice, but beyond hanging out your own shingle, psychiatrists work in general and psychiatric hospitals, university medical centers, prison systems, nursing homes, and military settings.  Others choose rehabilitation centers, community clinics, educational settings, and hospice.

Another benefit of working in a high-demand specialty, psychiatrists can choose to expand the diversity and variety of settings and combine various practice settings.

Embrace Telepsychiatry

With no easy answers available for solving the ongoing shortage of psychiatric specialists, the federal government has eased restrictions on out-of-state licensure requirements to expand access to telepsychiatry treatment.  Overall, COVID-19 has driven an increased adoption of telemedicine services, which many industry experts predict will continue even after the pandemic is over. One of the largest telemedicine service providers, TeleDoc, is reporting more than 100,000 virtual appointments per week.  Telepsychiatry has been shown to be an effective way to maintain continuity and quality of care for patients, and previous studies have concluded that telepsychiatry assessments are a dependable method of assessment.

Take Advantage of the Demand

You’ve chosen a medical career that has been increasing in demand for the past twenty years, and now that you are established, you should feel free to find an opportunity that matches your aspirations.  With medical systems across the country clamoring for your services, take a moment to assess where you are at in your desired career path.

For example, if your goal is to retire in the country with some land and outdoor activities to fill your free time, you may be able to take a few steps in that direction today.  Rural health systems are some of the hardest hit for psychiatric care shortages, and now is the perfect time to prepare for what comes next. Or, if your current practice setting is not affording you the proper work/life balance that you desire, you should have little trouble finding a setting that works for your family and lifestyle needs.

Another aspect of a career as a psychiatric physician is a wide range of salaries from state to state and whether you will be practicing in a rural or urban location. To learn more about what compensation you can expect, visit the Jackson Physician Search salary calculator to access the most accurate compensation data.

The bottom line is that your psychiatry career is providing you with more options than you may have had in the past. Now is the time to take advantage of the demand your specialty is giving you.  Also, you don’t have to invest your own time to find the next opportunity, consider establishing a relationship with an experienced recruitment firm. A good recruiter will have a network of connections and the industry experience to help you land an opportunity that makes the most sense for you and your family.

Jackson Physician Search has a nationwide reach and a team of recruitment professionals with decades of healthcare industry experience. Contact our team today and let us work on finding the opportunity that meets your needs.

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Three Things to Know Before Deciding if a Medical Practice is the Right Career Path for You

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Choosing the type of organization in which you want to practice is a big decision for all physicians. Despite the financial hit many medical practices incurred during COVID-19, you might have dreams of starting your own practice. Or, you might see yourself working in a hospital where the business burden of healthcare is on someone else’s shoulders, not yours.

Medical practices often offer unique benefits that those two options cannot. For example, partnership tracks offer enhanced income, profit sharing and other perks for physicians in established medical practices. And unlike starting out on your own where you’ll need time to build your patient load, working with an established practice means you’ll be up and running quickly with your own patient panel.

Still, medical practice work isn’t for everyone. Here are some tips on evaluating whether it is the right choice for you.

 

  1. Research the compensation median and bonus structures available for the specialty and region.

We offer an online physician salary calculator to help you easily access physician compensation data customized by specialty, state and type of location. Other resources are helpful, too. The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) sells a DataDrive Provider Compensation report with valuable information on the compensation differences among physician-owned, hospital-owned and academic practices for a variety of regions, practice sizes and provider experience levels.

For example, the 2019 report shows that median compensation for established providers increased 3.4% for primary care physicians from 2017-2018. Specialty physicians had a 4.4% increase.

The report also shows how median total compensation for primary care physicians varied greatly by state from 2017-2018. The District of Columbia was the lowest paying, with $205,776 in median total compensation. Nevada was the highest paying state with $309,431. States that saw much larger increases in median total compensation compared to the national rate were Wyoming, Maryland, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi. Two states—Alabama and New York—saw decreases in median total compensation for primary care physicians.

 

  1. Understand the different employment models available (employed, partnership track)

There are five basic employment models used by physician practices.

Straight Salary
The physician has a sense of security and a guaranteed level of income. The con aspect is that a straight salary model does not encourage innovation or cost reduction efforts.

Salary Plus Bonus
As a means of encouraging physicians to increase practice income, reduce costs or achieve other predefined performance metrics, a salary plus bonus payment model provides physicians with a guaranteed salary while also having an opportunity to earn a bonus.

Equal Shares
Divides revenue equally among the group of physicians after expenses are covered.  One of the pros of an equal shares model is that there is a natural aversion to the overutilization of resources. A downside of this payment model is that there is no incentive for creating efficiencies or higher productivity.

Pay-for-Performance
More physicians are finding that systems are implementing variations of a pay-for-performance model as a way to tie financial incentives to the achievement of predetermined performance goals.  Physicians are being encouraged to innovate.

Productivity-based
In this model, physicians receive a percentage of their billings, or are paid according to a scale that is based on procedures being performed or the type of patient visit. An advantage of productivity-based models is that physicians are rewarded for extra effort, and they are also encouraged to be mindful of excessive overhead costs.

According to MGMA, a 50% or more salary-based compensation plan with added incentive payments is the most common plan, with productivity-based compensation a close second. Which plan is right for you? With a myriad of factors and choices, we can help you ask the right questions to negotiate a package that is fair and aligned with your goals.

There are three basics:
Ask about the structure, how the model works, specifically what production, quality and patient satisfaction metrics you must achieve to earn an incentive bonus.

Ask about incentives, such as a stipend while still in training and student loan repayment options.

Ask about transparency, including a review of the practice financials, how much current physicians are making and how long it took them to ramp up to that level.

You can find additional advice from our experts on the most important questions to ask here.

 

  1. Partner or employee?

The idea of becoming a partner in a medical practice was once the dream of many young doctors. The advantages are many: an equal vote on practice issues, due process protections, a culture of partnership. But there are risks involved when medical practices offer partnership tracks, including the burden of extra administrative duties and a buy-in process that can lower initial salary payments.

