How to Ignite Your Career with a Physician Recruiter

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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.

 

Physician recruiter talking to a physician

 

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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Creating a Culture of Physician Wellness

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Physician burnout has been a topic of conversation for several years now, but a related topic that is not garnering nearly enough attention is physician wellness.  According to the National Institute of Health, part of the reason is that physician wellness or physician well-being is not clearly defined or measured.  With the spotlight on the issue of physician burnout, now is the perfect time for healthcare administrators to focus attention on creating a culture of wellness within their physician group.

An article published by the New England Journal of Medicine cited a culture of wellness as one of three drivers that contribute to higher professional fulfillment, along with the efficiency of practice, and personal resilience.  The article cites the culture of wellness and the efficiency of practice as organizational responsibilities in addressing burnout, while personal resilience is the responsibility of the individual physician.  Let’s look at ways healthcare organizations can begin creating physician wellness efforts as an approach toward reducing burnout.

Understand what a Culture of Wellness Means

As defined, a culture of wellness includes a set of values, attitudes, and behaviors promoting personal and professional growth, the practice of self-care, and compassion for colleagues, patients, and the individual.  Once healthcare organizations recognize the importance of physician wellness, they are more likely to measure and attend to it with resources and accountability.

Recognize Burnout in Your Organization

While 98% of healthcare administrators recognize that burnout is a problem, most perceive it to be a greater problem outside of their own organization. To understand the levels of burnout within your organization, it has to be measured periodically via the Maslach Burnout Inventory or another similar tool.  It is always better to know how much burnout is impacting your staff and work toward finding solutions.

Designate a Wellness “Owner” 

One key way that organizations can prove that they are taking physician wellness seriously is by designating an individual to own wellness efforts. Having someone who can champion the effort and also have accountability for the development of the plan and associated results, demonstrates a level of seriousness that facilitates physician “buy-in.”

Focus on Continuous Improvement in Workflows 

As important as measuring your internal levels of physician burnout are towards understanding the scope of the problem, it is equally important to understand the contributing factors. Organizationally, it is critical to recognize inefficiencies in workflows and other factors that are causing your physicians the most frustration. For some, it is excessive time spent on EMR’s, for others, it might be appropriate time off after unusually long or difficult shifts. The best way to get a handle on the issues causing the biggest challenges for your staff is by talking about them. Encouraging open and honest dialogue can shine a light on things that need to be changed, but also lead to physician-led solutions.

Skills Building

Everyone handles stressors differently. Some physicians seem immune to pressure situations, while others internalize them and struggle in silence.  Being resilient is a critical characteristic for anyone who has a stressful occupation. The good news is that resiliency can be learned. Putting resources toward developing resiliency skills in your physician staff and implementing other interventions like a strong mentorship program can help your team handle the pressures of the job while facilitating important dialogue and creative solutions.

Creating a culture of wellness requires resources and accountability throughout clinical and administrative leadership. It is not unreasonable to expect that your physicians should attend to their own well-being, although providing them with the tools and resources to do that is critical to a successful approach.  Clearly, strategies to reduce physician burnout are dominating national studies of practicing physicians and physicians in training.  As more research and data becomes available about successful physician wellness programs, discussions about integrating a more balanced approach to combating physician burnout will be more prevalent.

Jackson Physician Search is comprised of a team of professionals with decades of healthcare industry experience.  Contact us today to find out how our expertise and nationwide reach can work for you.

 

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Serving the Under-served

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Dr. A. had received a Doctorate of Dental Surgery in Damascus, Syria, and then again at the University of Southern California.  He enjoyed his work, but the long commute and time away from home had been wearing on him.  It was time to start looking for an opportunity located close to his home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

There are community health centers all over the country struggling to find and retain medical care providers for under-served populations. Such was the case with a small community health center in South Dakota that had been unsuccessfully searching for a dentist to add to their staff.  The clinic, an FQHC, also provides dental clinic services in three area schools to help serve a large rural population that can’t make it to the main location.  Because the FQHC was on an extremely tight budget and had already spent money the past two years trying to recruit a dentist, they were hesitant to contract with a search partner.

