When is the Right Time to Ask for Physician Recruitment Help?


Time is money, especially when it comes to the amount of time it takes to fill a physician vacancy.  The costs that are accrued from the time a position becomes vacant to the date it is filled can reach up to $1 million in lost revenue, based on the specialty. Whether you are an administrator for a large system hospital or a small community health center, managing your time-to-fill rates are critical in today’s competitive physician recruitment and hiring environment.  More and more, organizations of all sizes are evaluating their internal recruitment and retention process to ensure they are maximizing their return on investment.  The stark reality of physician supply and demand is that no matter how good your internal recruitment teams are, there will always be a time when they could use some help from a trusted recruitment partner.  Let’s answer the question that more healthcare administrators find themselves asking, “When is the right time to ask for recruitment help?”

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to that question, as it depends on a lot of factors that are specific to your organization.  Things to consider are the effectiveness of your current in-house recruitment operation, how many vacancies are currently in the pipeline and do the vacancies include hard to fill specialties like family medicine, psychiatry, internal medicine, and OB/GYN.  Another important consideration when determining the right time to partner with a recruitment firm is how many hats your in-house recruiters are wearing in addition to sourcing candidates.  Are they responsible for sourcing, screening, setting up interviews, coordinating site visits, participating in interviews, and coordinating credentials?  Let’s face it, recruiting is a lot more than sourcing candidates, and when you are projecting vacancies due to retirements or planned expansion, finding a reliable, trusted recruitment partner can be the difference between finding a candidate who is the right fit and settling on a candidate to fill a vacancy.

Hard-to-fill Vacancies

One scenario that qualifies as a perfect time to establish a relationship with a physician search partner is when you have a hard-to-fill vacancy.  The market for physicians is competitive as it is, not to mention finding one of the aforementioned high-demand/low-supply vacancies.  Enlisting the help of a trusted firm can help you access a broader pool of candidates, including passive candidates who are only casually keeping an eye on opportunities.  A professional physician search firm will provide you with access to detailed candidate information, the latest technologies, and proven systems that can cast a wider net to find your perfect candidate.  It is never wrong to have a trusted partner do the heavy lifting on those difficult-to-fill vacancies.

Short-staffed Recruitment Team

Every organization goes through periods where individual departments are short-staffed due to illness, maternity and paternity leave, vacations, promotions, etc.  Considering the costs we have already mentioned, no amount of time is acceptable to leave a vacancy dormant.  Once you have established that working relationship with a search partner, it becomes easier to off-load searches onto an external team if your internal team is currently understaffed or overwhelmed.  Each month on average, a physician vacancy is costing you up to $150,000, so it makes sense in every perspective to keep the flow of candidates going, no matter what the situation may be with your team.

Understand Your Numbers

It may sound simplistic, but if you don’t understand your key recruitment metrics, you may never know when you have a problem.  Benchmarking your process gives you insight that allows you to adjust to fill gaps.  You should measure key data points, such as Time to Fill, # of Interviews until Hire, Acceptance Rate percentage, and three and five-year retention rates.  If you know these numbers, you will know if you need to bring on external recruitment help. Your numbers should also tell you your total cost to hire and your return on investment.  If you need to calculate what your current recruitment ‘Return on Investment’ is, find an ROI Calculator here.

Maintaining Momentum

How many times has your organization thought they had found the right candidate to fill a physician vacancy, only to find out that they accepted another offer? Once is too many if you are looking at your bottom line.  An often overlooked aspect of physician recruitment is what comes after you’ve sourced a candidate.  If your in-house recruiters are responsible for coordinating interviews, site visits, and everything else that goes into the hiring of a physician, then it pays to be cognizant of their workload.  When your team is juggling a lot of searches and the accompanying details, it is the perfect time to offload a couple of searches onto your external search partner to maintain the momentum with candidates that are already in the pipeline. Once a candidate is interested in your position, never drop the ball. From the first contact to the coordination of an interview, the interested candidate should feel reciprocal interest from your team. Allowing your internal teams to concentrate on maintaining that momentum while your external partner finds you candidates is an appropriate way to divide up the workload during periods of heavy activity. Here are a few key tips for maintaining momentum with a candidate:

  • The first contact with a presented candidate should be within 24 – 48 hours.
  • Set up an interview at the candidate’s earliest convenience. Be flexible!
  • Prepare a winning site visit. Don’t skimp, tailor the site visit to each specific candidate to show you are interested (please watch singular versus plural).
  • Don’t forget to recruit the physician’s family just as hard.
  • Have the framework of a contract in place and agreed upon by key stakeholders. Waiting on contract approvals is a sure way to lose candidates.
  • Maintain regular contact straight through the onboarding process.