If you’re interviewing with a medical practice that offers a partnership track, be sure to discuss the length of the buy-in period and how the process works. Before accepting any offer, consult your own legal and financial advisers to be sure your bases are covered.

 

Make sure it’s a cultural fit

There are some simple questions you can ask yourself to see if the culture of the practice will be conducive to your happiness and success.

  • Do you feel there is a shared mission that is clearly defined and followed at every level of the organization?
  • Are behaviors and corporate decisions aligned with your own personal values?
  • Is communication transparent from top to bottom?
  • Does the organization value things like work/life balance and demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of the employees?

Notice how none of these questions involves compensation. Sure, you want to do your due diligence in finding a practice with a compensation plan that suits your needs, but you also want to be sure it feels good, too. Getting answers to these questions during the initial interview can make the difference between a successful experience and burnout.

Contact us if you’d like additional insight into working with a medical practice.

 

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Looking for Your Next Job? Understanding Physician Compensation, Benefits, and Bonuses

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This article is Part III in a series dedicated to helping physicians plan their next career move. Click here for Part I and find Part II here.

Medical school training is both comprehensive and exhaustive for today’s physicians, and the one area that too little time is spent talking about is compensation.  After all, physicians don’t want to spend almost ten years training for a career and not have a clear understanding of how they are going to be paid.

Part of the challenge in understanding physician compensation models is that they vary across the board. Often times, when weighing one job opportunity against another, it is difficult to make an apple-to-apple comparison regarding the salary structure.

Hopefully, by the time you reach the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the different types of compensation packages and will feel more confident in negotiating an offer that is fair and aligns with your personal and career priorities.

Types of Compensation Packages

Straight Salary

Without question, the easiest compensation model to understand, in any industry, is the concept of a preset level of income for the hours and work that you perform.  To support the salary level, physicians are typically required to achieve pre-defined, reportable metrics, such as productivity and quality.  With a straight salary model, physicians will have a sense of security due to the guaranteed level of income, but may not be motivated to pursue innovation or cost reduction initiatives.

Salary Plus Bonus

As a mechanism to encourage innovation, reduce costs, or achieve other performance metrics that aren’t tied to a guaranteed salary, administrators often implement a bonus structure on top of the straight salary.  For many healthcare organizations, this is a popular method of physician compensation. An important consideration for physicians negotiating the bonus portion of the offer is to ensure the appropriate metrics are included and are transparently reported regularly.

Pay-for-Performance

One of the more complex and administratively burdensome pay structures is the pay-for-performance model.  Health systems are increasingly moving to tie financial incentives to the achievement of predetermined performance goals.  This model has an obvious benefit to the organization as physicians are being incentivized to achieve performance and quality targets.  Pay-for-performance models also succeed in motivating physicians to find innovations and efficiencies.  When this type of compensation model is contained within an offer, it is important for physicians to understand all of the individual components that are going to be impacting their salary.

Value-based Measures

Ever since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare industry has been evolving toward value-based outcomes.  Similarly, physician compensation models are gravitating toward value-based compensation.  In the past, physician compensation was often driven by patient volume and the number of procedures performed.  Today, many other factors are included, such as costs of care, patient experience, coordination of care, quality, and productivity.  And, while productivity still comprises the largest factor in physician compensation, a mix of value-based factors can contribute up to 20% of total compensation.

RVUs

Another trend that was more pronounced after the passing of the Affordable Care Act was a move toward mergers and consolidations across the healthcare industry. Relative Value Units (RVUs), a concept introduced in the 1990s, have not only played a role in physician compensation, but also in determining the value of medical practice buyouts and mergers.  In its simplest form, an RVU accounts for physician time, technical skill and effort, mental effort and judgment, and stress as components of providing a service.  Some physician compensation models use a base salary, but add to it a bonus factor that is based on the number of RVUs generated.  This is another example of a compensation structure that needs to be carefully studied when considering employment offers.

Stacking

When a compensation model includes stacking, physicians can be sure that it will have a higher level of complexity.  Stacking occurs when a physician is performing multiple roles and being compensated for each individually.  For example, hours spent working as the medical director or other leadership capacities will be paid at a different level then hours worked in their regular capacity.  This type of arrangement can serve as a motivator for doctors who may be considering a leadership position, or possibly a move to a different position altogether.  Stacking models can lead to higher compensation for physicians but is more challenging to track to ensure you are being paid for work performed.

Guaranteed Salary

Just looking at the name, physicians may think that this compensation model is the most straight forward and easiest to understand.  Not necessarily.  In some cases, your contract may state that you are 100% guaranteed to earn a specific salary annually.  In other contracts, your guaranteed salary may be a lower overall number that is guaranteed but includes incentive triggers that allow you to increase your compensation.  Just because the name suggests a guarantee, it is still wise to have your lawyer examine the contract to ensure you understand what is guaranteed.  Whenever incentives are involved, it is important to understand how the RVUs are calculated and how they are tied to your salary.

Common Bonuses

As we have discussed, in most compensation models, your compensation doesn’t consist solely of a base salary.  Most employers combine an agreed-upon salary with variable components that affect total compensation. You need to determine – and be comfortable with – how much of your pay will be based on your individual performance, organizational performance, and other factors like patient satisfaction. It is fair to ask how those variables have affected compensation in recent years – and why.

Bonuses are playing an essential role in physician compensation.  They can be productivity-based, quality-based, or a combination of both.  Factors that impact a healthcare organization’s bonus structure include payer mix, overhead costs, percentage of self-payed patients, RVUs, and more.  Let’s take a closer look at how bonuses can be used in a physician’s compensation package.

