Five Steps to Becoming a Physician Leader

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The amount of education and training that was required to become a physician has put you in a natural position of leadership. From your patients, nurses, and other supporting team members, everyone looks to you for answers and direction.  In recent surveys, physicians have identified more autonomy and participatory decision making as top attributes of a positive organizational culture.  The survey responses are a good indicator that many of today’s practicing physicians are craving the opportunity to take on more leadership roles within their organizations. Let’s look at five steps physicians can take to become a leader. Hospitals with physician leadership have higher quality scores than non-physician-led hospitals.

Know the Characteristics of a Good Physician Leader

One of the most important traits of a good physician leader is self-awareness. It is critical to understand how you are perceived by your team and how your actions impact those around you. Being a leader requires a sense of humility and a desire to create an aura of approachability to ensure others feel comfortable engaging in conversation or discussion with you.  In years past, our parents used to tell us to do something because they said so, today, leaders have to be able to communicate why something needs to be done and how it impacts the desired outcomes. Communication skills are key, along with creating an environment of transparency that welcomes the input of others who want to share their perspective.

Be Open to Process Improvements and Change

A physician leader can take a step back and understand the big picture.  As a leader, you must begin to envision how your team fits within the framework of the organization and how you collectively support the corporate goals, values, and vision.  A physician leader will be able to consider opposing viewpoints, find weak spots and inefficiencies in the process, and be bold enough to take action to improve the situation. Often times, those you are leading are contributing to an inefficient process or quality concern, your leadership means you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your staff and be willing to coach and mentor them as needed.

Get More Involved

On your path to a leadership role, you shouldn’t expect that one day you will get a tap on the shoulder and be told that you are now a leader. Along the way, put yourself out there by getting involved in organizational activities, process improvement task forces, and other areas where you can not only gain different experiences but are meeting and interacting with others in the organization.

Understand the Industry Outside of Your Specialty or Practice

To effectively take on the role of a physician leader, taking the time to explore, study, and understand all aspects of our rapidly changing healthcare industry is a necessity. Whether through industry journals, online or in-person webinars or training, the healthcare industry is getting more complex by the day and you should maintain a solid understanding of how it is evolving and impacting the organization as a whole. Healthcare needs physician leaders that understand the big picture and can innovate to shape the future of the industry.

Sharpen Your Saw

Being a physician leader is more than a title that says you are in charge.  Leadership requires an understanding of many things that were not necessarily part of your medical education and training.  Many physicians who are pursuing their medical degree today are also pursuing an M.B.A. in Healthcare Administration. If your educational track didn’t include that focus, prepare yourself through continuing education courses that are geared toward developing a deeper understanding of management, organizational strategies, and finance.  Also, if recognizing subordinates for their achievements or using positive coaching techniques isn’t a natural activity for you in the workplace, it is an important trait to develop as you move forward in your leadership career.  Being a physician leader is as much about personal improvement as it is the development of those around you.

Jackson Physician Search has a team of industry professionals who can help you discover your perfect leadership opportunity.  Whether you are interested in finding out what is available for someone with your experience or you are ready to take the next step in your career, our experienced recruitment professionals are available to be your career partner. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you thrive.

Physician Giving a Lecture

A Physician’s Career Can Take Many Paths

Through the year 2026, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects physician employment to increase by 13%, with rural and underserved population centers even higher.

Physician Career on Fire

Is Your Physician Career on FIRE?

Not in the literal sense, but many physicians today are working to ensure that their career is on FIRE.

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5 Things to Consider When Planning Your Career as a Physician

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No matter what stage you are at in your physician career, it is never too early to spend time planning for your future.  Young doctors sometimes make the mistake of putting off their career planning, but that is a mistake that can lead you down a path of stagnation and even burnout.  Having a clear plan for your future with enough flexibility to make adjustments as your life situation changes is the surest way to get the most out of the hard work you put in to becoming a doctor in the first place.  Here are 5 things to consider when planning your future as a physician.

Map Out Your Career Goals

Think back to when you made the decision to pursue a career in medicine and how you had at least a general idea of what your career might look like.  Now that you are a practicing physician, it is important to set time aside and map out a clearer picture of your career progression.  Whether you are happy right where you are or thinking about making changes, in today’s high-demand environment, your future is wide open.  By sitting down with a clear mind, no distractions, and a positive attitude, you can formulate a successful plan for the future that is personally and professionally fulfilling.