Eventually, the administrators at the clinic agreed to a call with Tara Osseck, Director of Recruiting for Jackson Physician Search.  During the call, Tara was able to share specific data, available resources, and highlight recent successes.  The clinic agreed to partner with JPS in late July, and Rebecca Larsen, a Jackson Physician Search Recruitment Consultant got started right away.

Rebecca traveled to the clinic to learn more about the community.  She found a growing community with many new developments, but also a large rural population in surrounding areas.  Armed with this information, she dove into the search to find the right candidate.  Dr. A. was practicing about three hours south of the FQHC that Rebecca was busy recruiting for and was completely unaware of the clinic’s need, despite their 2-year search to find someone.

Within two weeks of her visit, Rebecca and Dr. A connected, and both determined that the FQHC opportunity was a perfect fit for Dr. A. and the clinic. That fit was even more evident when Dr. A, learned that the clinic administrator shared his commitment to mission work. Dr. A. has a long history of spending time providing free dental services to military veterans and also impoverished communities. Now, he was beyond excited to have a new job close to his home that would also afford him time to continue his volunteer work.

In all, from starting the search to a signed contract with Dr. A, it took an amazing 39 days.  Obviously, in today’s competitive physician recruitment environment, not every search is completed within that short of a timeframe, but it does illustrate how a trusted, professional recruitment partner can bring together an opportunity and a physician to create a win-win scenario for both parties.

If you are looking for a partner that can help with your job search efforts, contact the professionals at Jackson Physician Search today.

 

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How Physicians Can Achieve Better Work-Life Balance

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A few years ago, a study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine found that physicians are twice as likely as other workers to be unhappy with their work-life balance. Since then, nothing in the healthcare industry has changed to make achieving that balance any easier, and many may concede it has gotten worse.  The 2019 Medscape study on Physician Burnout found that 44% of doctors were experiencing burnout, and 15% were clinically depressed.  Clearly, with the effort required to become a physician, ending up burned out and depressed is not an ideal scenario.

Regardless of your chosen occupation, everyone deserves to achieve the work-life balance that they have always wanted. Let’s look at a few things you can do immediately to find that perfect work-life balance.

  1. Audit Your Time. I know, your first thought is that you don’t have the time to practice medicine, how can I find the time to track my hours.  The answer is simple. If you don’t have a clear understanding of where your time is going, how can you make the necessary changes to find balance?  Fortunately, there are very handy time tracking apps that you can put on your phone.  With very little effort, you can set up the multitude of tasks you perform throughout the day, and when you get to work the next day, simply clock into and out of those tasks. At the end of the week, you will have a very clear picture of where your time is going.  Time tracking apps like Atracker or TMetric offer basic versions for iOS and Android for free, or more robust versions for a nominal fee.  Once you determine where your time is being wasted or how much time is spent on overly labor-intensive duties, you can work on coming up with a solution.
  2. Make Your Own Wellness an Important Priority. You spend your day healing others, but when it comes down to it, how much time are you spending on healing yourself?  You aren’t a machine and should refrain from treating yourself like one.  Start small and force yourself to leave work at a reasonable hour at least once a week.  Or, try spending a lunch hour several days a week at the gym.  Let’s face it, the work will be there when you get back, so there is no reason to forgo your own mental and physical health trying to do the impossible.
  3. Don’t Obsess Over Things You Can’t Control. There is a lot of wisdom in the “Serenity Prayer” that is used in 12-step recovery programs, among other things. As a physician, you have a lot of things that are in your control, but also much that is not. Instead of stressing about each new regulation that is passed down from CMS or the latest insurance claim that was denied, have the serenity to accept what you can and cannot control.  Internalizing your frustrations over external demands is a sure way to stoke the burnout fire. Try channeling those frustrations into an evening run or visit the gym.
  4. Create a Meaningful Life Outside of Your Work. As difficult as it may seem at times, the more life you cultivate outside of work, the more reasons you will have to force yourself to leave at a reasonable time or take a vacation day or two.  Whether it is family, friends, or a hobby, having other priorities in your life besides work, makes it easier to force a balance between them.
  5. Advocate for Yourself. Frequently, physicians allow themselves to be sucked into commitments or responsibilities that are unreasonable for anyone who is trying to achieve work-life balance. Sometimes you have to stick up for yourself and demand that time off for vacation, or even just the opportunity to take a break or a lunch at a reasonable time.  If electronic records charting is keeping you in the office until 9 at night, advocate for a medical scribe to alleviate some of that burden. Somethings are worth the fight, and if it is impeding your ability to create balance in your life, fight for the change you need.