Quality Bonuses

As mentioned above, the passage of the Affordable Care Act ushered in a new era in healthcare, where more emphasis was placed on the quality of care.  Healthcare administrators are increasingly looking for ways to incentivize the achievement of quality indicators.  Part of that effort is in the form of quality bonuses for physicians.  Quality bonuses can be tied to many factors, such as patient satisfaction, throughput time, paperwork/medical records completion, etc.  One way a physician can determine the fairness of the quality bonus structure is to ask what percentage of employees are earning the quality bonus. This will give you an indicator of whether the bonus plan is achievable.  You will also want to know how often the bonuses are paid out, as some are quarterly, bi-annually, or annually.

Sign-on Bonus

As the physician shortage continues to drive up the competition for services, sign-on bonuses have become a differentiator for healthcare organizations when filling vacant positions.  Something for physicians to consider is that sign-on bonuses are impacted by geographic location.  In some areas, physicians can expect signing bonuses of up to $40,000. By contrast, in other localities, bonuses of $10,000 or less are common.  Physicians who are not tied to a specific location can seek out more lucrative offers if they are willing to relocate.

Student Loan Forgiveness

Most physicians finish medical school training with an incredible amount of student loan debt.  That kind of pressure adds stress to a young physician who is starting their career.  Student loan forgiveness and assistance is another way healthcare administrators are attracting physicians to fill their vacancies.  In most cases, a physician will receive a set amount of student loan assistance for a contractual commitment to stay in the position for a number of years.  In the past, student loan forgiveness was a key drawing card for rural and community health systems to aid their recruitment efforts.  Now, as the competition for physician services becomes fiercer, organizations in all settings are using student loan forgiveness as a recruitment tool.

Retention Bonuses

As the costs to recruit and hire physicians continue to escalate, healthcare administrators are paying more attention to finding ways to keep the doctors they already employ. One way administrators are addressing this is through the implementation of retention bonuses.  These bonuses are typically paid at periodic intervals throughout the length of an employment contract, but some are held until a physician has completed the entire agreed upon term.

Benefits

Malpractice/Liability Insurance

Arguably the most popular benefit that healthcare organizations are providing to their physicians is insurance against malpractice claims.  These benefits can include variable coverage limits and other claim specific details.  This is another essential clause for your lawyer to review, so you understand your coverage, limitations, and what happens should you leave the position.

Relocation Stipend

Many healthcare organizations are sweetening their offers by offering relocation benefits to physicians who are willing to move to a new location to accept a job offer. Relocation benefits are typically negotiable based on the geographic area and other location-specific circumstances.  Physicians should be sure to understand the specifics of what is required to earn the stipend and how it will be paid out.

Miscellaneous Benefits

Other bonuses and stipends can be available but are less common.  In some geographic locations, physicians may be offered a vehicle stipend, housing allowance, parking stipends, and more depending on specific challenges in that area.  Other benefits include paid time off (PTO), retirement plans, health insurance, and continuing education programs.

Recruiter Help

Throughout the years of medical training, the person a physician relies upon the most, is themselves.  Physicians are naturally born problem solvers, and most are fiercely independent.  One time that being self-reliant should be reconsidered is during a job search.  When a physician is ready for their first position or seeking the next step in their career, a recruiter can help navigate the myriad of unforeseen challenges.  A trusted, experienced physician recruitment professional will have access to open positions that you may not find on a typical job board.  They will be with you every step of the way throughout your search and can provide you with critical information about the organization, the leadership team, geographic considerations, and compensation expectations.

The key is to find a reputable physician recruitment firm.  One that has a nationwide network and experienced healthcare industry professionals who can help you find the best fit for your personal and professional goals.  Your recruiter is a great sounding board and can help you polish up your CV and provide you with the tips you need to ace the interview process.  When it comes time to negotiate an employment offer, your recruiter can give you seasoned insight into what to expect, how achievable the bonus structure is, and a number of other details that will impact your earnings.

To connect with a nationally recognized physician recruitment firm, reach out to the healthcare industry professionals at Jackson Physician Search today.

Take Charge of Your Career as a Physician

Take Charge of Your Career to Avoid Physician Burnout

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, through the year 2026, physician employment is projected to increase by 13%.

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Coping with Stress: How Physicians can Maintain their Well-being During COVID-19

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No one is immune to the physical, emotional, and even financial side effects of COVID-19. Stress levels are at an all-time high worldwide, as everyone is grappling with the uncertainty of when life will return to normal.  But for physicians, staving off feelings of fear, anxiety, and burnout is as critical as saving lives while getting through this pandemic.

Jackson Physician Search president Tony Stajduhar has been checking in via video calls with several of his physician and healthcare administrator friends and most report feeling growing levels of fear and anxiety.  Each has isolated themselves in homes separate from their spouses and children in a valiant effort to protect.  That means after a long day, suited in full protective gear that is anything but comfortable, they arrive to empty homes.  More than ever, physicians could benefit from the support and companionship of their loved ones.

Feelings of burnout were already prevalent among physicians, but now loneliness is settling in as well.  The one constant in COVID-19 is that we are continuing to learn as we go.  Fortunately, many organizations are trying to get in front of a mental health crisis by putting together resources and daily practices that healthcare providers can use to protect their mental health.  Let’s take a look at some coping strategies that you can practice to maintain your emotional and physical well-being during this challenging time.

Prioritize Your Health

Your health and well-being are essential during this global health crisis.  The world relies on you to help us get through this unprecedented event, and we’ll also need you for all our health issues that are currently taking a back seat. As you know, the benefits of eating well and partaking in physical activity are both physical and mental.  Continue your exercise routine and, if you can get outside and enjoy the spring weather while doing so, that’s all the better. Don’t be afraid to indulge once in a while in some comfort food or a guilty pleasure.

Take Breaks

While taking a break may seem impossible when the flow of patients doesn’t appear to let up, fatigue and stress have a direct impact on performance.  The same applies to your nurses and other support staff, making it even more critical to set the example and find time for regular breaks.  Stepping away for a few minutes will provide you with an opportunity to pay attention to your mind and body.

