Recruiter’s Creative Problem-Solving Helps Client Hire Gastroenterologist


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.

The Importance of Building Trust With Physicians (And How to Do It)

The first step toward easing physician burnout is creating an atmosphere of trust where physicians can communicate their concerns and feel confident that leadership is working towards solutions…

Hospital Trusts Recruiter to Evaluate J-1 Physician Candidates and Hires Ideal Neurologist

When Katie Moeller advised her client to consider J-1 physician candidates, they agreed–but only if she took the time to evaluate each one. That’s exactly what Katie did, and the client reaped the rewards…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

How to Fight Physician Executive Burnout


Healthcare experts often point to rising physician burnout as the root cause of broader industry issues such as high physician turnover, low retention rates, and long recruitment cycles. When burned-out physicians opt to leave their jobs, it can cost their employers millions in lost opportunity and recruitment expenses. The cost to patients can be even greater, as studies indicate that physicians suffering from burnout are more likely to make mistakes.   

The negative impact of physician burnout is clear, but physicians aren’t the only healthcare professionals suffering from the physical and mental exhaustion that characterizes burnout. According to a September 2022 MGMA Stat Poll, 80% of healthcare leaders, including physician executives, report increased stress or burnout over the previous year. In contrast, an MGMA poll from four years earlier found that less than half (48%) of healthcare leaders reported feeling burned out. Of course, after a global pandemic and widespread staffing shortages, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that healthcare executives report increased burnout. But while the industry acknowledges and attempts to address the problem of physician burnout, the impact of burnout among physician executives and other healthcare leaders is less clear. The question remains, how is burnout among these leaders impacting organizations, and what can be done to mitigate the problem? 

3 Ways to Mitigate Burnout Among Physician Executives

We know burnout drives physician turnover, so it follows that burnout among physician executives contributes to increased executive turnover. This certainly seemed to be the case earlier this year. The monthly Challenger CEO Report, which documents turnover among CEOs in the US, showed record numbers of hospital CEOs leaving their jobs in the first few months of 2022. Fortunately, those figures stabilized in the latter part of the year, and yet, the challenge of developing and retaining healthcare and physician leaders remains. In an industry plagued with financial, regulatory, and staffing challenges, attracting and retaining leaders who are willing and able to take on these obstacles is an ongoing problem. 

Healthcare leaders face monumental challenges that make it especially challenging to remain motivated and engaged. For this reason, organizations must find ways to better support physician executives and healthcare leaders, and the leaders themselves must employ strategies to ward off the feelings of fatigue, self-doubt, and lack of empathy associated with burnout. Keep reading for three areas of focus for individuals battling burnout.  

1. Prioritize Wellness (and Sleep)

With Millennials now accounting for more than a third of the workforce, the values associated with their generation, such as personal wellness, work-life balance, and collaboration, are increasingly important. This is true across industries, demonstrated by the rise of Chief Wellness Officers at organizations globally. The healthcare industry is not exempt from these shifting priorities. According to a joint Jackson Physician Search and MGMA study, Back from Burnout: Confronting the Post-Pandemic Physician Turnover Crisis, physicians rank work-life balance among the top factors contributing to job satisfaction. In a study exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the physician job market, recruitment leaders at Jackson Physician Search reported a spike in candidates entering a job search in search of a better work-life balance.  

What is true for clinical physicians is also true for physician executives and healthcare leaders. Time away from work is essential. Studies show that adequate sleep is also critical in battling burnout. In fact, a key takeaway from an American College of Healthcare Executive study in the Journal of Healthcare Management was the importance of sleep in the reduction of burnout.    

Takeaway: Healthcare leaders and physician executives must obtain adequate sleep and take advantage of paid time off and flexible schedules to counteract burnout. Organizations should incorporate wellness into the culture by offering flexible schedules, encouraging employees to take time off, and developing programs to improve the physical and emotional health of employees. 

2. Seek External Collaboration 

Healthcare leaders face significant challenges — financial, staffing, and regulatory. This is true for organizations large and small, urban and rural, private and public. Instead of fighting the battles from the silo of a single organization, leaders will benefit from exchanging ideas, sharing triumphs and failures, and collaborating with other organizations. The state of Michigan demonstrates how this type of collaboration improves patient care and lowers costs. According to a Harvard Business Review article, a consortium that began with five hospitals grew to include fifty organizations sharing information about how they treated cardiovascular disease. This transparency led to improvements in the quality of care and a reduction in costs, complications, and readmissions. The success of the BCM2 led to more collaborative quality initiatives in the state, where the costs of care are now among the lowest in the country. 

Michigan proves collaboration benefits the broader industry, but it follows that a collaborative approach to problem-solving would also benefit the industry’s physician leaders by alleviating pressure and expanding their toolbox. For this reason, collaboration is high on the list of ways to combat executive burnout.  

Takeaway: Don’t face challenges alone. With respect for your organization’s information-sharing policies, seek allies at competing organizations to identify mutual challenges and develop solutions. This collaborative approach to problem-solving — at both the individual and organizational levels — can help everyone involved keep feelings of burnout at bay. 

3. Embrace a Purpose and Growth Mindset

An analysis of the ACHE study noted that lower professional fulfillment scores correlated with higher levels of burnout, indicating physician executives and healthcare leaders who feel their work is meaningful are less likely to experience burnout. For this reason, it’s imperative that these leaders find ways to stay connected to their broader purpose and focus on the ways the work they do contributes to their communities. 

Self-valuation is also factored into an individual’s level of burnout. The study identifies self-valuation as a measure of one’s tendency to respond to personal imperfections with the desire to learn and improve rather than with self-disparagement. Individuals responding with the former, often referenced as a “growth mindset,” reported lower levels of burnout. 

Takeaway: If healthcare executives hope to avoid burnout, they must adopt a growth mindset and find ways to stay connected to their broader purpose. Organizations should develop a culture in which employees are encouraged to learn from failure. The mission and impact of the organization on the surrounding community should be woven into the culture as well. 

Healthcare leaders, including physician executives, have spent nearly three years facing unprecedented circumstances, not to mention the longstanding issues that plague the industry. Rising burnout among leaders, while not surprising, must not be dismissed. Just as physician burnout has a rippling impact on the broader industry, burnout among healthcare leaders is also detrimental. While the solution to burnout is complicated and requires organizational intervention, leaders who prioritize wellness, collaborate with peers, adopt a growth mindset, and reconnect with their purpose may fare better than their peers. 