You have worked extremely hard to become a physician, and you deserve to have a life outside of practicing medicine.  It may not seem easy to achieve, but it is important for you as a person and your longer-term career to begin taking steps toward achieving balance in your life.

If you need to make a change in order to achieve greater work-life balance, contact the experienced recruitment professionals at Jackson Physician Search, and let us help you find the opportunity needed to get there.

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Staying Ahead of Physician Retirements

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Much of the recent discussions regarding the impending physician shortage include the reality that by 2020, one in three physicians will be of retirement age.  Couple that with the associated costs incurred with each physician vacancy, and it is clear that hospital and healthcare system administrators need to get out in front of their physician retirements.  Jackson Physician Search recently conducted a survey of physicians and administrators regarding their thoughts about retirement and how that will impact physician staffing levels.  The survey was followed up by the publication of a white paper outlining retirement perceptions of both groups of respondents.

One thing that was clear throughout the survey results is that physician perception about retirement varies greatly from administrator’s perception of the same.  Here are a few ways that administrators can better prepare for physician retirements.

Understand what is driving the retirement discussion for physicians.

Administrators responded that the average age for retirement at their facility was 65, which is in line with U.S. Census data reporting 63 years of age. Administrators also cited that the main driver for physician retirement was lifestyle (48%), but that the second driver was for health reasons (15%). Physicians, on the other hand, cited lifestyle (44%) as the top reason, but stated financial stability (23%) second, and burnout (20%) was third.

Facilitate the Retirement Conversation.

Contemplating retirement is a big deal for anyone, physicians included.  When asked, 80% recognize that it is their responsibility to initiate the retirement conversation, but only 52% responded that they feel comfortable doing so. Overwhelmingly, administrators responded that they felt comfortable having the retirement discussion with their physicians. That is an important consideration to keep in mind. Knowing which of your physicians are nearing retirement age with the understanding that they may not be comfortable talking about it, a good strategy should be to create an environment where they can openly discuss their plans. Some organizations use surveys. Others have HR provide talking points to assist the physicians in starting the retirement conversation. However it is done; the important factor is to make it a collaborative, comfortable conversation.

Don’t Get Caught by Short Notice.

We all know how long it can take to fill a physician vacancy and how much each vacancy can cost.  One area of great divergence between physician responses and administrator responses concerns the amount of prior notice to be given before a retirement.  Almost 50% of administrators stated that the ideal advance notice was one to three years, while 40% of physicians claimed 6 months or less was sufficient.  With that much of a discrepancy, clearly, proactively having retirement discussions are just as important as developing an ongoing recruitment effort to have available candidates in the pipeline.

Create a Win-Win Retirement Transition Plan.

Up to 40% of administrators responded that they considered full retirement the top priority for physicians.  Surprisingly, only 17% of physicians indicated that they were planning to fully retire, and almost 28% stated that they would work full or part-time somewhere else.  Again, this divergence of opinion re-emphasizes the importance of open and honest retirement conversations. Administrators can be proactive and work on creating a transition plan for each physician’s retirement. Whether it is an offer of flexible part-time hours, taking on telemedicine duties that can be managed around their schedule, or even non-clinical duties as available.  Another important piece of information that came out of the survey is that 50% of physicians stated that they would consider employer-sponsored incentives to start an early retirement process.  That type of proactive approach could be utilized to the organization’s benefit and help to avoid any retirement surprises. When asked if they offered any type of proactive, employer-sponsored early retirement benefits, nearly 95% of administrators responded in the negative.

Retirement is going to be an important topic over the next several years for a large portion of the current physician workforce.  Administrators should take the opportunity to review the Jackson Physician Search Retirement Survey White Paper and formulate a collaborative strategy with their physicians.  Having a clear understanding of each party’s intentions can ease any unexpected vacancies and also allow for a more comfortable transition for the retiring physicians.

If your organization needs the assistance of a trusted physician recruitment partner or wants to tap into the knowledge of experienced healthcare industry professionals, reach out to Jackson Physician Search today.