Prioritize Sleep

No one needs to explain to you how a lack of, or poor sleep, can affect an individual’s mental and physical well-being.  The challenge is that as stress levels increase, sleeping well becomes more difficult. Adding to that, many physicians and healthcare professionals respond to elevated patient loads by working excessively long hours at the expense of their own well-being.  Unfortunately, the less time your body spends in sleep, the more compromised your immune system becomes. In a pandemic, that is an especially dangerous combination.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindful meditation is usually practice seated and can be done for as little as one minute. This breathing practice is an excellent time to exercise compassion towards yourself, so don’t let your mind wander to negative thoughts and keep your attention on your breathing. Body scan exercises, available online, are a great way to assess your mental and physical well-being while giving yourself a chance to relax and decompress in the process.

Stay Positive

Controlling negative emotions during a crisis is probably one of the most difficult challenges front-line healthcare workers face right now.  Like finding time for a break, and allowing yourself to sleep, being kind and compassionate to yourself starts with a positive mindset but requires intentional effort. It is important to acknowledge the fact that you, your family, and your colleagues are experiencing similar challenges.  Taking a supportive and positive approach during such a difficult time goes a long way toward helping everyone successfully navigate another day.

Connect with Family and Friends

Call someone you love every day and talk about something meaningful. Use Facetime or another video calling tool to get a digital face-to-face conversation with someone you haven’t seen in a few weeks or even a few years. Resist the urge to binge-watch Netflix alone and instead find something more engaging. If you are going to watch a show or tv to unwind, netflixparty.com allows you to with others using the Chrome browser on your computer.

Ask for Help – Know That You’re Not Alone

Reaching out for help is a sign of strength and emotional awareness.  Many hospitals and health systems are ramping up the availability of psychological therapists to help their front-line healthcare professionals during this time.  If you don’t want to sit down with a therapist, reach out to a trusted friend or a mentor, and allow yourself to verbalize your feelings. Talking to someone you trust can be liberating and may help you emotionally process the situation.

Get Ahead of the Physical Toll

While the emotional toll of COVID-19 is high now for all healthcare providers, the physical toll is yet to come. Many of you are have patients with elective procedures and other treatments that are currently being postponed. Adopting a good set of coping strategies now only serves to help you through the rush of patients that will follow this crisis.

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 will leave many lessons learned in healthcare and in all areas of life. May some of those lessons be a new emphasis on managing mental health and achieving a healthy work/life balance. For immediate support, we’re pleased to see that The American Medical Association has curated mental health resources to help physicians during COVID-19. You can find more information here. If prioritizing a better work/life balance or moving closer to home is best for you and your family, trust Jackson Physician Search to guide you through the job search process. You can search our open jobs and apply today by visiting jobs.jacksonphysiciansearch.com.

 

How Shelter In Place May Effect Physician Job Search

How Shelter-in-Place Orders May Affect (But Don’t Have to Derail) Your Physician Job Search

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How Shelter-in-Place Orders May Affect (But Don’t Have to Derail) Your Physician Job Search

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With more states issuing shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, healthcare administrators are working tirelessly to procure personal protective equipment for their providers and medical devices to save the lives of their patients. They are also focused on keeping up with a myriad of other essential responsibilities required to keep hospitals running effectively during these challenging times and, for many, that includes reviewing their staffing planning goals.
 
As a physician recruitment firm, we are finding that several healthcare organizations are continuing to recruit and fill physician vacancies. Because 50,000 physicians are expected to relocate for a new position before the end of 2020, interviewing, site visits, and job offers continue, albeit there are some noticeable differences to the traditional process.
 
If you’re seeking a new opportunity, keep applying for positions that interest you and read on to learn what you may expect as the new “temporary” normal.

Video Interviewing Takes Precedence

Virtual interviews are frequently used in many other industries to conduct the initial screening, to interview candidates who will work remotely, and to interview out-of-town candidates in lieu of travel. With air travel drastically reduced, and social distancing practiced everywhere, video interviews are becoming more prevalent throughout the physician hiring process. Here are a few tips to consider when preparing for your video interview:
  • Choose a Location. With stricter shelter-in-place orders more common than not, chances are that you will be doing the video interview from your home. If you don’t have a home office, choose a room that is well-lit and one where you won’t be interrupted. It is also best to avoid having a lot of clutter visible in the background.
  • Test your Setup. Even if you are familiar with video conferencing technology, always do a test run with a friend or family member. This is to make sure your internet connection is stable, your webcam produces a clear picture, and your audio is working clearly. Have a light source in front of you rather than behind you and put your computer/webcam at eye level for the best video.
  • Dress for an Interview. Treat the video interview as you would a face-to-face meeting. You wouldn’t wear workout clothes for an in-person interview, so don’t do it for a video interview. Wearing a suit or other professional attire will project your professionalism and also subconsciously put you in an interview frame of mind.
  • Close Unnecessary Tabs. Before the scheduled video call, shut down any tabs or programs on your laptop that aren’t needed for the interview, especially social media and email. Your interviewer will see if you are distracted and working on other things during the meeting.
  • Turn Off the Cellphone. At a minimum, keep your cell phone on silent mode, but preferably turn it off altogether to avoid the potential for distraction.
  • Be Prepared. In a typical interview environment, you would walk in with your CV, a pen, and a pad to write on. Have those same essentials available during your video interview. Jot down any questions that come up and have your CV available for reference.
  • Act Naturally. One of the most widely accepted interview tips is to maintain natural eye contact with your interviewer. That shouldn’t change with a video interview. Maintain eye contact, nod, and smile as you normally would to demonstrate engagement. Looking off into space or continually turning your eyes toward something off-camera is not a good look. Also, if you typically talk with hand gestures, don’t try to depress your natural way of communicating. Be yourself, and your personality will come across as authentic.