If physician recruitment challenges are contributing to your stress and burnout, reach out to the Search Consultants at Jackson Physician Search to learn how we can alleviate the burdensome tasks of physician recruitment.

5 Must-Haves for Successful Physician Executive Recruitment

Organizations must have a well-defined process that includes these five things if they hope to successfully identify and recruit physician executive candidates…

The Importance of Building Trust with Physicians (And How to Do It)

New research from JPS and MGMA suggests an important step in easing physician burnout is creating an atmosphere of trust where physicians can communicate concerns and feel confident that leadership is working towards solutions…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

Following the Path to Physician Executive Jobs


Most physicians thrive on challenges. Throughout undergrad, medical school, residency, and fellowship, they are striving to make good grades, impress their professor or attending physician, and acquire the knowledge and experience they need to move to the next level. When these hardworking physicians eventually complete their training and begin their first physician jobs, the need to achieve doesn’t fade away. It will likely be channeled into building a practice and/or amassing RVUs to meet productivity goals. Ambitious physicians will continue to find ways to impress leadership, win favor with patients, increase their earnings, and perhaps, take on more responsibility as a physician executive. If this describes you, you’ll want to keep reading for advice on how to prepare for physician executive jobs. 

The Path to Physician Executive

For most working professionals, the path to leadership involves climbing a fairly straightforward corporate ladder. You put in a few years as an associate and will eventually be promoted to manager. Do your time as a manager, and soon you’ll be on the path to becoming a director and eventually a VP. If you have an MBA (or earn it online after work), you may even make it to the C-suite. With each promotion, responsibility grows, and compensation increases.

For physicians, the path to leadership is not quite as clear, nor is it always quite as enticing. While a physician executive title holds some prestige, the notable challenges facing healthcare leaders today may discourage even the most driven physicians from pursuing this path. The fact that the path to becoming a physician leader is not well defined is also problematic. Even physicians who want to learn leadership skills and increase their knowledge of the business of healthcare don’t often receive this kind of training. In fact, according to a September MGMA Stat poll, just 53% of medical groups provide any type of management training to staff. 

The Need for Physician Executives

Despite the fact that half of medical groups don’t offer physician leadership training, organizations increasingly recognize the value that physicians bring to healthcare leadership roles and are hiring more physician executives. Physician leaders have firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing physicians and their patients. This empathy allows them to make decisions with an understanding of the organization’s goals, as well as the needs of physicians and patients. Their experience in both the business of healthcare and the delivery of patient care gives physician executives the ideal perspective from which to make decisions that impact the entire organization.

Physician executives may also serve as liaisons between providers and other administrators. In this role, physician executives have the potential to improve communication, which, according to a joint JPS-MGMA study, is a top desire of physicians and thus essential to mitigating physician burnout and increasing physician retention. 

Be Proactive in Your Own Development

If you are up for the challenge of physician leadership, don’t wait for a supervisor to approach you with a training manual. Even if your organization offers leadership development for physicians, you may need to use your voice to express your interest. You may begin by raising your hand to join committees and attend conferences. Offer to serve as a peer mentor to a new physician. Show yourself to be an engaged and helpful team member, then talk to your supervisor about your desire to lead and ask for his or her thoughts on the specific leadership skills you need to learn. 

According to Dirk Jansson, Director of Physician Executive Search at Jackson Physician Search, the most effective physician executives lead by example and have the respect of their peers. While he acknowledges that the role of physician executive is different for each organization, ideal candidates have certain soft skills in common. They have high emotional intelligence and are active listeners, good communicators, and excel at developing relationships. 

These types of skills aren’t covered in medical school and may not be innate to your personality, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be learned. If your employer does not offer a leadership development program, you’ll need to identify mentors who can help you learn those essential leadership skills. 

External Physician Executive Training 

Of course, leadership skills and business acumen can be acquired in other ways too. An increasing number of physicians are choosing to pursue an MHA or MBA–either in conjunction with an MD or after the fact. If you did not choose the former option, the availability of online graduate programs makes it possible to obtain an additional degree with minimal disruption to your practice. 

The American Association of Physician Leaders also serves as a valuable resource for current and future physician leaders. The organization is dedicated to preparing physicians to be influential and effective leaders. The AAPL offers a variety of self-study CME courses for physician leaders at every stage of their careers. Those completing the full curriculum are eligible to receive the Physician Executive Certification. Some classes may also count toward advanced degrees through partner universities. 

Get Involved

However you choose to pursue it, you will need a keen understanding of the business of healthcare if you hope to become a physician executive. Books, courses, and mentors can provide instruction and insight, but the best way to learn is to see it firsthand. Find ways to get involved in (or at least observe) the decision-making process at your organization. Ask questions to better understand the thought process leading up to specific changes in policy.

Healthcare organizations recognize the value of physician leaders, and most would prefer to promote from within rather than hire externally. So, even if your employer doesn’t specifically offer leadership training, you can easily make a case for why they should support you in your efforts to learn. By pursuing physician leadership skills, you can better serve the organization and the surrounding community. Not to mention you will be helping your employer build an internal pipeline of future physician leaders. 

Of course, if your employer simply cannot offer the professional development you need to put you on the path to a physician executive job, reach out to the Jackson Physician Search recruitment team today to inquire about opportunities that may be a better fit for your future goals. 

Beating Physician Burnout: 5 Things to Ask of Your Employer

Nearly half of physicians in a recent study say their employers are the primary cause of their burnout. It’s time to have an honest conversation with your manager about the issues that you feel contribute to burnout and the potential ways your manager could solve or improve those issues…

Pediatrician Takes a Chance on a Small Town and Finds a Practice to Call Home

Senior Search Consultant Sydney Johnson suggests a compromise between a Pediatrician and a small-town physician group, ultimately satisfying everyone…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

Strong Access to Physician Executive Candidates Drives Quick Placement for a Healthcare Tech Company


When a California-based healthcare technology company needed to hire a Vice President of Life Sciences, they were hoping to find an experienced physician executive to run the division. The company’s CEO knew Jackson Physician Search had strong access to physician executives and were experts in physician executive recruitment, so he brought the need directly to JPS President Tony Stadjuhar, whom he knew personally. Tony was intrigued by the company’s mission–to improve quality and lower costs by using technology to measure clinical practice–and he was confident his physician executive recruitment team could help them hire the leader they needed. 