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Provide Autonomy to Keep Physicians Engaged

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Since the Gallup survey on physician engagement came out in 2015, most if not all hospital administrators made themselves familiar with the information that was collected.  Since then, countless articles have been published highlighting the ways that healthcare organizations can keep their physicians engaged, yet, physician burnout and retention issues still exist, with more than 40% of physicians reporting that they are suffering from burnout.

In a subsequent survey, Jackson Physician Search conducted an engagement survey, using the same Gallup poll questions, but requested responses from both physicians and hospital administrators.  The results illustrated a clear difference between the physician experience of engagement drivers and the administration’s perception of the same.

In their own words, physicians value autonomy and want to be treated fairly and with respect. All three of these factors contribute to physician engagement, and all three are areas where physician perception differs from administrators’ perception. With that in mind, let’s review how physician engagement expectations can be met.

 

Place appropriate emphasis on culture and fit.

More than at any time prior, physicians want to work for an organization that is aligned with their own values.  Current physician shortages have created a very competitive physician recruitment environment, making it increasingly important to recruit and hire physicians who are a good fit for your organizational culture. If your organization does not have a recognizable or clearly defined culture, consider investing the time to find out. Further, it is important to recognize that an engaged physician staff are more productive and generates more revenue than physicians who are not engaged.

Ensure administrative actions are aligned with physician goals.

Physicians care about the patients they are serving.  When asked about the source of their frustration, many cite what they deem to be unreasonable expectations put upon them by executive decree.  There is always a reason why administrators place a goal or expectation on a physician, and usually, there is data to back it up. Where the gap materializes is that the data or reason behind an administrative action is not shared with the physician staff.  When physicians perceive that administrative actions are conflicting with their medical decision-making, any sense of autonomy is lost.  Transparency regarding goals and expectations facilitates physician buy-in and reduces unnecessary stress and burnout.

Cultivate an open environment for feedback and transparency.

The gap between physician perspective and that of administrators highlights the need for improved communication from the top down.  Physicians are trained problem-solvers, and when they are engaged, they can be invaluable in helping to solve organizational issues and other challenges in the workplace. Creating a culture of open and honest communication and feedback can ignite their problem-solving skills and lead to solutions that may be missed without a front-line perspective.

Implement a Physician Leadership development strategy.

In addition to being problem solvers, many physicians are natural leaders.  In a 2019 poll conducted by the Medical Group Management Association, 67% of respondents cited that no leadership coaching was provided to their clinicians. Admittedly, not every physician has the interpersonal skills to be an effective leader or executive.  But, there are many other ways that physicians can be developed to provide effective leadership to a slew of organization objectives. Those with demonstrated leadership skills and abilities should be groomed to take on future roles within the organization. Others, who exhibit different types of problem-solving or leadership skills can be trained to provide specific project-level leadership to help achieve organizational objectives. The key is to tap into each individual’s skill set to develop and nurture their innate skills and abilities.

Create a culture of support.

Too often, healthcare organizations develop a tendency to overreact to regulatory and qualitative burdens. No one will argue that raising the standards of care are important, but to the practicing physician, the regulatory burdens can be crushing.  All of the above recommendations should contribute to a recognized need for healthcare organizations to develop an environment where regulatory and qualitative burdens are met by a collaborative approach.  Together, administrators and physicians should communicate about a collective approach to achieving quality standards and meeting the increasing regulatory burden.

 

The roadmap to achieving physician engagement, while satisfying their desire for autonomy in patient care decisions is hardly different than in organizations across the employment spectrum. Physicians, like most working individuals, want to work in an environment where they are valued, have an opportunity to participate in the decision-making process, and are supported by leadership.

To learn more about how your healthcare organization can improve physician engagement and retention, contact an experienced Jackson Physician Search industry professional today.

 

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How a Recruiter Can Make a Connection That’s Just Right

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Many physician searches for small, rural hospitals stretch on for months.  The key is finding a doctor who is ready and willing to relocate to a small community, and that sometimes takes time.  Having a successful recruitment to a small West Texas hospital last 42 days is almost unheard of, but that is exactly what happened for Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional, David Isenberg.