Conduct Your Own Virtual Community Site Visit

While the projection models show that we’re going to be dealing with COVID-19 for the near foreseeable future, there’s no way to know precisely when stay-at-home orders will be lifted, travel will resume, and life will return to normal. Physicians who are actively pursuing a new career opportunity are often looking at jobs from one coast to the other. Moving your family is a very real part of the job-hunting consideration process, so finding new ways to narrow down your options is important when a traditional community site visit isn’t viable.
 
In addition, assessing cultural fit with the organization and its people is vital to long-term employment. You might not be able to shake hands – or even tap elbows or bump feet – but you can still meet your colleagues and staff before accepting an offer. Here are some suggestions:
  • Video Site Visit. Typically, the site visit is an opportunity for physicians to get a first-hand look at the facility and to meet potential colleagues. Now, you may be invited to a video conference to meet your fellow physicians, members of the board, and even some of your staff. Much like when you were the video interviewee, this may be your best chance to assess the different personalities on the team and determine if you are finding a good cultural fit. Plan your questions ahead of time and interview everyone you can about the organization.
  • Community Information. With travel mostly prohibited, you can do investigative work online to learn as much as possible about the community, including school systems, religious centers, sports teams, entertainment options, and anything else that is important to you and your family’s happiness and well-being. Your potential new employer will likely have someone assigned to “show you around,” but now it will be a virtual experience. Instead of being there in person, they will probably point you to online resources and give you telephone and email information for important local contacts, so you get your questions answered from the comfort of home. An excellent resource to find out about crime, schools, and even weather for any community in the United States is www.city-data.com. Travel and tourism websites are also great options and many feature drone video footage to give you a bird’s eye view of the area. It may take a leap of faith to consider accepting an offer in a community unseen, yet physicians and other adventurous executives do it every day.
  • Real Estate. If you are planning to buy a house in your new location, you may end up doing a lot of the preliminary work online anyway. This might include interviewing real estate agents via phone or video and doing virtual tours of houses on Zillow or other real estate websites. Just like it would be if you were there in person, finding a good real estate agent is going to be the key to a successful house hunting experience.
 
It goes without saying that much of life feels upside down right now for everyone. At Jackson Physician Search, we’re here to support you by continuing to work day and night to help facilitate your next career opportunity, while also assisting hospitals and healthcare organizations with staffing their facilities. As our new “temporary” normal continues to take shape, we’re here to guide you through the interview and job selection process. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have – together, we will get through this. You can also review our commitment to you during the COVID-19 crisis by clicking here.
 
If you are looking for a physician job search partner, contact a Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional.

Physician job interview changes

How the Traditional Physician On-Site Interview is Changing During Covid-19

We’ve reached a point where the coronavirus, or COVID-19, is affecting us all. While this is uncharted territory for many, our healthcare system has successfully…

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How the Traditional Physician On-Site Interview is Changing During Covid-19

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We’ve reached a point where the coronavirus, or COVID-19, is affecting us all. While this is uncharted territory for many, our healthcare system has successfully responded to pandemics and outbreaks in the past – always coming out stronger and wiser on the other side. We understand that this is an unprecedented time for physicians, nurses, and other care providers, and we are grateful for your dedication to protecting and restoring health in our communities.
 
As a physician recruitment firm, our mission is to facilitate the perfect match between a physician and a healthcare organization. We serve as an advisor to both throughout the recruitment process, ensuring a positive candidate experience. Currently, many of the healthcare organizations that we work with are making temporary changes to their on-site interview process for the safety and well-being of everyone. But even with these temporary changes, our clients are actively recruiting to fill physician vacancies.
 
So, as you keep your job search on track, we’re here to prepare you for three possible interview scenarios.
 

1. Continuing with on-site interviews but implementing additional screening

 
Understandably, some healthcare organizations have growing concerns about on-site interview visits. Pre-screening candidates is an effective strategy to mitigate exposure to COVID-19 on their campuses. Below is a sampling of screening questions you may be asked prior to scheduling an interview:
 
  • Are you currently under self-quarantine for COVID-19, because you have been diagnosed or have had direct exposure to an infected individual?
  • Have you traveled internationally in the last 28 days to China, Italy, South Korea, or any other countries with wide community spread?
  • Are you experiencing any flu-like or respiratory symptoms common to COVID-19, such as fever, sore throat, runny nose, and cough?
 
Furthermore, healthcare organizations that are continuing with on-site interviews may medically screen candidates for fever and other symptoms upon arrival.
 

2. Moving the interview off-campus

 
Some healthcare organizations are eliminating the risk of exposure to patients, providers, and other employees by moving interviews to an off-campus location. Any location that offers a distraction-free and private area to focus everyone’s attention on the interview will work – hotel or airport conference rooms are two viable options.
 
While this means you likely won’t have an opportunity to meet quite as many staff members, take a campus tour, or get an overall “feel” for the environment, many healthcare organizations have professional pictures and recruitment videos that will suffice. Plus, you can still visit the community to better assess your family’s interest in relocating. If you need help with that, check out our blog about preparing for an on-site interview.
 

3. Using video conferencing to conduct a “virtual” interview

 
With some areas experiencing more rapid community spread than others, such as New York City, or in states under a stay-home order, travel is not advised. If the organization must temporarily suspend face-to-face interviews, many are inviting candidates to participate in a video interview using Skype, Zoom, or another video conferencing tool. First impressions are still key to recruitment success, so be sure to make eye contact and eliminate potential distractions. Prepare for it as you would an in-person interview. It might help you to make notes about what you want to talk about. Our guide on defining your physician brand can help you refine your talking points and zero in on what you want the conversation to focus on.
 
Our expert physician recruiters should be viewed as a resource and are happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have. Part of their responsibility is to aid communication between you and the hiring healthcare organization. Keep in mind that finding the perfect opportunity can take some time, so we will continue to share job opportunities with you via email. You can sign up for job alerts to receive those emails or visit our job board to see all our open searches.