A Unique Physician Executive Search

Because the position was with an industry business rather than a healthcare delivery organization, the assignment was unique for Jackson Physician Search. However, Regional VP of Recruiting Helen Falkner eagerly took on the challenge. She enjoyed getting to know the company’s leadership and digging into the corporate mission so she could fully understand the need. The new hire would be focused on scaling the business, so the ideal candidate would have not only clinical research experience but also a keen interest in business development and growth. Helen knew this combination of traits and experience was rare among physician executives, but she was confident that she could find the right person for the job.

Helen crafted the job ad to include the required skills and experience and also highlight the most appealing aspects of the opportunity. Though she had some concerns about the compensation, she hoped the unique and exciting nature of the role would draw the attention of the right candidates. She began her search by leveraging the JPS network of physician job boards to distribute the ad and posted it to broader healthcare industry job boards as well. 

Beyond Physician Executives

While the client originally sought a physician with a background in clinical research, Helen knew the top priority for the new hire would be growing the business. The client was also open to hiring a non-physician candidate, a Ph.D. with medical research experience. With the depth of resources at JPS, Helen would be able to connect with both types of candidates. The client requested Helen bring them candidates as she screened them, rather than wait for a slate of four or five. This way, they could provide ongoing feedback to help her discern what they liked and disliked as well as accelerate the search. 

Helen found several candidates whom she presented to the client. She connected with one physician candidate after seeing his profile on Doximity, the largest online networking site for physicians. She reached out to another whom she had discovered in the JPS physician database. Her most promising candidate, however, was a Ph.D. who had seen the ad on one of the industry job boards. He had a background in medical research and extensive experience working with government health services both at home and abroad.

“Dr. D had spent years working to improve healthcare in Africa,” Helen explains. “The COVID pandemic made him realize how much work there was to be done right in the US, so he moved back to the States where he was working as Chief of Epidemiology for a major metro. He helped the city manage the COVID crisis but was ready for a new challenge.”

After talking at length with Dr. D, Helen was convinced his experience was exactly right for the position. She presented him to the client, and they called him the next day.  

The Right Leader, the Right Opportunity

The candidate impressed everyone he spoke to over the phone. The client’s leaders agreed that he would be an excellent fit for the role and moved quickly to secure him for the role. For Dr. D, the growth-oriented role with an innovative company was exactly what he had been looking for. Even his compensation expectations were in line with what the client was offering. 

“Once they began talking to Dr. D, the process moved quickly,” Helen says. “They extended an offer and Dr. D accepted. The entire search took less than three months!” 

Helen credits the client’s responsiveness and open communication with the quick success. The leaders’ accessibility and transparency allowed her to hone in on what was most important in the role. Once she brought them the right candidate, their ability to act quickly–scheduling interviews and extending the offer–helped to reduce the overall time-to-fill.

“Both the CEO and the founder were very hands-on,” she explains. “We spoke every other week and they provided specific feedback on what they liked or did not like about a candidate. This allowed me to better understand what they wanted, so when I spoke to Dr. D, I knew he was the one.”

Helen enjoyed the unique nature of this healthcare executive search, and in the end, she found immense satisfaction in placing an effective leader with an innovative company making a positive impact on healthcare. 

If your organization is seeking a strong healthcare leader, the physician executive recruitment team at Jackson Physician Search has both expertise and unparalleled access to physician executives to identify the right candidates for the role. Contact us today to learn more about physician executive recruitment.

5 Must-Haves for Successful Physician Executive Recruitment

Healthcare organizations increasingly recognize the value that physicians bring to healthcare leadership roles. It’s critical that organizations have a well-defined process for identifying and recruiting physician executive candidates…

Physician Executive Recruiting: Longtime Client Hires the Medical Director They Need

The process of recruiting a physician executive is more complex than traditional physician recruitment, with more potential complications in the contract negotiations for example….

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

Physician Executive Recruiting: Longtime Client Hires the Medical Director They Need


Senior Director of Recruiting Sally Ann Patton is no stranger to the challenges of rural physician recruitment. Over the years, she has successfully recruited multiple physicians for a hospital client in rural West Virginia in a town about an hour from Pittsburgh. Leveraging a 100% digital recruitment strategy, she helped them identify strong physician candidates who would be willing to relocate and build their lives in the area.

In 2020, the hospital came to Sally Ann for assistance recruiting a Hematology-Oncology physician who could potentially fill the role of Medical Director. The current Medical Director would be stepping down in the upcoming year, and as part of their medical staff planning, they wanted to get started on the search for a replacement. 

Detailed Profiling for Physician Executive Search

Due to the existing relationship, Sally Ann was already well-versed on the client’s values and culture, but she wanted to make sure that she knew what they were looking for in an ideal physician executive candidate. To ensure alignment, she conducted several conversations with the board and other stakeholders. The ideal candidate would lead by example and serve as a liaison between physicians and administrators. He or she would be a natural teacher, as mentoring other physicians would be a big part of the job. Sally Ann emphasized these points as she crafted the physician job ad. Once this critical step was complete, the ad was posted to the JPS network of physician job boards.

The JPS Marketing Team also sent an email featuring the physician job ad to physicians in their vast database who matched the hospital’s criteria. Sally Ann ensured “Medical Director Opportunity” was included in the subject line, along with a reference to the nearest major city, Pittsburgh. She was confident that the right physician would see the ad and reach out for more information. 

A Successful Physician Seeking Work-Life Balance 

A Hematologist, Dr. B, was working in academia at a university in Ohio. Between the clinic and the classroom, her schedule was packed. The time she did spend at home with her young children was often spent writing or reviewing papers. She was regularly published in medical journals and was on track for a full professorship, but at what cost to her family? At what cost to her mental health?

It wasn’t only her young children that caused Dr. B’s concern. Her parents, who lived in Pittsburgh, visited often, but their ability to make multiple trips each year would diminish with age. And what would happen when they eventually needed her help? How could she care for them while living so far away? 

All of this was on Dr. B’s mind when she saw the email featuring the Medical Director job from Jackson Physician Search. The Medical Director opportunity appealed to Dr. B’s need for challenge and growth, and the location was ideal in proximity to her parents. 

Ready to Lead in Rural Medicine 

Dr. B reached out to Sally Ann, who immediately recognized that Dr. B. was more than qualified for the position. However, Sally Ann wondered if this highly lauded physician from the world of academia would seriously consider a position with a rural hospital. While the “Medical Director” title carried some prestige, there would be no publications or accolades for the physician in the role. The focus would be a balance of management responsibilities and clinical work. Would this be enough to satisfy a physician like Dr. B?     

Sally Ann conveyed the reality of the role to Dr. B. and asked her to consider if the Medical Director job, as described, could make her happy. Dr. B insisted that it could. She needed a better work-life balance and the location was ideal. Despite Sally Ann’s initial reservations, she began to think it just might be a perfect fit. She presented Dr. B to the facility, and they were eager to proceed.  