David’s client was located in a Western Texas town of about 10,000 people and had been unsuccessfully trying to recruit a family medicine practitioner with Obstetrics experience and credentials.  Ideally, they were hoping to find an experienced physician who could act as a mentor to the other physicians on their staff and provide much-needed leadership during a period of transition for the newly renovated hospital.

David made contact with Dr. K, who was practicing in Central Texas. At the time of her contact with David, it was just the right time for her to make a new move.  Shortly after starting this search for his client, David became aware of Dr. K and immediately pursued her.  She had the OB/GYN experience and had many of the character traits that they were looking for.  He reached out to her and discussed her level of interest in a move to West Texas.

After discussing the opportunity, Dr. K knew that this was an opportunity where she could be successful.  Within weeks, Dr. K made arrangements to clear her schedule for a site visit.  While that was happening, the hospital CEO made plans for a site visit that would seal the deal with Dr. K.

While on her visit, Dr. K met with just about everyone on the hospital staff, she met with the mayor of the town and many others. The locale is known for its wineries, so part of the site visit was at a nice wine tasting event where Dr. K was able to meet with the hospital Board, the head of the school district where her son would be going to school, and even folks from the community who showed up at the event.

Things were progressing rapidly, and David was able to play an intermediary role throughout the process. The hospital CEO communicated directly with Dr. K, which really kept the negotiations moving toward a successful conclusion.  During this time, Dr. K was presented with other offers, but she ultimately chose this one because of how well she was treated during the site visit, the potential of the opportunity and the open dialogue she had with the CEO.

Not every search will last just 42 days, but even with a short time frame, this client did everything right, which ultimately landed them the physician they needed. They prepared a top-notch site visit, maintained open communication throughout the recruitment, and moved quickly through the negotiation process.

This search went so well the client has engaged JPS to identify an additional provider for the hospital.

If you need help looking for new opportunities, contact Jackson Physician Search to learn how our expert recruiters can help you today!

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How to Prepare for Physician Retirements

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Our white paper, The Realities of Physician Retirement: A Survey of Physicians and Healthcare Administrators was recently featured in a HealthLeaders article written by Chris Cheney titled “How to Prepare for Physician Retirements”.

There are several considerations for both physicians and administrators, including notice periods and how to initiate retirement discussions.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • By next year, about one-third of physicians will be over 65 and nearing retirement.
  • In a recent survey, lifestyle was identified as the most important factor in retirement decisions for physicians, with lifestyle cited by 44% of physicians.
  • The survey found physicians and administrators have widely variant expectations on the ideal notice period for announcing plans to retire.

Healthcare organizations should create a positive culture and effective processes for physician retirements, according to a recent survey report published by Alpharetta, Georgia-based Jackson Physician Search.

 

Click to read the entire HealthLeaders article. 

It’s Never Too Early for Physician Retirement Planning

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If you are one of the more than 30% of physicians who will be 65 years of age or older by 2020, you have probably already thought a lot about retirement.  If you have some years ahead of you before retirement age, it is still a good time to think about what your retirement might look like.

Jackson Physician Search surveyed both practicing physicians and healthcare administrators to gain an understanding of how physicians can prepare for the transition to retirement and how healthcare organizations can plan for the potential vacancies.

According to the almost 600 physician respondents, the drivers for retirement included lifestyle issues (44%), financial stability (23%), with nearly 20% citing burnout and frustration with increased administrative responsibilities detracting from a focus on patient care.  Let’s look at other factors to consider when retirement is a part of your conversation.

Is full-retirement your plan?

While more than 40% of administrators responded that when one of their physicians was planning to retire, it was going to be a full retirement. In contrast, only 17% of physician respondents planned to fully retire, with 28% planning to work full- or part-time somewhere else.  Physicians have options available to them, with many organizations happy to provide flexible work schedules, telehealth opportunities, and other unique job opportunities for physicians who still want to practice medicine, but on their own terms.

Do you have a planned retirement location?

For the physician who wants to spend a portion of their retirement years fishing, hunting, or hiking, or maybe sailing and spending time on the water, retiring to a favorite location doesn’t mean you have to be fully retired.  Most rural and less-populated communities will jump at the chance to have an experienced physician working a few hours a week at the local critical care hospital or FQHC.

Who should initiate the retirement conversation?