Finding the right search partner can make all the difference in your recruitment process, but don’t discount how recruitment feeds into retention.  When you focus on the end result of finding the right candidate, you are in turn finding a candidate that naturally fits your organization and has a better chance to stay engaged, be productive, and want to stay in the position longer.  More than in years past, physicians want to find an organization that has a similar culture and values to their own.  Hiring for fit is the single best way to improve retention, and finding those candidates often requires more than posting your vacancy on a couple of job boards. Working with a recruitment partner is one way that you can expand the resources that are available to you and engage both active and passive candidates to your organization.

Jackson Physician Search is a healthcare industry leader and is poised to be the physician recruitment partner that your organization needs.  Contact our recruitment professionals today and learn how we can help you find physicians who fit, succeed, and stay.


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Jackson Physician Search featured in Top 10 HealthLeaders Clinical Care Stories 2019


Survey data collected by Jackson Physician Search was featured in an article that made the Top 10 HealthLeaders Clinical Care Stories of 2019. Below is an excerpt from that article.




survey report published by Alpharetta, Georgia–based Jackson Physician Search also includes a gloomy view of the rural physician workforce. “From 2013 to 2015, the overall supply of physicians in the United States grew by 16,000 but the number of rural physicians declined by 1,400. These facts compound the problem that while 20 percent of the U.S. population is rural, only 12 percent of the primary care physicians work in a rural area,” the survey report says.

The survey report, which is based on data collected from more than 150 physicians and 105 rural health system administrators, says four factors were found to be particularly effective in the recruitment of doctors in rural areas.

1. Autonomy: The survey found 43% of physician respondents consider autonomy as a significant goal in their careers. The physician survey respondents say they value practicing medicine without undue influence from executives. “Healthcare professionals—both nurses and physicians—want to have their voices heard, especially when it comes to issues affecting their practice of medicine. Rural hospitals have the advantage here when compared to a large bureaucratic health system,” Tony Stajduhar, president of Jackson Physician Search, tells HealthLeaders.

2. Team-based culture: Physician survey respondents say they enjoy working at healthcare organizations that have strong teamwork and collaborative decision-making. “Culture and fit are widely discussed as important factors for physicians in feeling engaged in the workplace,” the survey report says.

3. Recruit the family: Physician and administrator survey respondents say a family-friendly environment is a desirable aspect of a healthcare organization. “Highlighting the best aspects of the community and involving community leaders in the process will go a long way in demonstrating the community’s value to the physician. Specifically, taking time to ensure that spouses and significant others are engaged in the process can be a deciding factor once an offer is being considered,” the survey report says.

4. Administrator role in recruitment: With physicians ranking culture high as a desirable attribute at healthcare organizations, rural hospital CEOs and other top administrators can be a decisive factor in the recruitment of doctors, Stajduhar says.

“Based on our survey, a well-designed, on-site visit that makes the physician and their family feel welcome and highlights the community culture is the No. 1 factor in picking a practice location. They need to be able to see themselves as part of an active and vibrant community, and to enjoy working in the organizational environment. Painting a picture of the vision of the organization and how they fit into building the future is essential. The senior leadership of the organization must be involved and take a lead role in the process,” he says.

Read the full article here.

Healthcare Administrators: Planning Ahead for 2020


As the calendar turns to a new year, things that are top of mind for most people are keeping New Year’s resolutions.  Most of us want to achieve things that will make us healthier or happier, but for Healthcare Administrators, there are no resolutions that can help answer the many questions that will dominate the healthcare landscape in 2020.  Here are just a few of the topics that healthcare administrators should be planning for in the year ahead.

Physician Retirements

In 2020, one of every three practicing physicians will be of retirement age.  Considering the ultra-competitive physician recruitment landscape, healthcare administrators have to stay out in front of their staff retirements. Aside from the inevitable quality of care issues and placing additional burdens on remaining staff, physician vacancies created by turnover or retirements are a huge threat to already tight margins. The Association of Physician Recruiters (ASPR) has reported that, annually, as many as 40% of physician vacancies go unfilled. These vacancies can result in up to $170,000 per month, depending on the specialty.