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How to Make The Most of Your Physician Job Search

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Advice on Choosing the Best Practice Opportunity to Fit Your Life

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We recently published an article about taking charge of your physician career to avoid burnout. To aid you in that effort, it is time to focus on the major factors to consider when determining your next career move.  One of the most significant considerations is the practice setting and the size of the organization that you will be joining. There is no steadfast rule about any size or setting that is better than another, but your success is based on which factors fall within your personal comfort zone.  Another consideration is where you want to practice medicine from a geographic perspective. Whether you are drawn to the pace and lifestyle in a rural community or prefer the hustle and bustle of a larger metropolitan area, the location you decide upon will impact your success and happiness.

Let’s take a look at key things to consider when choosing a practice setting and the type of organization you want to work for.

Practice Settings/Size Considerations

Lines of Communication

When you practice in a smaller setting, you will learn pretty quickly that there are very few layers of management to navigate.  In fact, as early as the first interview, you will most likely be meeting and negotiating directly with the CEO, and you will have a relationship with the Board of Directors.  Another thing you will experience early on is that contracts are negotiated and approved much faster than in a large system or hospital setting. When changes within the practice or clinical setting need to be made, they are usually approved quickly, or even better right on the spot.  Depending on the setting you choose, you may have decision-making authority, and autonomy means fewer meetings, memos, and managers.

One advantage a larger setting has over choosing to work in a small practice or clinical environment is access to more resources. In a large setting, you don’t have to make all the decisions and can focus more on patient care, instead of being embroiled in day-to-day operations.  The trade-off in a larger setting, are layers of bureaucracy to navigate to make necessary changes in the process, or having administrators looking over your shoulder.  An added consideration is that you will have access to other voices in the organization when challenges crop up, or when you need a sounding board when handling a particularly challenging case.

Having a Voice in the Organization

To dig a little deeper into the communication differences between a large and small practice setting, you need to consider how involved you want to be in how the organization operates.  For some, having a voice in how the healthcare organization is managed is an important motivator.  Being looked upon as a key stakeholder can be the boost your career needs, especially if you have spent most of your career as one physician among hundreds.  Many, if not most, physicians are natural leaders, and at some point in their career, may want to feel a greater sense of ownership in the workplace.  Those opportunities exist with higher frequency when you are practicing in a smaller setting.

For a physician practicing in a larger setting, there will be less reliance on you being in a leadership role. In a larger system, leadership responsibilities are typically handled by an administrative-level of the organization. That is not to say, physicians who are seeking leadership responsibilities, won’t find them in a larger setting. Quite the contrary, if you express a desire to get more involved in a leadership capacity, a large organization has the resources to help you prepare and plan for an eventual transition into that role.

Workplace Culture

Everyone wants to feel motivated and excited about going to work every day.  As a physician, you are impacting the lives of others, and your career should never feel like you are punching a clock and going through the motions.  When you are practicing in a smaller setting, we have already referred to the leadership role you have as one of the key stakeholders.  Part of that role is having a significant influence on making it a great place to work. You can shape how everyone perceives the work environment, both staff and the patients you are serving.  Today, more than ever before, workplace culture is playing a pivotal role in combatting burnout and achieving the highest levels of patient care.  Good workplace culture will include having open and honest communication at all levels of the organization, mutual respect on display at all times, and an environment of accountability.

In a larger practice setting, you may not have as much personal impact on the organizational workplace culture, but you can help shape the environment within your area of responsibility.  Having choices in where to practice medicine, means your job search can be to find a setting with other physicians and administrators that share your values and belief systems.  Your career in medicine is stressful enough without having to deal with a toxic workplace environment.  To be sure, toxic workplaces exist in practices of all shapes and sizes.  Your choice, in either case, is to play a role in changing the culture, and if that isn’t possible, it may be time for a change.

Community Involvement

When you choose to practice medicine in a smaller community setting, you are immediately achieving status in the community that you won’t find when you are one of many.  There are many feel-good stories about the impact a physician has on the small or rural community they serve, and that in itself can be an incredible boost to your self-esteem and reignite your passion for medicine.  A smaller community setting also allows you to be on a first-name basis with all of your patients, and that is not always the case.

Being a big fish in a small community pond is not for everyone.  With that type of status, you may have expectations to play a more significant role in the community than you are comfortable doing. In a larger setting, you are still a big fish, but in an ocean. Community involvement is always going to be encouraged, but in a large setting, you have the opportunity to choose your level of involvement, and on the terms of your choosing.

Choosing a Location That Fits Your Lifestyle

Where you decide to practice medicine, from a geographic standpoint, often plays a role in the size of the practice setting.  Obviously, if your desire is to go country, then you will most likely be practicing in a smaller clinical environment.  If city life is your thing, you will have more opportunities to choose from.  Ultimately, only you can determine what location provides you the best opportunity for success and happiness.

Choosing a Location Based on Pay

In the past, physicians who were looking for the biggest payday, would typically try and find a position with a large hospital or health system. While still valid in many cases, smaller systems and rural community systems have had to adjust their pay rates to compete for physician candidates.  Luring doctors to a small community with the idyllic slower pace of life, less noise, lower crime rates, and plentiful outdoor activities used to be the main pitch.  Today pay rates in these settings are on the rise.  Another consideration for many small communities is a lower cost of living, which means keeping more of the money earned.

For those that may not be interested in outdoor life, practicing medicine in a larger urban center will provide you with more practice options.  Finding an opportunity that best fits your lifestyle is much easier when you have more than one or two options to choose from. Another benefit of having multiple choices within a geographic area is that competition affords you with negotiating leverage to secure your best compensation and scheduling package.

Supporting Your Work/Life Balance

As a physician, no one has to tell you about the stress that accompanies your career choice.  Balancing that stress by choosing to practice in an off-beat location can be your golden ticket to a better quality of life. Imagine spending your day off going for a hike in the woods rather than the concrete jungle.  Or, think of relaxing in your backyard instead of on a balcony with the blare of sirens and honking horns every three minutes.  The pace and allure of being closer to nature is often the perfect balance to the stress of practicing medicine.