Moving Up or Moving On

Based on the vision you have created for your career, taking the next step may include preparing to move into more of a leadership role or finding a new opportunity altogether.  If you want to be on a leadership track, it is important to determine what additional education you are going to need for your climb up the ladder to the C-Suite.  On the other hand, if a new opportunity is in your plan, now is the time to make that happen. Finding an experienced physician recruitment professional can be the best way to land your dream job.

Return to Private Practice? 

While the trend has been physicians abandoning private practice for larger hospital systems, many are now reconsidering that decision. If you are feeling like a number and long for the days when you had more say in how things were done, it might be time to reconsider your practice setting. In private practice, you have more control over your patient load and your work schedule. If practicing in your current environment has you feeling stressed, there are plenty of private practice opportunities for you to consider.

Aim to Achieve FIRE

Unless you have completely unplugged and are practicing off the grid, you have heard about FIRE.  For physicians, FIRE is Financial Independence, Retire Early, and is a good goal to have no matter where you are in your career.  Working towards FIRE is a combination of caring about how you spend your money as much as how big your salary is.  In any career, the end goal should be setting yourself up for retirement, so you are professionally and financially able to do it when the time comes.

After You Retire

Just because you have reached the point that you are ready to retire, that doesn’t mean you have to ride off into the sunset and never be heard from again. Unless that is what you want for your retirement. Many physicians still have the desire to stay involved even through their retirement years. After your prestigious career as a physician, you still have multiple options available to keep yourself involved and busy. Consider more involvement or positions of responsibility on the boards of not-for-profits, or consider taking on the mentorship of the next generation of physicians.  You can even keep your skills sharp and work one or two days a week at a community or rural health clinic. Whatever your retirement plan looks like, the opportunities are out there.

To get a real, comprehensive insight into the healthcare industry and career opportunities for physicians, contact a Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional today.

Physician Career on Fire

Is Your Physician Career on FIRE?

Not in the literal sense, but many physicians today are working to ensure that their career is on FIRE.  FIRE as in Financial Independence, Retire Early!

How to Make Your Next Physician Practice Feel like a Vacation

If that headline grabbed your attention, it’s likely that you are either on vacation or wish you were! By definition, vacation is the time you spend on travel…

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Finding the Right Fit for You and Your Family

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Recently, a medical system serving rural Iowa contacted Jackson Physician Search for assistance in finding a new Medical Director to oversee a staff of over 30 individuals, including physicians, advanced providers, and support staff. With the current state of available physicians with child and adolescent psychiatric experience being thin, Tara Osseck, Director of Recruiting at Jackson Physician Search knew she had a challenge to overcome.

Tara made a connection with an experienced psychiatric physician who was practicing in western Montana. Dr. M was only casually seeing what types of job opportunities were out there for someone with his background and experience. He was currently in a private practice setting specializing in Adult, Child, and Adolescent Psychiatry. He was also the Medical Director for a regional cooperative and had served as a Chief Medical Director.

Dr. M. was the perfect candidate for the Iowa opportunity, but making such a big move, especially when he was only casually exploring the job market, he needed to make sure the opportunity was right for him and his family. He agreed to an interview and the leadership team in Iowa took every opportunity to ensure that Dr. M. and his family would get to know everything about the opportunity and the community. They set up a robust, four-day visit where Dr. M. met with everyone from the administrative team, the leadership team at all of the regional practice sites, and even the Board members. During the meetings, they were extremely impressed with Dr. M’s background and leadership experience leading them to begin discussing bringing him on as their Chief Medical Officer instead of Medical Director. Dr. M was similarly impressed with those he met and appreciated the open discussions they had, including strategic visions, ways to expand service offerings to the communities, and implementation of new programs.

During the visit, Dr. M, his wife, and young child were paired up with other families from the organization that had similar aged children. They attended a local festival, visited the zoo, and a family dinner with other physicians in the community. Because the organization was so thorough, it put Dr. M and his wife at ease about making the move. If you need some tips on how to make the most of an on-site interview, click here.

If you are curious about what opportunities are out there, contact one of our expert physician recruiters. We take the time to listen to what you are looking for in your personal life and career. Contact us today.