The good news is that healthcare administrators can prepare for any potential retirements and ensure that they don’t incur a surprise vacancy.  In a Jackson Physician search survey, 80% of physicians stated that initiating the retirement conversation was their responsibility, but only 52% felt comfortable doing so. This key piece of information bears repeating, ‘only 52% of physicians felt comfortable bringing up the retirement conversation.’  Create an environment or provide your physician staff with a mechanism that will help facilitate retirement discussions. It may be a simple as sending out surveys or even tasking HR with helping walk physicians through the conversation.  Proactively addressing this sensitive subject may result in creating a transition plan that works for the physician and the organization.

Addressing Physician Burnout

As important as it is to proactively discuss potential physician retirements within your staff, it is equally important to ensure you understand your internal levels of physician burnout.  It would be disingenuous to claim that your staff isn’t suffering from any measurable levels of burnout, especially if you reviewed Medscape’s 2019 survey that found 50% of doctors are suffering from burnout, depression, or both.  The key for administrators is to recognize that burnout is a serious problem and find ways to engage your physician staff in understanding what is contributing to it and collaboratively working with them to find solutions.

According to Mayo Clinic research, levels of burnout are improving as more organizations have developed interventional programs, but experts caution that more organizational change and research are necessary to continue the trend. Not surprisingly, a majority of physicians claim that the maintenance of electronic health records continues to be a major stressor that impacts overall job satisfaction. If administrators could focus on one major topic to alleviate physician stress, they would have to look no further than streamlining their eHR process.

Consolidation Climate

Aside from anomalies in 2004 and 2006, the mergers and acquisitions climate in the healthcare industry remained pretty flat until 2010 and the enactment of the Affordable Care Act.  Since then, consolidations have become the name of the game for both health plans and healthcare providers.  Unfortunately, all of these consolidation activities have not resulted in lower costs for consumers, but the move towards achieving economies of scale doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon.  Several factors are feeding the consolidation frenzy, including record-high healthcare spending, continually shrinking margins, and now the wild card of having a transition to value-based reimbursement as opposed to traditional volume-based payments.  In many cases, the success of these record numbers of mergers is yet to be determined, but it is clearly a focus in the industry to keep considering new partnerships to achieve operating efficiencies, cost controls, and greater flexibility to make capital investments.

Digitization of Healthcare

Administrators throughout the healthcare industry can all point to the amount of money they are spending on technology, but much like the consolidation question, it is unclear how much this digital transformation is benefiting consumers.  In many ways, the healthcare industry is lagging behind the digital revolution that has transformed other industries, but many administrators are betting that continued investments in technology and data will drive a reduction in costs and improvements in delivery.

Currently, data is king in healthcare.  From the collection of genetic information for analysis and insight into potential future risks, down to the plethora of information being collected through digital health apps that are helping consumers manage chronic illnesses and personal wellness.  However, in spite of the investments, healthcare administrators are still hard-pressed to point out tangible benefits.  In a PwC Health Research Institute survey, only 38% of provider executives stated that digital transformation is incorporated in their corporate strategic plans. Further, less than a quarter of healthcare companies employ a chief digital officer.  This is significantly less than in other industries. When asked about workforce strategies going into 2020, provider executives appeared to be responding to their internal lack of technology talent as 33% stated that they would be investing in digital skills and emerging technologies training for their workforce.

As is the case in most years, healthcare executives are navigating several major challenges that are occupying their time and attention.  In 2020, the healthcare industry will continue the shift toward value-based payments and the digitization of information that is woven into every aspect of healthcare delivery.  Physician vacancies will still be a major area of concern that will have to be dealt with through a comprehensive recruitment strategy and a focus on retention.  All of this and more seemingly contributes to another tumultuous year within the industry.

Staying out in front of these issues will be critical for healthcare administrators.  If your organization can benefit from partnering with an organization comprised of respected healthcare industry professionals, contact the Jackson Physician Search team today to learn how we can help keep you ahead of the curve.


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Recruiting for Retention in Rheumatology: Best Practices in 2019 and Beyond


Rheumatology Practice Management December 2019 Vol 7 No 2 – NORM Highlights

Meg Barbor, MPH

Grand Rapids, MI—There is a current shortage of full-time rheumatology providers in the United States, and it is only getting worse. In the next decade, adult patient demand for arthritis care is expected to increase 25% to 50% because of the aging population, and ultimately, the supply will be one-half of what is considered optimal.

According to Michael R. Byman, Senior Director, Jackson Physician Search, Atlanta, GA, and a leading authority on medical staffing trends, successfully recruiting for retention in rheumatology requires that those doing the recruiting first understand what is driving the physician shortage, so they can then set themselves apart and offer competitive opportunities to desirable candidates.