Many physicians were born and raised in large cities and can’t imagine living anywhere else.  For some, spending a weekend afternoon riding on a tractor to cut a five-acre lawn is not their idea of relaxation.  Instead, having everything you could ever need within walking distance or a short cab ride away is the perfect lifestyle.  Living in a metropolitan area not only provides you with more career options, but greater access to museums, art galleries, restaurants, and shopping.  There are pros and cons to every location you choose, but the key is making the choice that is the best one for you and your family.

Family and Lifestyle Options

Up to this point, our focus has been you, the physician, and making a career choice based on your needs.  Obviously, deciding where to practice medicine is a family decision.  Things to consider are dependent on whether or not your spouse works and the number of opportunities that will be available for them.  Physicians with children of any age, have to think about the quality of schools, the quality and quantity of activities to get involved in, the safety of the community, and more.

More populated localities will always have an abundance of career opportunities for working families.  For the physician who doesn’t want their spouse to work, either due to preference or family obligations, the cost of living, and the proliferation of remote work options make smaller communities a viable option.

When you set out to find a new career opportunity, one thing you might notice is that the best option for you and your loved ones is not always the most obvious place.  You can find hidden gems in all corners of our vast country, and sometimes when you dig a little deeper, the right position isn’t always your first choice.

When exploring options for your next career opportunity, a knowledgeable recruiter can help you identify opportunities you may not otherwise know about.  A trusted, recruitment professional has established relationships across the country and can help you identify the reasons why a particular opportunity is the best one for you and your family.

Take your career search to another level by reaching out to the recruitment professionals at Jackson Physician Search today.  With a nationwide reach and access to hospitals, health systems, and practices of all sizes, your JPS recruiter can help you find the perfect opportunity.

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Take Charge of Your Career to Avoid Physician Burnout

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Take Charge of Your Career

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, through the year 2026, physician employment is projected to increase by 13%.  The demand is related to many factors, including the numbers of individuals who are newly insured through the Affordable Care Act, an aging population requiring the management of chronic diseases, and the number of physicians who are at or near retirement age.  Typically, physicians who were graduating and completing their residency could expect to begin practicing in a hospital or private setting.  Today, physicians have many more options available to them and a variety of career paths.  Let’s look at different career options physicians can choose to best fit their lifestyle.

Academia

One way the demand for physician’s services has opened up new career paths is on the academic side of medicine.  For some physicians, after completing their residency, they may decide that they are better suited to teach than to practice.  Others, who have spent a few years in a practice setting just want to make a career choice that provides more stable hours and work-life balance. Training the next generation of physicians is a valid career option, and as long as demand is high, there will always be opportunities to teach the practice of medicine.  Another area of academic medicine that often gets overlooked is a career focused on research, or working in the pharmaceutical industry, or other specialized clinical environments.

Physician Leadership

As it has been in the corporate world for decades, healthcare is trending toward being more team-based.  This trend has created a wider avenue for physicians who are naturally inclined to take on more of a leadership role.  Leading clinical care teams provide physicians with the opportunity to exercise several skills that can ultimately translate into larger and more involved leadership positions within the organization.  Another parallel with the corporate world is that not every person has the skills and abilities to become leaders.  Physicians that have their sights set on the C-suite should focus on developing outstanding communication skills, conflict resolution, financial and operations management, and rounding out their overall business skills.

Private Practice

Many young physicians tend to gravitate toward working in a hospital setting for several years before considering other settings.  Nationally, the trend in the healthcare industry is for the majority of physicians being hospital-employed, but that doesn’t mean private practice opportunities aren’t available.  As recently as 2018, up to 46% of physicians worked independently with an ownership stake in private practice.

Choosing a Path That Fits your Lifestyle

Working in a high-demand occupation, physicians have more choices available to them than ever before.  Having choices means that doctors who find themselves in toxic work environments, or in a position with unruly schedules or excessive call hours, have the option to pursue new opportunities.  Much has been written about the levels of burnout being experienced by physicians in today’s healthcare environment, so it is important to consider if a job change can help resolve the issues.

Here are several ways to combat burnout and achieve a better work-life balance.

Envision Your Best Life

The first key to achieving work-life balance is to gain an understanding of what it would look like in your ideal lifestyle.  Think about all the things you would do if you had a reasonable work schedule.  Maybe you would go on golf outings, or spend time hiking or skiing.  You and your loved ones are the only people who can describe what that scenario looks like, so take the time and create a list.  Once you understand what your best life looks like, you can create a plan to get there.

Own Your Schedule

If someone asked you how you spend the majority of your day, would you have a clear answer?  When physicians are asked what is contributing to their unruly schedules, many of them immediately cite the amount of clerical work and documentation that they are required to perform. If you find that your day just “gets away from you,” and you don’t have a clear picture of why, unfortunately, you are going to have to take some time and document your activities for a few days. Once you have a determination of where the time drag is coming from, you can work on a resolution. Your career as a physician means that you are a natural problem solver, and your time is an issue to be solved, not ignored.

Lean on a Mentor

Just because you are a well-established physician, doesn’t mean that you have all the answers. We all have times in our life where we get so deep into the weeds that we can’t see our way out.  You are not alone in that, and it is times like this that having a mentor, or even a trusted colleague, can make all the difference in helping you find your way.  Having a mentor means that you have access to someone who has been where you are at, and they may have tips or tricks that you haven’t considered.  And even if they don’t, you will feel better getting your frustrations off your chest.  Keeping it all bottled up is the surest way to exacerbate burnout.

Advocate

Everyone in healthcare is aware of the levels of burnout being experienced by physicians and other staff.  Being aware of burnout doesn’t mean your administrators are actively working on or even close to implementing strategies to help combat the issue.  As a physician, you already have the staff looking up to you for some level of leadership, and when burnout becomes a debilitating issue for yourself and others, it is time for you to get involved.  Administrators and other healthcare executives may not understand the size of the issue, or they may not have a clue how to address the problem.  Stepping up to be a part of the solution will go a long way toward the creation of a happier and healthier work environment.