Advance Your Physician Career with a New Job

How To Advance Your Physician Career With a New Job

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

Physician Bonuses and Benefits

Understanding Physician Bonuses and Benefits

Physician salaries continue to rise, although more modestly than in years past. You may find that hard to believe…

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A Physician’s Career Can Take Many Paths

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Through the year 2026, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects physician employment to increase by 13%, with rural and underserved population centers even higher. In years past, those who chose a career as a physician expected that upon graduating and completing a residency that they would end up in a hospital or private practice setting.  While this is still the case for many physicians, and often depends on the chosen specialty, today’s healthcare industry is a wide-open environment where medical professionals have a variety of career paths to choose from.  Here is a look at several ways that physicians are adapting their career to fit their lifestyle.

Earning Board Certification

For physicians that want to pave their way into exclusive opportunities, becoming board certified is a natural first step.  Earning board certification requires a physician to undertake intensive training in their chosen specialty and passing a certification exam.  Physicians can choose multiple specialties based upon their ultimate career goals. For more information, visit the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Join Academia

For physicians who prefer the academic side of medicine, choosing to devote your career to training the next generation of physicians is always an option. As the demand for physicians grow, there will always be opportunities for qualified individuals to teach the practice of medicine.  Becoming an academic physician does not require you to focus only on teaching, research, and specialized clinical opportunities are also potential tracts.

Becoming an Administrator

As the approach to healthcare is becoming more team-based, physicians are naturally taking on more of a leadership role. Leading clinical care teams provide physicians with the opportunity to exercise a number of skills that can ultimately translate into larger and more involved leadership positions within the organization. Physicians that are interested in higher level leadership positions should focus on developing their communication skills, conflict resolution, financial and operations planning, and furthering their overall business skills.  The American Association for Physician Leadership is a great place to learn more about the transition from physician to executive.

Starting or Joining a Private Practice

Although the current trend in the healthcare industry is that the majority of physicians are choosing to be hospital employed, that doesn’t discount the availability of private practice opportunities. As of 2018, almost 46% of physicians worked independently with an ownership stake in private practice. Many young doctors choose to establish themselves in a hospital setting before “taking the plunge” into a private practice setting.

Practicing in Non-traditional Settings

There are many other settings where physicians can gain experience or may choose as a career option based on their own preferences and lifestyle choices.  For example, working as a physician for a state or federal corrections system might not be the first practice setting that comes to mind as a career path but is one that provides a variety of experiences conducive to becoming a well-rounded physician.

Non-clinical

Some physicians, after working in a hospital or traditional clinical environment, begin to gravitate towards non-clinical settings after reaching a certain point in their career.  This might mean utilizing your skills and experience as a medical director for an insurance company or for a pharmaceutical manufacturer. Others jump into politics or public service to play a role in shaping the legislative future of healthcare. For those considering a role like that in the future should prepare themselves throughout their career by continuing their education in areas like communications, public policy, and business-related courses.

Your hard-earned medical degree has provided you with a passport to pursue many different avenues as your career progresses.  The key is to find the path that is going to lead you into a future that is not only financially secure but also personally fulfilling.  Whether it is the patient-facing aspect of providing quality healthcare or choosing to pursue other avenues or settings, the key is that you have choices and opportunity.

If you are currently open to pursuing a career change or just want to explore the possibilities, contact a Jackson Physician Search recruitment specialist today and start your search.

 

get your foot in the door

How a Recruiter Can Help You Get Your Foot in the Door

Dr. Iswanto Sucandy had an impressive background and was in the process of finishing up his clinical fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh…

Advance Your Physician Career with a New Job

How To Advance Your Physician Career With a New Job

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

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Working With a Recruiter to Make a Change

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Based in Boise, Dr. M. had been traveling all over Idaho and other western states as the Medical Director for a correctional facility conglomerate.  The hours and the travel were taking a toll, and on top of that, Dr. M. and his wife had a newborn at home.  He saw the posting for a rural medical center position and knew he had to pursue the opportunity.

As is often the case with many small rural communities, the magic of living there is completely unknown unless you have visited or passed through at some point.  This was true for a small town of 990 people in rural Idaho, located near the “Craters of the Moon” National Monument and about 3 hours outside of Boise. The town, most noted for being the first in America to be lit by atomic energy is also famous because esteemed writer Ernest Hemingway occasionally brought his friends here to go hunting and fly fishing.