“With current data suggesting we’re primed to face a 50% shortage of rheumatology providers by the year 2030, understanding the competitive landscape is the first step to recruitment success,” Mr. Byman said.

At the 14th annual National Organization of Rheumatology Managers Conference, Mr. Byman provided an overview of the state of the rheumatology provider market and outlined practical recommendations that organizations can incorporate into their recruitment and retention strategies.

Click to read the full interview.

Policy and Politics Affecting Physicians Heading Into 2020


Regardless of what side of the political aisle you find yourself, it isn’t hard to argue that legislative policies and politics have created a sea change in the healthcare landscape over the past decade.  Now, as we stand on the doorstep to 2020, it is safe to assume that more legislation, driven by politics, will continue being a catalyst for change in the future.  For now, with our sights clearly set on the New Year ahead, let’s examine some of the policies and politics that will be affecting physicians and healthcare in general.

Will Congress pass legislation to address the impending physician shortage?

Yogi Berra once famously said, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” When Yogi uttered those words, he was referring to Mantle and Maris hitting back to back home runs, but today it could be attributed to legislation that is stalled in Congress for the third time since 2013.  The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act was introduced in the House and Senate in 2013, 2017, and again in 2019, but has yet to advance any further.  The current iterations of the bill (S.348/H.R. 1763) have received bi-partisan support and are both designed to increase the number of residency positions eligible for graduate medical education payments under Medicare for qualifying hospitals.  Over five years, this legislation would increase the current number of slots by 15,000 and is strongly supported by the American Hospital Association.  Considering the toxic partisanship that currently exists in both houses of Congress, it will be interesting to see if these bills are taken up at some point, once the legislative session resumes after the holiday break.  At a minimum, it might show the voting public that things can get done in Washington.

How much risk does value-based care pose to providers?

The ongoing transition from volume-based to value-based care has been slowly building throughout the past decade, arguably with no consensus best-practice models to emulate. A Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) report states that in the near-term, “providers will increasingly face both upside and downside financial risk in their arrangements with health plans.”

Another challenge that poses a risk for physicians and providers, in general, is how unsettled the variation of payment models still are, as they continue to be reformed.  As both Medicare and commercial payers keep payment models in flux, physicians, hospitals, and health plans are going to be experiencing greater shared risk.

How is consumerism affecting physician care?

While it may have taken longer than in other industries, there is no questioning the impact that consumerism is now having on the healthcare industry.  Much of the impetus for consumer-driven change grew out of the Affordable Care Act, most specifically the creation of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), tasked with studying new models and expenditure reductions. Today, consumers have more healthcare choices than at any other time in history.  From choosing a health plan that best suits their needs to making choices on when and where to seek care.  Consumerism within healthcare is only going to increase, and it is forcing a significant change in the way healthcare is marketed, transparency and structure in the cost for services, and convenience offerings to match patient lifestyle.  All of this places inherent pressure on the physician who is providing care, as the power of the consumer affords the patient leverage and options that may not have existed in the past.

How much will the 2020 election impact physicians?

While it is not in the interests of this space to delve too deeply into the political arena, it is important to look at how the 2020 election may impact physicians.  According to a wide-ranging report on the top health issues of 2020 by PwC Health Research Institute (HRI), it is unlikely that the outcome of the election is going to bring about a massive change in the healthcare industry.  Instead, no matter which party wins, expect regulatory changes and other lesser impactful legislative changes.

Things to be on the lookout for include Medicare Part D reform, drug pricing reform to include transparency and possible linkage to overseas pricing, and additional Medicaid reforms.  One thing that won’t change in 2020 is increased healthcare spending.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are projecting that US healthcare spending will increase from $3.8 trillion in 2019 to at least $4 trillion in 2020.

Although it is difficult to project how much change will be driven by the election, healthcare will be a topic throughout the 2020 cycle as a recent survey by HRI indicated that 71% of adult Americans of both parties are voting for a candidate based on the stated healthcare policies or ideas.

If you are searching for an opportunity that can provide you with more stability in this unsettled healthcare landscape, contact Jackson Physician Search today and let our industry professionals help find your perfect practice setting.