Making it Happen: Negotiating the Physician Executive Contract  

Due to scheduling challenges, it would be several months before Dr. B could visit the facility for an on-site interview and community tour. When she was at last able to visit, the hospital leadership and staff liked her right away and did their best to make her feel at home. Dr. B enjoyed her visit, and after spending a few days in the community, seeing several neighborhoods and schools, she began to picture a life there. 

Imagining herself in the Medical Director job was one thing, but signing a contract was another. Dr. B pushed back on the facility’s first offer, and Sally Ann and her contact at the facility went back and forth on several rounds of negotiations. In the meantime, the hospital was being acquired by a nearby university system. This complicated the contract’s progress, but Sally Ann wondered if the facility’s new ties to an academic institution would make the job even more appealing to Dr. B. 

As contract negotiations continued, the hospital’s current Medical Director officially resigned, making leadership at the facility even more motivated to come to an agreement. Dr. B’s motivation was intensifying as well. That fall, her mom suffered a health scare, shining a light on one of the primary reasons Dr. B wanted to relocate–to be available for her parents. 

Finding the “Why” for a Physician Executive Search

The story demonstrates the importance of understanding the reason the physician executive candidate is considering a job change. Despite increasing rates of turnover, physicians don’t take job changes lightly–especially at the physician executive level. Something specific drives the desire for change, and it is rarely compensation alone. In Dr. B’s case, the driving factor was a desire for a better quality of life and proximity to family. Knowing this was pivotal to Sally Ann’s decision to present Dr. B to the client. It also impacted how the client went about persuading Dr. B to take the job. They emphasized the low-stress environment and the flexibility she would have to spend time with both her children and her parents. 

Administrators should know and consider the physician’s “why” when planning the on-site interview and community tour. Afterward, they should think beyond compensation and tailor the offer to ensure the new job will satisfy the “why.” 

Dr. B’s reasons were clear from that first conversation with Sally Ann. However, she needed reminders along the way. “I just kept bringing her back to her why,” Sally Ann explains. “When the logistics seemed complicated or the contract still wasn’t right, I’d say, ‘Remember why you are doing this. For your kids. For your parents. For your peace of mind.’ She needed to focus on that to keep moving forward.” 

Finding Fulfillment as a Physician Executive in Rural Medicine

The process of placing a physician executive is more complex than traditional physician recruitment, with more potential complications in the contract negotiations. Sally Ann remained involved in the process, and when the contract was finally signed by all parties, she felt tremendous satisfaction. 

“It was an especially fulfilling placement for me,” she said. “The community desperately needs good physicians and strong leaders, and now, they are getting one of the best.”

“This placement reflects the mission we have at JPS,” Sally Ann continues, “We strive ‘to improve the lives of everyone we touch,’ and I really felt that with this placement. Not only will Dr. B’s life improve, but she will have a tremendous impact on the lives of everyone in that community.”

If your healthcare organization needs help identifying a physician executive who can make a lasting impact, the team at Jackson Physician Search is ready to help. Contact the Physician Executive Recruitment Team today.

6 Things to Include in Your Formal Physician Retention Plan

Instead of merely recruiting to replace departing physicians, healthcare leaders must develop a formal physician retention plan that includes these six things…

Recruiter’s Creative Problem Solving Helps Client Hire Gastroenterologist

Tara Osseck had a long history of success with the client, and she was confident that with some creativity and determination, she would find the right Gastroenterologist for the job…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

5 Must-Haves for Successful Physician Executive Recruitment


Healthcare is facing tremendous challenges — staffing shortages, financial concerns, physician burnout, and more — and the industry will need strong leadership to guide it through these unprecedented times. Increasingly, healthcare organizations recognize the value that physicians bring to healthcare leadership roles and are hiring more physician executives. However, not all physicians will be interested in or successful at serving as leaders, so it’s critical that organizations have a well-defined process for identifying and recruiting physician executive candidates. 

Recruiting physician executives requires organizations to first have a well-defined vision for the role, and second, a vast network of potential physician executive candidates. Of course, this network won’t bring value without a recruiter focused on reaching out to the most promising candidates. Organizations must also have a well-organized on-site interview process to successfully evaluate (and win over) the top candidates. And lastly, a physician executive recruitment partner with a record of success will ease and speed up the entire process. Keep reading to learn more about the five must-haves of physician executive recruitment.  

Why Physician Executives?

While studies are inconclusive about the impact a physician CEO has on a hospital’s quality, most recognize that physician executives bring a unique understanding of the challenges facing healthcare providers and the patients they treat, as they have faced those problems firsthand. This empathy allows them to make decisions with an understanding of the organization’s goals, as well as the needs of physicians and patients. Their experience in both the business of healthcare and the delivery of patient care makes physician executives the ideal liaison between providers and administration. 

As liaisons, physician executives have the best chance of smoothing relationships between physicians and leadership, two parties occasionally at odds. In fact, in a recent JPS-MGMA study, physicians ranked two-way communication with management as the most important factor in job satisfaction–above compensation. However, when asked to rate their employers in this area, just one in four said two-way communication at their organization was “good” or “very good.” Physician executives have the ability to improve in this area and positively impact physician job satisfaction at their organizations.  

1. Defining the Physician Executive Role

Physician executives may be tasked with improving communication between physicians and administration or have a completely different priority set, like creating and standardizing protocols across a network of hospitals. It depends on the purpose and function assigned to the role by the organization’s leadership. Each organization will have a different idea of what role their physician executives should play. 

According to Dirk Jansson, Director of Physician Executive Search at Jackson Physician Search, each physician executive role is as unique as the hiring organization. Some physician executives will serve as a manager, solving physicians’ issues as they arise and keeping the team aligned with the organization’s culture and mission, while other physician executives may be hired to be transformative leaders, creating the organizational culture and leading by example among physicians. 

“The first step in physician executive recruitment is defining the role,” says Jansson. “The organization must come to a consensus on the purpose and function of the position, as well as the skills, experience, and leadership style required for the role. An effective physician executive recruitment partner will help the client organization define a single vision for the role and help tailor a profile of the ideal candidate.”

A good physician executive recruiter will visit the organization and meet with stakeholders to understand each individual’s thoughts about the role. The recruiter will take all of the input and help the group prioritize the skills and experience required for the role. When everyone is in agreement, the recruiter will craft a physician executive job ad that emphasizes the required skills and experience and highlights the most attractive features of the job, the organization, and the location.      