The people in this friendly town have their medical needs served by a single community medical center which also provides care to several surrounding towns. When their current Chief of Medical Staff decided to leave, it became a bit of concern for the entire community. After all, he was the only full-time Family Practice physician at the facility with other family practice doctors out of Boise rotating through part-time.

Jackson Physician Search recruiter Becky Casias knew that she had to find the right physician who could take over as Chief of Medical Staff and manage the Nurse Practitioners and the few specialty physicians that were practicing in the medical center.  In the job posting that she put out, Becky highlighted all of the benefits of living in the charming community.

As fate would have it, Dr. M. knew all about this quaint town and had visited there with a longtime friend who lived within a short drive in a nearby town. They had taken trips to hunt and fish in Mackay, a community of 700 that was also served by the medical center.  Dr. M., a military veteran and pilot, came with a wide range of experiences including Flight surgeon. Becky and Dr. M. agreed that they should move forward with the process.

Once that decision was made, things happened rather quickly. Dr. M’s contract with the prison system was up for renewal, so he didn’t have any entanglements to delay his pursuing the new opportunity.  Dr. M. met with the CEO of the medical center, the staff, and several community leaders.  From the beginning, it was very apparent that Dr. M. was the perfect fit for both the hospital and the community.

Jackson Physician Search has dozens of similar opportunities in both large and small communities across the United States.  Let our team of recruitment professionals guide you to the perfect fit for your career and for your family.  Reach out today to secure your tomorrow.

Finding Physician Opportunities

Finding Non-traditional Physician Opportunities with the Help of a Recruiter

In today’s hot physician job market, many physicians assume that when the time comes for a job search, it will seem like catching fish in a barrel.  While partly true because the demand far exceeds the supply of available physicians, many doctors are missing out on opportunities that only a recruiter can help them find.

What You Should Know About Physician Compensation

What You Should Know About Physician Compensation

Different physician employment models can have a significant impact on how a physician is compensated. If you’re like the 69% of physicians that are employed, then your compensation formula can look much different than a self-employed…

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Physicians and Mental Health Access in the United States

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According to the Journal of American Medical Association, nearly 1 in 5 people in the U.S. are afflicted with some form of mental health condition.  If this trend isn’t concerning enough, the Health Resources and Services Administration reported in 2016 that the supply of select behavioral health professionals is 250,000 short of what the nation’s demand will be by the year 2025.  Not surprisingly, as the situation worsens over time, primary care physicians will have to shoulder the burden.

Long waiting lists for mental health services are nothing new in many communities across the U.S., and the unfortunate aspect is that many of these patients are giving up on treatment rather than waiting.

“I often have a patient who clearly needs to see a psychiatrist, but is unable to get an appointment for another six months!” -Dr. G., New Jersey

In other instances where mental health access is available, insurance plans with notoriously low coverage options are making it difficult for patients to get the coverage they need.

One positive development, although it is also contributing to the demand for mental health services exceeding supply, is that awareness efforts nationwide are lessening the social stigmas attached to mental health issues.  Further, the clear relationship between mental health and physical health are changing both attitudes and approaches to healthcare delivery in clinics and practices nationwide.

One model in practice, referred to as SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment), originated through a 2009 North Carolina Medical Journal paper.1 Research from that paper identified that approximately 70% of all primary care visits could be attributed to behavioral or mental health issues.  If nothing else, these staggering numbers clearly demonstrate the need for additional mental health services training in the primary care setting, but also the necessary linkage to mental health providers and services.

A 2016 Ohio State University College of Medicine study 2 concluded that while mental health screenings are important in primary care settings, additional training and education for providers on mental health issues and medications is critical.  Additionally, providers need to be more cognizant of the community mental and behavioral health services that are available and to ensure they are maintaining those relationships to key services for their patients.

“Innovative ways of creating access to mental health services include telepsychiatry, where the psychiatric resource is brought to the patient, rather than the other way around.” -Dr. H., Wisconsin

In many rural communities, the availability of mental health services is often a multiple hour drive away.  In these circumstances, providers are relying on technology to create accessibility to services. The utilization of telemedicine technology provides a platform for mental health care providers to evaluate, treat, and manage medications for their patient at a distance. Integrating that care in consult with the primary care physician or family practitioner allows them to work together and achieve better results.