How AI and Tech Are Impacting Physicians

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Four Ways Technology is Impacting Health System Administrators


When discussing artificial intelligence and the use of other technologies in healthcare, it is natural to assume that doctors are impacted the most. While this assumption has merit, the proliferation of technology throughout the healthcare industry is having just as much of an impact on healthcare administrators.  From ethical concerns to financial decisions, technology will be a talking point in health system boardrooms for years to come.  Here are four ways that technology is impacting health system administrators.

  1. Using Data To Improve Care

There is an incredible amount of information currently being collected by healthcare providers, but the question on many administrators’ minds is how to best utilize it to improve patient care.  Some forward-thinking organizations are utilizing the data as research into best practices for clinical care.  Referred to as a learning health system, data analytics are used as part of a larger effort where clinicians and administrators collaborate on ways to present evidence-based information to patients.  This approach is utilized to influence patients in taking a more proactive approach to their own health and also to improve care in the future.

  1. Telemedicine and Beyond

Although telemedicine has yet to be widely adopted, it does hold promise as a way to increase access to care and hold down costs.  Some health systems are taking it a step further and creating virtual care centers, where every patient is evaluated remotely.  Virtual care requires a patient to communicate with their care provider via a video link while the physician gets vitals and other information through an iPad application.  Administrators are wrestling with these technologies to determine how much of an investment to make and how much willingness there is within their patient population to alter the nature of doctor-patient interactions.

  1. Ethics in the Age of Technology

There is no disputing the amazing technological advancements that have been made in recent years.  Things that were previously known only to science fiction movies are now in the mainstream.  Consider the diagnostic enhancements of artificial intelligence, the precision of robotic surgeries, nanotechnology and gene therapy.  What hasn’t kept pace with the technology, however, are the policy and ethical guidelines for utilizing everything technology can offer. Healthcare administrators are lacking the over-arching support that robustly debated and published guidelines provide when tackling the ethical complexities that exist as technology proliferates.

  1. Can EHR Hurdles Be Overcome?

The concept of electronically managing every bit of patient information has turned out to be better in theory than in practice for many healthcare administrators.  And truthfully, physicians aren’t that thrilled about it either.  In a Deloitte survey of 3,000 physicians, only 10% responded that their current EHR system was fine as is.  For healthcare administrators, the technology itself is costly, but the human cost of time and effort to maintain the records dwarf any software costs.  Considering that electronic health records have been around for more than a decade, one would think that the many bugs would be ironed out by now.  Unfortunately, EHR systems were initially built on obsolete technology platforms with very little design consideration and no standardized guidelines.  There may be relief in sight as some technology experts feel that Blockchain technology can be the cure that EHRs desperately need.  Considering the current pain caused by EHR systems, the utilization of blockchain technology for health-related applications bears watching.

Technology advancements are inherently designed to simplify or enhance our lives and create efficiencies in the workplace and the world around us. For healthcare administrators, technology creates a unique set of opportunities and challenges to consider.  And the speed with which technology continues to shape the patient experience and impact the delivery of care puts more pressure on administrators to keep pace and stay ahead of the curve.

If you can benefit from partnering with an organization that has decades of healthcare industry experience, contact the professionals at Jackson Physician Search to learn how we can make a difference.

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How Artificial Intelligence and Tech are Impacting Physicians


Fans of literary Science Fiction have been reading about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and technological advancements for decades.  What has changed in that time is now, things that were once left to the imagination of authors like Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Isaac Asimov, are becoming the mainstream.  Especially in the field of medicine.  As technology grows more ubiquitous, everyone working in healthcare are being forced to adjust to the many ways AI and technology are impacting the industry.

The impact of technology on how physicians perform their duties is perhaps more significant than anyone else in the healthcare industry. Let’s look at five ways AI and Technology are impacting today’s physicians.

Robotic Surgery 

Typically, when considering technology and healthcare, the first topic mentioned is the use of robotics in surgery.  The first documented use of a robot-assisted surgery occurred in 1985, while the first unmanned robotic surgery came in 2006.  Today, more than one-third of U.S. hospitals have at least one surgical robot.  The rapid growth of this technology is creating new challenges for physicians, young and old.  The biggest change for physicians is in learning how to use the latest robotic technology, with none more impacted than surgical residents. Before robotics, residents learned surgical procedures up close and hands-on at the patient’s side.  Now, surgery is performed at a console 15-feet away from the patient, and residents are forced to watch over the surgeon’s shoulder or observe at a second console.  These training barriers have to be overcome for physicians to keep up with the growth of robotic technologies in the surgical suite.