2. A Network of Physician Executive Candidates

Like digital physician recruitment, physician executive recruitment may also benefit from the distribution of job ads via online physician job boards, email, and text campaigns to relevant candidates in a vast database, and of course, online physician communities such as Doximity. For high-level searches, the number of qualified candidates will be slim, but the larger your network, the more likely the right candidate is already within reach.

Dirk Jansson believes this is why working with a recruitment firm whose focus is on physicians benefits clients searching for physician executives. 

“Most healthcare executive search firms conduct a heavy mix of non-physician administrative searches, so their databases and resources are mixed,” he explains. “On the other hand, Jackson Physician Search has spent over 40 years strictly focusing on the placement of physicians and physician leaders across the country, so quite often, we‘ll find the successful candidate is already within our system.” 

3. Physician Executive Outreach

Because most physician executives aren’t in an active job search, sourcing candidates for physician executive roles also requires a proactive approach.  It’s not enough to distribute the physician executive job ad to the database and wait for applications, because most physician executives aren’t applying for jobs. However, a physician executive search partner can build a pool of candidates most likely to be aligned with and attracted to the role.  They will prioritize their outreach efforts toward these candidates, and in many cases, network with those targeted candidates to identify additional leads.   

“A strong executive search consultant might make 20 calls and come away with 40 leads,” says Jansson. “By leveraging a strong network, the recruiter can identify and reach out to the best matches and potentially gain access to others who may be a good fit as well.” 

4. Interviewing Physician Executive Candidates 

Due to the busy schedules of candidates at this level, not to mention those of the executives and board members who will interview them, coordinating on-site interviews can be challenging. Conducting first-round interviews virtually allows stakeholders to meet and get to know candidates without the complicated logistics of bringing them on-site. Ideally, leadership can leverage virtual interviews to narrow it down to two candidates, who will then be invited to spend time at the organization and meet with leaders face to face. 

Just as they do with physician candidates, organizations must carefully plan on-site visits for physician executive candidates to demonstrate the best parts of the job, the facility, and the town. Leadership must present a unified message about the function and purpose of the role and how it will fit in with broader leadership goals. Physician executive candidates need transparency from leadership so they have an accurate picture of their potential role in the organization. Only then can both parties determine if there is a good match. 

5. The Case for a Physician Executive Recruitment Partner

Physician executives have the potential to not only impact their own patients but the entire patient population of the communities they serve. They recognize the value of human capital, lead by example, and have the ability to shape the culture of the organizations they lead.

When the stakes are this high, organizations will improve their odds by investing in a dedicated physician executive recruitment partner that has spent decades building relationships with physicians and physician leaders. Over the course of 10,000+ permanent placements, Jackson Physician Search has developed relationships with physicians all over the country, at all stages of their careers. Many of the physicians we placed 5 or 10 years ago have now moved on to leadership roles. When they are ready to grow again, they turn to the recruitment firm that took care of them in the past for help finding new physician executive opportunities–and we are happy to assist them. 

In addition to providing access to a vast network of physicians, a successful physician executive search firm will also serve as an extension of your team. Most internal recruitment teams do not have the bandwidth to dedicate a recruiter to physician executive outreach, but this is exactly what it takes to identify the best physician executive candidates. Our physician executive recruiters can also streamline the interview and contract process to ensure the process is moving in accordance with the desired timeline.  


As healthcare administrators increasingly seek to hire physician executives at their organizations, they must have five things for successful recruitment: 1) a unified vision of the function and purpose of the role, 2) a vast network of potential physician executive candidates, 3) a team member dedicated to physician executive outreach, 4) a well-organized physician executive interview process, and 5) a strong physician executive recruitment partner to fill in the inevitable gaps among the previous four.

The JPS Physician Executive Search team has the experience, network, and expertise required to provide you with the physician executive recruitment support you need. Contact our team today to learn more.  

Recruiter’s Creative Problem Solving Helps Client Hire Gastroenterologist

When a clause in a physician’s contract stood between her client and the ideal candidate for the job, Tara Osseck came up with a creative solution to solve the problem for everyone involved…

The Importance of Building Trust with Physicians (And How to Do It)

New research from JPS and MGMA suggests an important step in easing physician burnout is creating an atmosphere of trust where physicians can communicate concerns and feel confident that leadership is working towards solutions…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

6 Proactive Ways Physicians Can Improve Communication with Administrators


Dr. P was eager to sit down with her supervisor for the first time in four months. Lately, she was lucky if their monthly one-on-one meetings occurred once per quarter–something always seemed to come up that caused them to cancel or push it out. Everyone was so busy that no one had time for development meetings, or anything else for that matter. This was precisely what Dr. P was hoping to discuss today, and yet, she found herself sitting quietly as her manager outlined the various ways physicians would need to continue to “step up” for their patients and the practice. Dr. P wanted to take care of her patients, but she also knew her current workload was unsustainable. She thought this meeting would be the right place to initiate the conversation, and yet, it was clear her supervisor was not ready to hear it.

If Dr. P’s situation sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Joint research from MGMA and Jackson Physician Search shows burnout is still on the rise, and while administrators are aware that it’s a problem, they have yet to find an effective way to solve it. This may be due to the fact that the issues physicians face are complex and there is no easy solution. However, one notable point from the research is the importance physicians place on two-way communication with management. One might assume that the need to be heard would be simple for employers to meet, and yet, just one in four physicians in the study said two-way communication at their organization is “very good” or “good.” If you would like to see two-way communication improve at your organization, you may need to proactively initiate new processes to give you and your peers what you need.  

Burnout Increasing But Better Communication Can Help

The comprehensive results of the aforementioned MGMA-JPS study are documented in the new whitepaper, Back from Burnout: Confronting the Post-Pandemic Physician Turnover Crisis.  The study explores how both physicians and medical group administrators perceive the current state of physician recruitment, engagement, retention, and burnout. According to the findings, more physicians report feeling burned out in 2022 than in 2021, and among those who say they are burned out, most feel their burnout is worse than it was last year. 

The rising statistics on burnout are bleak, however, the joint study also asked physicians to share what factors impact their job satisfaction. If administrators can improve in the areas most important to physicians, certainly this would positively impact burnout. So which factors do physicians say have the greatest impact on their job satisfaction? It may come as a surprise to some that the top factor was not compensation but two-way communication with management. Physicians want a relationship of trust, where they know how and when important decisions are being made and feel they have a voice in making them. 