According to the Jackson Physician Search survey, the majority of physician respondents acknowledged a responsibility to initiate the retirement conversation with administration, but almost 52% expressed their discomfort with discussing retirement.  An important fact to know for those physicians who are uncomfortable initiating the retirement conversation is that 74% of administrators are open to the discussion.

What is a fair lead-time for retirement notification?

Your retirement is a personal matter that should obviously be discussed and decided by yourself and your loved ones.  However, with the current physician shortage and the lengthy time needed to fill physician vacancies, the matter of retirement notification lead time has become a critical topic.  Almost 50% of administrators cited an ideal advance notification of one to three years, while 40% of physicians felt six months was adequate.  Ideally, a retirement notification should be somewhere in between those two extremes.  In today’s high-demand climate, physician vacancies can take from six months to more than a year to fill.  The key is for there to be an open dialogue between the physician and administration to allow for adequate planning and recruitment time.

Physicians who are beginning to reach that stage in their career where retirement is closer to reality should plan their conversation with administration.  No organization wants to be caught off guard with an unexpected vacancy.  And, administrator survey respondents clearly stated that they welcome the opportunity to discuss retirement options with their physician staff.

If you are finding yourself nearing that retirement discussion, it may be time to consider speaking with the industry professionals at Jackson Physician Search.  Our team has decades of healthcare industry experience, and we can assist you with whatever your retirement plans may include. From helping you plan the retirement discussion with your current organization to finding you the perfect part-time opportunity in your retirement locality.  Jackson Physician Search wants to help you transition to your perfect retirement.

For more information, contact Jackson Physician Search today.

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Proactive Retention for Today’s Physicians

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It is already well-documented how much physician vacancies cost healthcare systems and medical practices.  With as much as 40% of physician vacancies going unfilled as recently as 2017, retaining the physician staff that you already have in-house has become more important than ever.  Let’s review proactive ways that administrators can improve physician retention instead of filling endless vacancies.

Hire for Fit

The most effective way of reducing physician turnover is to hire physicians that are already aligned with your corporate mission, values, and culture. When your staff believes they are working for an organization that embodies the same values and culture, they are naturally more engaged in their workplace. According to a Gallup study, physicians who are more engaged not only avoid looking for new opportunities, they are also 26% more productive and generate 51% more referrals than their counterparts that don’t feel that same sense of engagement.

Embrace Flexible Scheduling

Today’s physicians are not the typical doctor of 30 years ago. If you want your physician staff to maintain a singular focus on treating patient after patient in an assembly line fashion, there is a good chance you are already in an unending cycle of physician vacancies. Today’s physician has other personal and professional interests that go beyond their love of healthcare. Whether it is research, teaching the occasional class, or spending several weeks a year on medical missions to underserved nations, cater to your physician staff’s outside interests, and they will repay you with loyalty.

Learn the value of EQ

When discussing someone’s intelligence, references are always made to their IQ, but just as important for retention purposes is EQ.  Emotional quotient (EQ) has been studied since 1990, and the results have shown that individuals with higher EQ, are more rewarding to work with, and are better at handling stress and workplace relationships. The good news is that EQ is something that can be developed in everyone.  EQ training is sometimes referred to as soft skills training, and when successful, the results are an improved workplace culture and environment. Another important consideration when EQ training is being implemented is that it needs to include everyone from administration to physicians to support staff.

Develop a Mentorship Program

Physician burnout is affecting up to 55% of doctors, according to the Stanford University School of Medicine.  When staggering numbers of physicians are reporting feeling the effects of burnout, it is not a stretch to imagine them looking for a new opportunity that doesn’t include the same amount of stress.  A mentoring program can help physicians who are struggling to manage the stress of their job and career.  Physician mentors have experienced the same types of job stress as their struggling counterparts and have valuable wisdom to share.

There is no single retention strategy that will help you avoid physician vacancies. But, losing sight of the factors that are contributing to your retention woes is the surest way to keep the vacancy cycle going.  Paying attention to the culture of your workplace and understanding how leaders with lower EQ contribute to stress and disengagement can help you set a course for improved retention and more success overall.

Jackson Physician Search is annually ranked in the top 15 Best Places to Work in by Modern Healthcare.  Our team of industry and recruitment professionals stands ready to help you find, hire, and retain the physicians and advanced practice professionals your organization needs.  Contact us today to get started.

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