Disease Detection

One area that AI is clearly making a difference is in the early detection of diseases.  For example, over 12 million mammograms are performed annually in the U.S., yet 1 in 2 healthy women are misdiagnosed. When AI is used to translate mammograms, the results are returned 30% faster and with up to 99% accuracy, which has resulted in a reduction in unnecessary biopsies and patient stress due to misdiagnosis.  AI also performs a natural benefit by monitoring the data collected through consumer wearables and other medical devices. As advancements in AI continue to develop, look for the technology to detect life-threatening episodes earlier, leading to better treatment outcomes.

Decision Support Systems

Dosing errors make up 37% of all preventable medical errors.  Researchers found that AI can be used to determine the correct dosage of immunosuppressant drugs for organ transplant recipients, a process that typically included educated guesswork combined with practiced guidelines. AI is also emerging as an aid to clinical judgment and diagnosis.  AI can provide critical information to physicians by combing through the millions of genetic variants of a patient to determine a probability that one of them could cause a particular disease.

Virtual Reality Training

New technologies are used to augment physician training. Virtual Reality (VR) can provide physicians with targeted training on many clinical scenarios.  AI, through natural speech technology, can even respond to questions or challenge decisions made within the VR session.  Similar to how flight simulation transformed the aviation industry, VR is changing medical education and training.  While still in its infancy, the benefits of this immersive training are unquestioned.  VR provides trainees the ability to learn in a simulated, engaging hands-on environment, which allows physicians of all experience levels to learn at their own pace without risk to patient health.

Simplifying Administrative Tasks

One of the most significant areas of promise for the utilization of AI and technology is in streamlining the ever-increasing amount of administrative activities.  New technologies can improve administrative workflows such as charting, ordering tests, and filling prescriptions through the utilization of voice-to-text transcription.  Creating efficiencies like this allows the physician to have more time for direct care and more meaningful patient interactions.

Technology and artificial intelligence are already changing the way physicians are practicing medicine.  As advancements continue across the spectrum of care, the question to be answered will be how physicians can most effectively learn and interact with the technologies to continually improve patient care.

If you are looking to take your physician career to the next level, partner with a firm that can offer a nationwide reach and decades of leading industry experience, contact Jackson Physician Search and speak with one of our recruitment professionals today.

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How to Make The Most of Your Physician Job Search


For Physicians, there has never been a better time to find a new practice opportunity.  With a projected shortage of up to 120,000 physicians by the year 2032, any doctor who is not happy in their current situation has plenty of opportunities to improve their circumstances or career trajectory.  Let’s look at five key things all physicians can do to ensure a successful job search.

Reconcile Why You Want a New Job

One necessary step physicians should take before they begin a job search is to determine all of the reasons why a new practice opportunity is essential.  Giving consideration to the reasons why you are ready to leave your current position is an important factor in finding the right new opportunity. The best way to accomplish this is to put pen to paper and list the reasons why you are ready for a change. Whether the change is to get out from under unmanageable work hours or to improve your job satisfaction, or maybe you want to advance your career by getting into a leadership position. Listing the reasons why you are ready for change can help you avoid getting into a similar situation in your new job.  It can also be helpful information to have when you are working with a physician recruitment firm.

Update Your CV and Prepare for the Interviews

Now that you have thought about why the time is right for a new practice opportunity, take the next step in the process by updating your CV.  In today’s high-demand climate, there is a real chance that you will be receiving job offers right out of the gate.  Taking the proactive step of updating your CV will help you keep the momentum of your search going forward. Now is also a good time to jot down questions that you may have for any potential new employers.  Administrators know that physicians who are actively searching will receive multiple offers, so don’t be surprised when they move quickly once you are on their radar.

Prepare for the Compensation Questions

Physician compensation is complicated and varies between organizations.  It is vital to understand your entire compensation package, including base salary, benefits, bonuses, and potential incentives.  Based on where you are at in your career, you may want to ask about student loan forgiveness or different retirement saving options.  It is also important to keep in mind the tax implications between states.  Fortunately, there are tools available to help you compare compensation in different locations.

Involve Your Family

Job searches don’t happen in a vacuum.  As important as it is for you to find the right opportunity for your career, it is equally important for your family to take part in the decision-making process.  Moving to a new location has a lot of serious variables to consider. Is it a good fit for your lifestyle? Are there quality schools for the children? What kind of weather is prevalent in that part of the country? No individual location or community is going to be perfect for every member of your family, but you need to consider how any move will impact everyone involved.