How to Improve Communication at Your Organization

Much has been written for healthcare leaders on what they can do to improve communication with physicians, but what can physicians do to proactively work towards the same goal? The following ideas are starting points to help you reach out to leadership and establish new processes and expectations that will improve communication at your organization. 

Request regular one-on-one meetings with your manager. If regular meetings with your manager are not already on your calendar, it’s time to make this a priority. Most organizations recognize the need for monthly, one-on-one meetings, but all too often these are the first events to be rescheduled or canceled when conflicts arise. Be flexible when truly necessary, but make sure meetings are promptly rescheduled. 

Bring an agenda to meetings with management. Make sure your one-on-one meetings are productive by bringing an agenda to the meeting. Your manager may or may not have specific items to discuss, but by bringing a written list, you are indicating that you too have issues you want to address. Bonus points if you also bring potential proposed solutions to any problems you bring to light. 

Ask your manager to weigh in. Good managers will try to make themselves available and approachable to staff, so take advantage of those opportunities to make him or her aware of a specific issue you are dealing with and get an outside opinion. These more casual interactions can help your manager understand the issues you and your peers are facing and perhaps spark ideas on ways to provide more support. 

Be an active participant in meetings and huddles. While you don’t need to bring a written agenda to every gathering, do be an active listener and speak up to share your thoughts and ideas. Ask questions when appropriate and provide your input when the opportunity is right. 

Share successes and failures. If your manager has done a good job building an environment of trust, you will hopefully feel comfortable sharing both your wins and losses. This type of transparency is crucial for problem-solving and can help your manager better understand and empathize with your circumstances.

Speak as “I” not “we.” These proactive steps to improve communication will hopefully improve circumstances for your physician peers as well as for yourself. However, don’t make the mistake of speaking for the group unless you have been tasked to do so. In your discussions with management, make it clear that you represent yourself and your opinions only. This will prevent misunderstandings or confusion about how the group may or may not feel.  

Start With Better Communication

The challenge of beating physician burnout doesn’t have an easy solution, however, improving communication between physicians and management is an important part of improving overall circumstances for physicians. Most employers are well aware of the burnout epidemic and are taking steps to mitigate the problem for physicians. Physicians can take a proactive role in working to solve the issue, and they may start with these steps to improve communication with management:  prioritize one-on-one meetings, participate and ask questions, be transparent, share both good news and bad, and speak to your own opinions and circumstances, not the group’s. These actions can improve communication at your organization and ultimately serve to lessen burnout, not only for you but for your peers as well.  

Are you searching for a physician job with an employer that prioritizes two-way communication? The Recruitment Team at Jackson Physician Search can help you find a job with an employer whose values align with yours. Reach out to a Jackson Physician Search Recruiter today or search physician jobs online now.

Beating Physician Burnout: 5 Things to Ask of Your Employer

Nearly half of physicians in a recent study say their employers are the primary cause of their burnout. It’s time to have an honest conversation with your manager about the issues that you feel contribute to burnout and the potential ways your manager could solve or improve those issues.

6 Things to Know About Medical School Loan Repayment

While a good physician recruiter can help you prioritize loan repayment in your physician job search, there are several things to consider well before you begin an active physician job search (and the earlier, the better!)

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

6 Things to Include in Your Formal Physician Retention Plan


Robert sighed when he saw the meeting reminder pop up on his screen. He knew when Dr. H requested the meeting that it wasn’t likely to be good news. Sure enough, when she entered his office holding an envelope, Robert could guess what the letter inside would say: “Due to current circumstances, I must tender my resignation…” 

Dr. H had made no secret that she was unhappy–the call schedule, her patient load, and difficulties with specific patients. Robert had met with her once or twice to discuss the issues, but there was little he could do to improve her circumstances. Until they could hire more physicians–which they were trying to do–the call schedule had to remain as it was. Everyone felt overloaded. Everyone had to deal with difficult patients. But Dr. H couldn’t accept this, and now that she was leaving, the circumstances would get even worse for the physicians who remained…but what could be done?

If this scenario sounds familiar, you are not alone. All over the country, physicians are tendering their resignations, leaving administrators scrambling to find replacements. However, while a replacement may stop the bleeding, it doesn’t eliminate the wound. So, while leaders are focused on recruitment, nothing is done to solve the problems driving physicians away. 

According to an August MGMA STAT poll, 40% of medical groups had physicians retire early or leave the practice in 2022 due to burnout. This figure grew from a similar poll conducted a year earlier, in which 33% of practice leaders reported physicians leaving. Certainly, the ongoing pandemic pressure, coupled with staff shortages and other challenges, is causing physicians to seek greener pastures at higher rates. Instead of merely recruiting to replace these departing physicians, healthcare leaders must develop a formal physician retention plan to address these issues if they hope to maintain or potentially grow their patient population and meet the healthcare needs of their communities. 

The Importance of Physician Retention Plans

A new whitepaper from Jackson Physician Search and MGMA, Back from Burnout: Confronting the Post-Pandemic Physician Turnover Crisis, documents the results of a study exploring the steps medical groups are taking to improve physician recruitment, engagement, retention, and burnout. According to their findings, despite the rising statistics on physician burnout and turnover, only 19% of administrators in the study said they have a formal physician retention plan, and only 8% of physicians think their organizations offer one. 

Among those administrators who report having a formal plan, nearly 8 in 10 say it is at least somewhat effective. Among physicians, 62% pointed to retention programs as somewhat or very important to their satisfaction, up from 59% in 2021. So why aren’t more leaders taking the time to create a formal plan to address one of the most pressing issues healthcare organizations face? Whether they don’t feel they have the time or don’t recognize the potential impact of formal retention plans, leaders must rethink their approach to retention plans and develop a written plan that outlines everything the organization does and plans to do to retain physicians at their organizations.  

6 Components of an Effective Physician Retention Plan

So, what does an effective physician retention program look like? While physicians at each organization will have unique needs, the JPS-MGMA research reveals the latest data on what is most important to physicians across the nation. While nothing on this list is likely to surprise you, it is important to formally address each issue in a written physician retention plan that is introduced to physicians during recruitment and revisited with physicians throughout their tenure.   

Develop a physician retention plan that addresses the following:  

Two-way communication with management — According to the JPS-MGMA research, two-way communication with management received the highest number of votes for the most important factor in physician job satisfaction. This was also true in 2021. This means providing a foundation of trust where physicians have regular access to leadership is critical to their satisfaction. So, commit, in writing, to providing those opportunities on a regular basis. Go beyond traditional one-on-one meetings and offer forums and panels to enhance discussions and improve transparency. Document these efforts as part of your physician retention plan. 