As with every challenge that ultimately crops up within the healthcare industry, the solutions require multi-faceted approaches that are supported from the federal level on down through the state and local level. In many cases, the best solutions will originate at the local level and work up as opposed to down from the federal government.  At the federal level, legislators need to create more incentives for healthcare professionals to follow a mental health services tract, insurance companies must reinforce their subscriber’s ability to seek treatment by providing the coverage necessary and also to reimburse at appropriate levels. Locally, community leaders, physicians, and educators need to foster the linkage between physical care providers and mental health providers ensuring that those individuals that need treatment are referred consistently to the appropriate entity where they can receive the help they need.

 

1 Collins, Chris, North Carolina Medical Journal, “Integrating Behavioral and Mental Health Services into the Primary Care Setting”, 2009.
2 Murray, Kelsey, Ohio State University College of Medicine, “A Survey of Mental Health Needs in a Primary Care Setting”, 2016

 

reducing paper to help combat physician burnout

Reducing Paperwork to Help Combat Physician Burnout

In January, Medscape released the results of their 2019 National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report.  This comprehensive report collected information from 15,000 physicians in 29 different…

Physician Bonuses and Benefits

Understanding Physician Bonuses and Benefits

Physician salaries continue to rise, although more modestly than in years past. You may find that hard to believe considering the 24-7 handwringing over…

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2019 Hiring Outlook for Residents

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If 2019 is your last year of residency, you are probably in the full-on throes of securing your first job post-residency!  While it can be a stressful time, it is also an opportunity to solidify the notion of getting your physician career off to a successful start.  Since 2019 will be spent exploring opportunities, let’s take a look at what is in store for Residents this year.

The good news is that you chose a career that is in high demand and will be for the foreseeable future.  In 2018, physician jobs grew by 7% compared to 5.1% in 2017.  As the national economy continues to grow, more people will be in the workforce, presumably leading to more individuals having company provided healthcare.  Here are several things to consider when exploring your post-residency job opportunities.

Geography Matters.  As it does in real estate, location can play a large part in deciding on your first job.  Those who are flexible in where they settle down will have greater choice and opportunities.  For example, while physician job postings across the board grew significantly in 2018, the overall demand was highly dependent upon geography. Growth was highest in areas like Tucson (20%), Los Angeles and Chicago (19%), Little Rock, Arkansas (18%), and Baltimore (17%).

Consider going country.  Many young physicians are drawn to large urban areas with the idea that it is where they will earn the most money.  While true in many cases, it also comes with its share of cautionary tales.  Large urban practices are not for everybody, and some young doctors can get lost in the shuffle.  An alternative may be to practice in a rural setting where you may have an opportunity to begin your career with better work/life balance.  Practicing in a smaller community setting gives you a sense of stature, and forces you to utilize all of your skills (and develop new ones).  Plus, compensation concerns are not the issue they were in the past.

Do your homework.  Because of the demand market, there is no need to jump at the first opportunity you are presented with during your job search.  Instead, treat each opportunity as you would a puzzling medical condition. Avoid jumping right in with a decision and do some homework on the organization. How stable is their leadership team, do they have a solid strategic plan for addressing the rapidly changing healthcare landscape?  If it is a smaller physician practice, what is their rate of turnover, are any key players planning to leave or retire? Understanding the business is just as important as the nuts and bolts of any offers they are presenting.

Culture and fit matters.  As important as it is for you to understand the organization as a business, it is equally important to understand its workplace culture.  The interview process is a good place to assess the culture of a potential work environment.  Spend some time in the coffee shop or cafeteria and strike up a conversation with some of the physicians or residents you meet. If it is an opportunity out of state or in a location you are unfamiliar with, spend time in the community, and visit the chamber of commerce to learn about recreational and cultural activities.  All of this matters if you want to set yourself up for making the right decision.

Only you can determine the best “first” job for your career as a physician.  It takes introspection to determine what type of practice setting is going to be your best opportunity for success. No physician wants to jump into what they thought was the perfect opportunity, only to find themselves exhausted, disillusioned, and back out on a new job search within a few short years.

If you are looking for a career partner that can help you navigate the process of finding a successful opportunity post-residency, Jackson Physician Search has an experienced team of recruitment professionals and a nationwide network of relationships to help you find your best fit. Contact us today.