Career Advancement

At the end of the day, your job search should result in the advancement of your career.  That advancement can be professional, personal, or both. If you are at a stage in your career where you seek more control or a more significant say in the decision-making process, begin exploring leadership positions.  If your current situation requires you to work an unreasonable amount of hours, or you have become frustrated with a toxic work culture, then your job search should be focused on finding an organization that espouses values similar to your own.  The good news is that once you find the right practice setting, your life should change for the better. From having more free time to spend with the kids or finally having time for the occasional round of golf, a new job can be just the recharge your batteries need.

In today’s healthcare environment, physicians don’t have to remain in a job that doesn’t align with their lifestyle or values.  Demand for physicians is high and will continue to be so in the foreseeable future.  If you are ready to begin exploring new opportunities, you may want to consider finding a partner for your job search.  An experienced recruiter has access to administrators and job openings that you won’t find on your own. Additionally, professional recruitment partners can help you work through contract negotiations, compensation packages, and also provide insight into organizational culture questions you may have.

Jackson Physician Search has a team of recruitment professionals with decades of high-level industry experience. They have a nationwide reach and established relationships with healthcare industry administrators in organizations of all types and sizes, giving you the best opportunity to find a position that takes your career to the next level.  Contact a Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional today.

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Top Issues Challenging Academic Medicine: Seven Key Takeaways from The AAMC Annual Meeting 2019


From November 9th through the 12th, I attended The AAMC Annual Meeting, “Learn, Serve, Lead” in Phoenix, Arizona.  Along with over 4,800 of my colleagues, we participated in a variety of workshops, round table discussions, and presentations by distinguished healthcare industry leaders.  The topics presented ranged from racial and economic injustice to partisan gridlock, and innovative solutions to combat burnout and other healthcare industry challenges.  There are several key trends taking shape in our world, as well as many questions that need to be answered in the coming months and years. Here are seven key takeaways from this year’s AAMC Annual Meeting.

  1. The 2019 AAMC data suggests an even more dire physician shortage of 46,900 – 121,900 physicians by 2032 – we must recognize this presents both a rural AND urban staffing challenge. It’s easy to fall victim to the rural versus urban mindset as one studies the physician shortage challenge. Yet, as we dig further into the data, it’s clear the shortage is affecting all areas. We all must address the HPSAs and other dimensions to find a solution that provides better access to care for all Americans.
  2. Succession planning within academic medical institutions and medical schools – administrators and physicians are on different pages. Succession planning can be a tough conversation, but it is critical for strategic planning and quality patient care. Remaining flexible is very important to physician leaders and physicians when it comes to retirement and succession planning, but neither group can agree on what that looks like. For example, in surveys, 42% of physician respondents would like part-time teaching roles, yet just 70% of the institutions provide that option. It was also interesting to discover that 32% of faculty respondents identified burnout as a retirement factor, yet 57% of the institutions cited physician burnout as the main retirement factor. Also, surprisingly, in spite of an aging population, only 43% of medical schools reported having a formal retirement policy.
  3. Telehealth is now a possibility for all communities, as CMS is releasing new telehealth payment parity in 2020. We can expect that payment parity will result in higher demand and an increase in access points. Today, 95% of medical students are interested in learning more about telemedicine. The technology is clearly becoming a viable, collectible solution, but the unanswered question is facilitating physician training.  With overloaded schedules through UME and GME, the question, “how and when do physicians receive telemedicine training?” is what everyone is asking.
  4. The relationship between the paired leaders of the Academic Enterprise and the Clinical Enterprise impacts everything from budgets, expectations, retention, and culture. As a top-down driven function, trust, communication, and transparency between enterprise leadership groups are more important than ever. Cultivating this working relationship ultimately impacts the success or failure of key service lines and departments.
  5. Trends show that growth strategies should be value-based versus price-extractive, meaning we grow by being better and not by getting bigger. This is done by leveraging cost, quality, and service advantages. The success factors include: an increasing share of covered lives, competing based on outcomes, minimizing total cost, assembling the network, offering convenience, and, of course, expanding access to care.
  6. Will academic medicine soon develop productivity units to mirror Clinical RVUs? This new academic currency is a fascinating subject – and I’m sure other physician leadership consultants feel the same. The biggest outstanding question on everyone’s mind is, “what are you doing with all of the protected time?”
  7. By next year, the United States will have a minority-majority for all citizens under the age of 18 – matching providers to our patient population has never been more crucial. Throughout the next ten years, the overall population will be led by minorities. Tracking and monitoring diversity for providers and leaders, while still maintaining inclusiveness, is a priority and should be considered the norm.