Detailed compensation information — Compensation was second on the list of factors contributing to physician job satisfaction. Of course, physicians want to be fairly compensated for their work, but due to the often complicated structure of physician compensation plans, they may feel left in the dark about how their paychecks are calculated. Document the details of the compensation structure in a written retention plan so that every physician knows exactly where they stand and what criteria they need to achieve in order to reach the next level.

Equity in workload — Physicians, like most people, want to feel that everyone they work with is carrying a fair share of the burden. In the JPS-MGMA study, “equity in workload” ranked #3 on the list of factors contributing to job satisfaction, with nearly half of respondents saying it is “very important.” To meet this need, be thoughtful, fair, and transparent about how things like new patient distribution, call schedules, and miscellaneous responsibilities are decided. Document these processes so there is no misunderstanding and reference it in the physician retention plan. 

Reduced administrative burden — Physicians want to treat patients, and yet, much of their time is spent on administrative tasks such as charting and other paperwork. In fact, some studies have found that physicians spend twice as much time doing administrative work as they do seeing patients. In multiple studies, physicians point to excessive administrative burdens as the source of their burnout, so organizations must find ways to improve in this area. In the aforementioned MGMA poll, some leaders report making improvements to EHR workflows and hiring scribes to help with notation. Document the ways leadership is committed to reducing administrative burdens and provide a process physicians should follow if they feel administrative duties reaching unacceptable levels. To retain physicians, leadership must prioritize keeping administrative burdens manageable. 

Additional time off — The importance of work-life balance is increasing among physicians of every generation, and physicians need time away from the stressors of work to recover and relax. In the JPS-MGMA study, time off was among the top five factors impacting physician job satisfaction. As part of an effective physician retention plan, detail the amount of time off physicians receive annually and the specifics of when their allotted time increases. In addition, consider offering medical mission opportunities or sabbaticals after a specified number of years. 

Strategic physician recruitment — When physicians are overworked, it is often due to the organization being understaffed. Comprehensive medical staff planning helps to project departures and anticipate growth, allowing the organization to begin the recruitment process long before a vacancy arises. As part of your physician retention plan, make a commitment to strategic physician recruitment. You should also be willing to leverage locums if necessary to keep the burden on your physicians manageable. 

Formalize Your Physician Retention Plan

You may find yourself reviewing this list and thinking, “Well, of course, these are important issues, and my organization is already working to improve in these areas.” However, while awareness and informal steps are a good start, documenting your commitments in a formal physician retention plan is important for 1) making physicians aware of your intentions, and 2) holding leadership accountable for following through on intentions. 

Knowing what needs to happen and taking steps to make it so are two different things. By documenting a formal, written plan to improve retention at your organization, all parties will know where they stand and what needs to happen to move the needle on this critical metric.  

If your organization is focused on recruiting physicians simply to keep up with attrition, it can be difficult to find the resources to think about a formal physician retention plan. Perhaps it’s time to partner with a national physician recruitment firm so that you can focus more on retention. Reach out to the team at Jackson Physician Search today.  

Hospital Trusts Recruiter to Evaluate J-1 Candidates and Hires Ideal Neurologist

When a hospital in the upper Midwest struggled to find a neurologist, Director of Recruiting Katie Moeller advised them to consider J-1 candidates. She diligently evaluated each applicant, ultimately bringing them the ideal physician for their organization…

The Importance of Building Trust with Physicians (And How to Do It)

New research from JPS and MGMA suggests an important step in easing physician burnout is creating an atmosphere of trust where physicians can communicate concerns and feel confident that leadership is working towards solutions…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

Pediatrician Takes a Chance on a Small Town and Finds a Practice to Call Home


A physician’s career journey doesn’t always start out on the expected path. This seems especially true for physicians who finished training during the height of the pandemic. Whether due to family needs, mental or physical health issues, or existential crises, some physicians took time off after training and delayed their job searches indefinitely. For Dr. M, it was personal health issues that forced her to take time off after completing her training in 2021. When she felt ready to work again, she took locum jobs while searching for a full-time pediatrician job. Currently residing in Ohio, she was open to relocating but hoped to stay in or near a major metro area. When she received a marketing email from Jackson Physician Search about a pediatrics job in North Carolina, she was intrigued at first but worried the location was too rural. She moved on from the job ad without applying.

An Ideal Employer 

JPS Senior Search Consultant Sydney Johnson was working on what would be her third placement with a North Carolina healthcare organization. Though the organization itself was big, she was working to find a pediatrician for a small, satellite office in the northeast corner of the state. The practice had a lot to offer a physician–high retention rates, minimal call, and an excellent mentorship program. More importantly, everyone from the nursing staff to the physicians to the practice administrator seemed genuinely happy to be there. The atmosphere was relaxed and welcoming, and physicians enjoyed an excellent quality of life. Sydney knew from experience that if she could get a candidate on-site, the candidate would fall in love with the group. 

A Passionate Recruiter and an Open-Minded Physician

However, finding candidates who would seriously consider the small, remote location was tough. Instead of waiting for physicians to apply for the job, she began calling a list of potential leads. As a pediatrician in an active job search, Dr. M was on that list, and she was happy to get Sydney’s call. Though she wasn’t looking for a job in North Carolina, the way Sydney talked about the practice intrigued her. 

“I just can’t say enough good things about this client and specifically, this practice,” Sydney says. “As a recruiter, they are wonderful to work with, and I know from talking to the physicians on staff that it is truly a great place to work. I think my enthusiasm for the group came through when I spoke to Dr. M because she agreed to let me present her for the job.”

Several weeks later, Dr. M flew to North Carolina for the on-site interview. As Sydney predicted, Dr. M was impressed with the collegial atmosphere and felt instantly at ease with everyone she met. While the town was not ideal for her, she couldn’t imagine that she’d find a better professional opportunity. If they could meet her compensation demands, she could make her home in the area.  

The group extended an offer to Dr. M, but the compensation was not where she wanted it to be. Sydney gathered the latest compensation data for pediatricians in the state and presented it to the client to demonstrate why they should increase the offer. Leadership was persuaded and their second offer met Dr. M’s expectations. She was happy to sign.

Physician Job Search Success

Dr. M’s story demonstrates the importance of keeping an open mind in your physician job search. One of the biggest job search mistakes physicians make is zeroing in on a single location and ignoring opportunities elsewhere. Expanding your physician job search opens up countless opportunities–one of which may just be a better fit than you imagined. Had Dr. M ruled out the North Carolina town due to its size, she would have missed out on an incredible opportunity. Fortunately, she trusted her physician recruiter, kept an open mind, and ultimately found her ideal physician job.   