What You Should Know About Physician Compensation

What You Should Know About Physician Compensation

Physician salaries are increasing at a slower pace. According to the AMGA, 2017 was the first year that physician compensation increased by less than 2%…

Comprehensive Resident Job Search Guide

Residency may seem like a huge hurdle but becoming a resident is a major accomplishment. All your hard work and studying puts you one step closer to the…

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Understanding Physician Bonuses and Benefits

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Physician salaries continue to rise, although more modestly than in years past. You may find that hard to believe considering the 24-7 handwringing over the physician shortage, but have no doubt that physician compensation is still rising and becoming more complex.  After all, it is simple economics, as demand rises and supply stays the same or fails to rise commensurately, the cost (in this case salary) is going to rise.  For example, according to Medscape’s Physician Compensation Report 2018 average salaries for Primary Care and Specialties rose between 3 and 5% from 2017.  Hospitals and health systems are finding other ways to compensate physicians than base salary.  Many bonuses and benefits are not available everywhere but are often based on setting and geographic area.  Let’s try and make sense of some of the more popular physician bonuses and benefits.

Guaranteed Salary

This is one piece of your compensation package that is helpful to have your lawyer examine. Depending on your contract, this may be a 100% guarantee that you will earn X annually, or there may be a lower annual guarantee that includes incentive triggers that when met will increase your overall compensation. When incentives are involved, you will want to understand RVU’s and how they are tied to your salary.

Sign-On Bonus

The competition for physicians across the spectrum of care has led to an increase in the prevalence and amount of sign-on bonuses.  Depending on geographic location, physicians may be seeing signing bonuses up to $40,000. On the flip side of that, some regions are only offering bonuses up to $7,000.  Where you are willing to work can be financially beneficial.

Student Loan Forgiveness

An increasingly popular bonus being offered to new physicians is student loan forgiveness in return for a commitment to a contractual length of stay in the position. Once, a mainstay of rural and community health recruiting, the fierce competition for physician’s services have made student loan forgiveness a major attraction in the recruitment process.

Malpractice/Liability insurance

Insurance to protect physicians against malpractice claims is the most frequently provided benefit. This is another benefit that you should have your lawyer review to ensure that you understand coverage limits, statutes of limitations upon your leaving the position, and other details.

Relocation Stipend

Another popular benefit to consider is the relocation benefit.  Relocation stipends can generally be negotiated depending on the geographic area and individual circumstances. In these cases, it is important to fully understand what the requirements are to earn the stipend and how it will be paid out.

Retention Bonus

Because of the rising costs associated with physician vacancies and recruitment, retention bonuses are becoming a popular addition to the physician compensation package.  This bonus can be paid incrementally throughout the length of the employment contract or in some cases upon completion of the contract.

Other bonuses and stipends can be available but are less common.  In some geographic locations, physicians may be offered with a vehicle stipend, housing allowance, parking stipends, and more depending on specific challenges that one might find in a certain area.  These aren’t as common as some other incentives you can find, but if you are working with a good recruiter, they can alert you to many of the available perks.

To learn more about physician compensation or to work with a career partner who can assist you in finding the right opportunity to match your skills and career goals, contact Jackson Physician Search today.

Physician Career on Fire

Is Your Physician Career on FIRE?

Not in the literal sense, but many physicians today are working to ensure that their career is on FIRE.  FIRE as in Financial Independence, Retire Early!  

What You Should Know About Physician Compensation

What You Should Know About Physician Compensation

Different physician employment models can have a significant impact on how a physician is compensated. If you’re like the 69% of physicians that are…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

Is Your Physician Career on FIRE?

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Not in the literal sense, but many physicians today are working to ensure that their career is on FIRE.  FIRE as in Financial Independence, Retire Early!  The acronym stands for something that many of us want to achieve, but so few are able.  Physicians are in a high demand, high salary field and have that opportunity if their sights are set in that direction.  Let’s take a look at things to consider while getting your career on track for FIRE.

For starters, to learn more directly about other physicians who are working toward FIRE, consider joining almost 10,000 of your fellow MD’s and DO’s who have joined the Physicians on FIRE Facebook page here.

It’s Not All About What You Earn

Sure, salary is a large component of your ability to gain enough financial control for FIRE, but it is equally about how much you spend.  It’s never too late to make the necessary changes in your career or in your personal life to regain that control. If you’ve become complacent where you are at, you may be missing out on other opportunities that will improve your earnings power.  Still saddled with student loan debt? You are not alone.  More than 60% of medical students graduate with over $150,000 in debt. It’s time to find an employer who is willing to help out with that.  What about credit card debt?  Make a plan to consolidate it and get out from under it.  Purposeful spending doesn’t mean you have to give up your lifestyle.  It does mean, you have to decide on what is most important and what can be put aside until later.