Treat Your Time as Sacred

How many times are you at a family function, or even just relaxing at a backyard barbecue and your phone starts blowing up?  And, how often has the issue or reason for the call not been an actual emergency?  To ensure that you are making the most out of every opportunity you have to recharge your batteries, treat your personal time as sacred.  Just like no one will barge into an exam room when you are with a patient unless it is an emergency, the same rule should apply when you are on your own downtime.  Develop an understanding with your co-workers that your time is your own, and unless it is an actual emergency, you shouldn’t be disturbed.  By doing so, you will quickly find out how much fun and relaxation you can enjoy when you are fully disconnected from your work environment.

If you are ready for a new opportunity that can put you on the path towards a better career or better work-life balance, reach out to the experienced recruitment professionals at Jackson Physician Search today.

 

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Physician Workforce Trends to Watch in 2020

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The Association of American Medical Colleges publishes an annual report outlining the state of physician supply and demand, and their most recent study completed in 2019 confirmed that the United States may see a shortage of nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032.  In addition to an overall shortage of primary care physicians, Oncology and Surgery are projected to be the hardest hit specialties.  Strictly looking at the data regarding oncology, new cancer cases are projected to increase by 42% within five years, while the number of oncologists is only expected to increase by 28%.  More than ever before, hospitals and medical system administrators are being forced to place greater emphasis on physician recruitment and retention. Let’s look at some of the factors that are contributing to physician demand challenges.

The Aging Population.

Americans are living longer than ever, and those over the age of 65 are projected to grow by 50%. An aging population means that more individuals are managing chronic and age-related conditions.  At the same time, more than one-third of all physicians will be 65 or older by 2030.

The Residency Conundrum.

Even though medical schools are increasing their class sizes, the number of available residency slots have not increased commensurately.  Legislation to increase Medicare-supported residency slots by 15,000 over five years has been stalled in the U.S. Congress for the past two years.

Burnout and Flexible Scheduling.

As physicians suffer from burnout and stress at higher levels than in the past, many are negotiating reduced and more flexible scheduling to create better work/life balance.   As many as 78% of physicians report experiencing burnout, and when they combat the stress by reducing their work hours, the effect is a reduction in the number of full-time physician equivalents.

Increased Regulation.

In a 2019 MGMA survey, 76% of respondents cited increasing regulatory burdens as impacting their ability to practice medicine. More than half stated that the forced administrative overload is contributing to their likelihood of retirement within five years.

As the documented physician shortage continues to worsen, here are several solutions that can be enacted to ease the burden.

Lifting Residency Caps.

With the unfortunate state of gridlock in Washington, D.C., Congress could pass the bipartisan legislation that eases the limits on the number of residency slots.  As written, the legislation calls for an additional 3,000 residency slots each year for five years as a means to increase the number of practicing physicians.

Improve the licensing process for international med school grads.

With almost 25% of today’s physician workforce comprised of international medical school graduates, the archaic and cumbersome licensure process should be streamlined for efficiency. While relying on lawmakers to pass legislation to simplify the licensing process is unlikely at best, if the gridlock loosens, this would be a logical step.

Competition breeds creative compensation models.

Let’s face it, competition for physician services is fierce.  Salaries are on the rise, but even that isn’t guaranteeing recruitment success.  Administrators are becoming increasingly creative by including flexible scheduling, reduced or no call hours, signing bonuses, and student loan forgiveness to attract candidates to ongoing vacancies.

Increase non-physician utilization and technology.

Anyone who has tried to schedule a primary care appointment recently has most assuredly been offered a visit with a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner to get into the office sooner.  Healthcare administrators are working hard to balance their staffing with an increased mix of “non-physician” practitioners.  In concert with that, technology innovations are supplementing the monitoring and management of chronic conditions to reduce the need for frequent office visits.

Speaking of technology and other changes that are impacting healthcare delivery and practice settings, let’s review a few trends that may affect physician career planning.

The Rise of Hospital and Large System Employment.

During the age of buyouts and mergers over the past decade, the percentage of physicians employed by hospitals and health systems has grown significantly.  Even though buyout mania has abated to a degree, there is still a large percentage of doctors who are employed by a health system, and fewer who are independent or a part of a small group practice.

Concierge Medicine.

Physician burnout is well-documented, and one of the ways frustrated doctors are alleviating the burdensome relationship with insurance reimbursements is by turning to a concierge-style practice. Concierge medicine is a private, subscription-based practice that is growing by as much as 6% annually. According to Concierge Medicine Today, a national trade publication, there are estimates of up to 20,000 physicians practicing concierge medicine.

Telehealth Acceptance and Growth.

More than half of all U.S. hospitals currently have a telehealth program, and almost 90% of healthcare administrators in a recent survey responded that their organizations have already begun developing a telemedicine program.  With telehealth initiatives on the rise, research indicates that almost 74% of patients in the U.S. would be comfortable utilizing technology to communicate with their physician instead of scheduling an in-person office visit.  Currently, about 30% of patients are already using computers or mobile devices to monitor their medical or diagnostic information.

Consumerism.

Ever since the Affordable Care Act ushered in the age of high-deductible healthcare plans, patients are forced to treat their healthcare decisions as they would any other consumer-based transaction.  Today’s healthcare consumers are putting more effort into making informed decisions and shopping for services.  This has led to more competition in the healthcare marketplace, and in response, providers have to inspire loyalty and keep their patients engaged as a retail outlet would with any customer.  Patients are now prone to post and read online reviews about a provider and are demanding more transparent pricing. All of this is increasingly being used to determine where a patient seeks care or if they will leave one provider for another.

This has been the first installment in a new Jackson Physician Search Series on the career outlook for practicing physicians.  In our next installment, we will do a deep dive into what career options are available in the healthcare environment today.

If you are looking for your next career move, contact the experienced recruitment professionals at Jackson Physician Search today.

 

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