Are you searching for a new physician job? Applying with the insight and expertise of a physician recruiter can make all the difference to your job search. Reach out to a Jackson Physician Search Recruiter today to learn how we can help, or search physician jobs online now.

Physician Recruiter Finds Creative Solution for Gastroenterologist’s Job Search Troubles

When a Gastroenterologist felt trapped by a non-compete agreement, physician recruiter Tara Osseck found a creative win-win solution…

Beating Physician Burnout: 5 Things to Ask of Your Employer

Administrators want to help physicians deal with burnout, but research shows physicians and administrators often see the same situations differently. Now is the time to tell your employer exactly what you need to mitigate physician burnout…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

Beating Physician Burnout: 5 Things to Ask of Your Employer


Physician burnout didn’t start with the COVID-19 pandemic, so perhaps it’s not surprising that even as we put the worst of the pandemic behind us, physician burnout shows no signs of subsiding. The latest findings in joint JPS-MGMA research point to a worsening of the burnout crisis and broader acknowledgment of it by healthcare leaders. Administrators want to mitigate the burnout felt by physicians, but according to the research, their attempts often go unnoticed by physicians and do little to solve the problem. What solutions are they trying? And what can you, the physician, ask of your employer that may decrease the levels of burnout at your organization? 

Physicians Report Increased Burnout, and Administrators Are More Aware of It

According to the JPS and MGMA whitepaper, Back from Burnout: Confronting the Post-Pandemic Physician Turnover Crisis, the percentage of physicians who say they are experiencing burnout rose four percentage points in the past year, from 61% in 2021 to 65% in 2022. Among those with burnout, 75% say their burnout has gotten worse in the past year. Administrators are increasingly aware of the problem. Their perceptions of physician burnout grew by five percentage points, from 68% in 2021 to 73% in 2022. 

Looking beyond the extent of burnout, the 2022 JPS-MGMA research also explores what physicians and administrators perceive to be the source of burnout. Is it the stressful nature of a physician’s job that causes burnout or the specific ways their employer runs the healthcare organization? Unsurprisingly, physicians were more likely than administrators to point to the employer as the source of burnout, as opposed to the nature of physicians’ work. Just 19% of administrators say the employer mostly causes burnout (over the nature of the job) while 40% of physicians point to the employer as the primary cause.

5 Things to Ask of Your Employer to Mitigate Burnout

If physicians believe their employers cause burnout, this implies there are specific things employers can do (or stop doing) to mitigate the problem. While these things may seem obvious to you, ongoing JPS research shows there is often a significant disconnect between how administrators and physicians see the same situation. It’s time to be proactive by having an honest conversation with your manager about the issues that you feel contribute to burnout and the potential ways your manager could solve or improve those issues. Each organization is different of course, but if the research is any indicator, you may want to start with the following topics: 

  1. Two-way communication with management — In the JPS-MGMA study, physicians report two-way communication with management as the top factor contributing to their work satisfaction — above compensation. This was also true for the previous year. This suggests management could make a significant impact with physicians simply by opening the lines of communication and providing more transparency. Give your manager specific examples of ways they might do this such as, attending regular one-on-one meetings with physicians, holding roundtables or town hall style meetings, and prioritizing transparency. It can also be enlightening to schedule time for administrators to shadow physicians and physicians to shadow management. Each party will gain insight into the daily challenges the other faces and can discuss those issues from a place of empathy. 
  2. Workload equity — Whether in the home, the office, or the hospital, no one wants to feel like they are doing more work than everyone else. Physicians ranked workload equity third on the list of factors contributing to job satisfaction. This was up from No. 5 in 2021. Nationwide staffing shortages may be contributing to the unfair workloads put on physicians. If this is the case, ask your employer to prioritize staffing and find help by any means necessary including using locums, leveraging travel nurses, and hiring medical scribes and other administrative support. Of course, workload equity can also feel unfair if more tenured physicians aren’t carrying any of the call burden. Research how other organizations manage these issues, and if you find your organization is out-of-step, make suggestions to improve.
  3. Autonomy — According to the JPS-MGMA whitepaper, physician burnout can be reframed as “moral injury,” which refers to the challenge of knowing what care patients need but being unable to provide it due to constraints beyond a doctor’s control. If you feel this describes physicians at your organization, let management know that physicians need more autonomy to make decisions for their patients. This request is, of course, anything but simple, and the bigger the organization, the more complex the issue becomes. This won’t be solved overnight, but it is worth starting a conversation with management about what can be done in this area. 
  4. Reduced administrative burden – Your manager likely won’t be surprised to learn that administrative duties are weighing on physicians, but if you can suggest tangible solutions that might make a positive impact, they may be more willing to listen and take steps to test your solution. You may propose hiring a medical scribe or training someone internally to do this job. If the EMR is causing more problems than it solves, request additional training or software add-ons that may increase efficiency of use. You may want to request a regular work-from-home “admin day” (or half-day) that allows physicians to get caught up on those duties.  
  5. Additional time off – Work-life balance is increasingly important to physicians of all ages, and time away from work is key to achieving a healthy balance. If staffing shortages make time off seem impossible, stress the importance to your manager and ask for locums coverage to allow physicians to take time off to relax and recover.  

It’s unlikely your supervisor will be totally surprised by any of these concerns, but by bringing them into the open and proposing viable solutions, you can begin the conversation and more effectively work towards resolving, or at least, improving the most pressing issues. Don’t be held back by the idea that burnout is an individual problem for each physician to solve for him or herself. Organizations are motivated to reduce physician burnout as it drives up turnover which costs the industry, by some estimates, up to a billion dollars each year. So, don’t hesitate to start the conversation with your manager and proactively ask for what you need to improve burnout for you and your peers. 

If you find that your organization is not willing or able to improve circumstances for physicians, it may be time to look for a new physician job. Reach out to a Jackson Physician Search Recruiter today or search physician jobs online now.

Exploring All Options: Recruiter Helps Physician With Second Thoughts Find a Better Fit

When an orthopedic surgeon began to doubt his current job offer, physician recruiter Dan Morton counseled him to explore an alternative and make an informed decision. It turned out to be great advice…

How Physicians Can Evaluate Workplace Culture During Their Interview

As a candidate, it can be difficult to discern if the way your interviewer describes the culture is a true representation of how other physicians experience it. Find out how to evaluate an employer’s culture during the physician interview…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.