But I Like What I Do  

The beauty of setting yourself up for early retirement and financial independence is that you are creating your own terms. If you truly want to create financial independence for yourself and family, then working toward that goal is merely “setting the table” for you to make a decision when the time is right. According to a 2016 survey, 47% of physicians indicated that they planned to retire earlier than expected.  There is a very good chance that when the time comes, and you are financially independent, you will begin thinking about other things that feed your sense of fulfillment. When you have reached FI, no one is going to force you out of practicing medicine, in fact with the continuing doctor shortage, just the opposite will occur, but you will be in the position to practice just how you like.

Practice How You Want

Being a practicing physician has been your focus for the majority of your life. Naturally, it can be disconcerting to think about what comes after you stop seeing patients.  Truthfully, that is more of a personal retirement question, than a FIRE scenario.  The end goal of FIRE is for you to be free to do what you are really passionate about. If you still want to practice medicine, you’ll be free to do it on your own terms. You might want to transition into teaching or research, and FIRE will allow you to do so without worrying about how that will affect your lifestyle.

Making a commitment to financial independence is within your control.  The idea is to reach that point of independence before you begin thinking about life after the practice.  Maybe your work and life experiences have created the itch to pen the next great American novel, or you can’t stop thinking about spending all of your time between the beach and the golf course.  Whatever it is, you have earned it.  By making financial decisions now, your FIRE can be stoked when the right time arrives.

If you want to explore physician career opportunities that can help you achieve financial and personal goals, contact a Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional today.

Physicians Can Improve Their Job Satisfaction

Five Ways Physicians Can Improve Their Job Satisfaction

Is your career as a physician becoming less satisfying?  Ranked as one of the most trusted professions, some doctors today are not feeling the love.  According to a 2018 Medscape survey, more than 50%…

2018 Physician Compensation Surveys

Read Between the Lines to Understand the 2018 Physician Compensation Surveys

Each year, a variety of physician salary surveys are published with varying degrees of detail and context. Charts and tables deliver a wealth of information, but you need to read between the lines…

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How a Recruiter Can Help You Get Your Foot in the Door

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Dr. Iswanto Sucandy had an impressive background and was in the process of finishing up his clinical fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, after previously completing one at Yale.  A surgeon, whose specialty was in the treatment of liver and pancreatic disease, he was looking for a position that would allow him to continue his research into the surgical techniques needed to treat cancer.  At Yale, Dr. Sucandy was trained in Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery, while his training at UPMC included Hepatobiliary surgery.  His time at UPMC had earned him some renown for pioneering minimally invasive liver and pancreas resections. In May of 2016, Carly Clem, Senior Director of Recruiting at Jackson Physician Search contacted the promising young liver specialist believing she had an appropriate placement opportunity for him.

Carly knew this would be a great opportunity for Dr. Sucandy even if it would take a little convincing on her part.  At first, the hospital was a bit hesitant because they had been looking for a surgeon with years of experience and Dr. Sucandy was a new graduate.  But, she knew that he would thrive at Florida Hosptial if just given the opportunity.  She eventually convinced Florida Hospital to grant Dr. Sucandy an interview, and as expected, they soon learned just how impressive he was.  He nailed the interview process, and Florida Hospital couldn’t wait to get him on their team.

The rest, as they say, is history!  Dr. Sucandy has been doing amazing work at Florida Hospital and is earning a worldwide reputation for his surgical advancements.  In a recent case, he and another surgeon at Florida Hospital, performed a 3.5-hour operation on a patient to remove a tumor that had invaded two-thirds of her liver. Even the most minor error could have caused immediate death for the patient. Dr. Sucandy’s procedure was successful, and the patient is now cancer-free.

Stories like this one are not uncommon in physician recruitment.  A good recruiter, like Carly, learns about the facilities where she is trying to place a doctor, and also gets to know her physicians. She convinced Florida Hospital to give Dr. Sucandy an interview because she recognized that he would be a great fit, and with his impressive skillset would have an opportunity to be successful there.

To learn more about what a recruitment professional can do for your career, contact Jackson Physician Search today.

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