It’s an exciting and volatile time in academic medicine and overall healthcare with continuous transformation on the horizon. Mergers & Acquisitions and consolidation remain at an all-time high, and no one is expecting this trend to reverse.  For now, all of us will be monitoring the different alignments, integrations, and relationships between healthcare organizations and their academic counterparts.

As a physician leadership search consultant, I look forward to helping prepare our leaders for this new normal.  My focus is on navigating the ever-changing healthcare environment and assisting our clients through smarter recruitment and finding ways to increase retention, so they can focus on what matters most – providing the best care for the patients they serve.

At Jackson Physician Search, we help healthcare organizations and academic medical centers to recruit physician leaders. Our innovative process includes rolling well-qualified and interested candidates as they become available versus waiting for a full slate, reducing the number of interviews with cutting edge technology, and providing transparent and frequent communication to search committees. This strategy reduces candidate attrition and time-to-fill while increasing recruitment return on investment. Please contact our physician leadership experts at Jackson Physician Search for more information.

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How to Ignite Your Career with a Physician Recruiter


Everyone in the healthcare industry has read about or heard that there is a growing physician shortage in the United States. Earlier this year, the Association of American Medical Colleges confirmed that there would be a gap of between 46,900 and 121,900 physicians by 2032.  For any physician looking for new practice opportunities, there will be plenty of jobs available.  While this is good news, the question to ask yourself is, which job opportunities are right for me? That’s where having a relationship with an experienced physician recruiter can benefit you the most.  Let’s look at the unique ways a trusted recruitment partner can help you.

How Physician Recruiters Simplify Your Search

Nationwide Reach

Whether you are looking for a perfect opportunity across town or across the country, you will have access to information about available opportunities. Your recruitment partner will have the resources and the network connections to find you an opportunity that matches your career and life goals.  For example, he or she can keep you informed about hiring and compensation trends in whatever specialty or geographic region you are exploring.

Insider Access

In today’s high-demand climate, physicians who conduct extensive searches on physician job boards may find a suitable position. However, this approach is time-consuming at best. When you work with a recruitment professional, he or she already has relationships with hospital system administrators and in-house recruiters. According to a 2017 ASPR Benchmarking Report, more than 40% of physician searches were to replace a departing provider, and almost 70% were for hospital-owned practices. These numbers highlight the importance of the relationships and trust a recruiter has built throughout their network.  Recruiters have information about current open positions and future openings that typical job board searches will miss.

Heavy Lifting

Once your recruitment partner understands your career goals and lifestyle needs, he or she can help you throughout the process of landing the right opportunity. This support can be preparing you for the interview to scheduling the site visit and even helping you navigate the contract negotiations.  An experienced recruiter has a wealth of information that can help you overcome challenges and put your best foot forward when being presented as a candidate.


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Getting the Most Out of Your Recruitment Partner

Establish Trust

The most important way to establish trust with your recruitment partner is open and honest communication. Make sure he or she knows exactly what you are looking for in your next opportunity and why you are looking in the first place. If you want a new opportunity because of a bad work environment,  process issues with administration, or unruly work hours, explain that to your recruiter. Your recruiter needs to know what your cultural fit looks like so he or she can match you with a client employer who shares similar values.  The more information your recruiter has will only benefit you in finding your perfect practice setting.

Use Recruiters as a Resource

As important as it is to establish trust with your recruiter through open dialogue, it is equally important to maximize him or her as a resource. Your trusted recruiter has information about every aspect of the position and the organization with which you are applying, even the expected salary range. Never be shy about asking tough questions.  Find out about the challenges an organization is facing or even why there is an opening. Your recruiter knows the hiring team, the administrators, the culture, as well as important details about the community. Tapping into that knowledge and experience is the key to helping you make the right career decision.

Be Committed to Your Search

Once you have established a relationship with a professional recruiter, and he or she begins finding opportunities based on your stated requirements, you need to see it through. As Warren Buffett famously stated, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and only five minutes to ruin it.” When you have a recruiter working on your behalf, respect the process, and treat it seriously. Essentially, this means that if things advance to the point of an offer, it shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip with your current employer.  If you were open and honest about your reasons for the job search, then any offers received will be given the consideration they deserve.

Jackson Physician Search has a nationwide reach and a team of recruitment professionals with decades of healthcare industry experience. Contact our team today and let us work on finding the perfect fit for you and your family.


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