As one of the harder specialties to recruit, it’s not unusual for Gastroenterology job openings to remain vacant for more than a year. With demand for cancer screenings increasing and only 500 GI fellows coming out of training each year, the problem is worsening. The latest projections show a shortage of 1,630 Gastroenterologists by the year 2025. One Jackson Physician Search client in a major Midwestern metro was already facing this reality. Patient demand had been trending upward for years, but despite their periodic attempts to add a Gastroenterologist, they had not been able to secure a promising candidate.
Regional VP of Recruitment Tara Osseck had a long history of success with the client, and she remained confident that she would find the right candidate for the job. She consistently revisited the candidate sourcing strategy and discussed possible options with her client. They needed to hire a Gastroenterologist, but only if they found a truly well-suited candidate.
A Gastroenterologist Seeking a Change
Meanwhile, a Gastroenterologist working at a nearby hospital was desperate for a change. Like many physicians coming out of the pandemic, Dr. E felt disappointed by the way his employer had handled the shutdown, and leadership changes at the organization had caused him to lose hope that circumstances might improve. He no longer felt his values aligned, but Dr. E was trapped. The non-compete clause in his contract limited his ability to find another GI job in town, but due to his family’s roots in the community, relocation simply wasn’t an option. He began to apply for jobs outside of the non-compete radius, accepting the fact that he would face a long commute or even have to spend several nights a week in a different city, away from his family.
It was in applying to one of these GI jobs that Dr. E connected with Katie Moeller, Director of Recruiting at JPS. When she learned more about his situation, she introduced him to Tara. The non-compete would likely be a problem, but she felt it was worth having a conversation.
Recruiter Thinks Outside the Box (and the Non-Compete Radius)
Tara was thrilled to have an interested, qualified candidate. She asked him questions to uncover why he was unhappy with his current employer and what specifically he was looking for in his next physician job. Dr. E explained his disappointment with the changes his current organization had experienced. He was production driven and motivated to work hard, but he wanted to be a part of a more collaborative group. Hearing all of this, Tara felt certain her client would be a good fit.
Of course, the non-compete was problematic, but Tara knew the client well and wondered if Dr. E could be based in one of its satellite offices that were outside the non-compete radius. She felt it was worth presenting the candidate to the client and seeing if they would be open to the idea.
The client was receptive to Tara’s creative proposal and eager to meet Dr. E. They scheduled an interview within a week of Tara presenting him. Sure enough, Dr. E impressed everyone he met, and he was drawn to the unique culture of the organization. He knew the opportunity would provide the change he had been seeking.
Due to the complicated circumstances, it would take several months to iron out the logistics of the contract. Tara stayed involved throughout the process to streamline communication and keep negotiations moving. When the contract was finally signed, all parties were extremely grateful.
Secrets of Physician Recruitment Success: Teamwork and Creativity
Dr. E was happy to find a job that aligned with his values right in his hometown, and Tara’s client was thrilled to fill the long-vacant position with an experienced Gastroenterologist with strong ties to the community. Tara attributes the initial success to the culture of teamwork at Jackson Physician Search. Her colleague Katie Moeller had Dr. E’s best interests in mind when she introduced him to Tara.
From there, it was Tara’s in-depth knowledge of the client’s needs, methods, and locational geography that allowed her to think outside the box and find a way to work around Dr. E’s non-compete. Had Dr. E applied for the job directly, the non-compete would have caused them to turn him away without a second thought. However, because of her long-standing relationship with the client, Tara was aware of the satellite office and thought it was worth exploring the idea with the client. Ultimately, she was right!
When all was said and done, Tara’s outside-the-box idea not only solved Dr. E’s non-compete problem, but it also solved her client’s long-standing physician vacancy problem.
“It was really satisfying to bring this search to a close,” Tara says. “Especially so, because I just know Dr. E is going to knock it out of the park and build a phenomenal practice with my client.”
If you want to work with a physician recruiter partner that will bring creative recruitment solutions and well-suited candidates, the team at Jackson Physician Search would love to get to know you and find out how we can help. Contact a Search Consultant today to learn more.
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