Rural Practice Opportunities Offer Undeniable Benefits for New Physicians and Those Soon-to-be-Retiring

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The pandemic has led many physicians to question the next chapter in their lives, and how they’d like to spend it. For some, it appears an early departure towards partial (or even full) retirement is the answer, while others are seeking a better balance between work and life. At Jackson Physician Search, we’re seeing evidence of both – physicians are increasingly exploring new job opportunities.

In a recent MGMA webinar, Jackson Physician Search President Tony Stajduhar spoke about the market dynamics of healthcare recruitment by stating that up to 50,000 physicians were expected to accept new positions in 2020. Considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of this movement is predicted during the second half of the year.

Now, as the country continues to reopen, many hospitals and medical groups are resuming onsite interviews, opening the door for physicians to accept coveted new roles. With physicians reporting feelings of increased stress and burnout from the unrelenting COVID-19 patient volumes found in the hotspots, many doctors who previously would have gravitated for an urban position are considering rural practice opportunities.

Moving to the country – somewhere out in the middle of nowhere – isn’t something that many physicians envision for themselves or their families, but most rural communities aren’t as remote as you’d imagine. According to the census bureau, a rural area is defined as any population, housing, or territory that is not located in an urban center. In reality, that includes most of America.

Residents and Fellows as well as Physicians Transitioning to Partial Retirement May Find Rural Opportunities Particularly Enticing.

While nearly 20 percent of Americans live in rural areas, only about 10 percent of physicians are living and working in the same communities. Historically, rural healthcare facilities have had difficulty competing with their urban counterparts when filling physician vacancies, so they’ve adapted by offering several benefits often not as readily available to newly practicing physicians and those who are nearing the end of their careers. Let’s review, so you can decide if the next chapter of your life includes a relocation.

  • Higher Compensation. Tony Stajduhar said in a NEJM article that recent placement data showed an additional 5 to 10 percent in starting salaries in rural opportunities compared to urban for some specialties. Higher signing bonuses may be available, too. For new physicians who are facing large student loan debts, a higher starting salary can make a big difference in building the life they envision.
  • Lower Cost of Living. Rural locations often feature a lower cost of living, which is attractive for most anyone, but particularly so for young physicians buying their first home or retiring ones moving to their forever home. It also goes without saying that for those physicians seeking part-time employment as they transition to full retirement, the cost of living savings could be put to good use traveling or pursuing other hobbies.
  • Better Work and Life Balance. Flexible schedules, or more control over it, are often a perk available to physicians who choose a rural setting. For younger physicians who are just starting a family, this means you’re able to be more present. Furthermore, some specialties aren’t needed on a full-time basis in every community, so this paves the way for an experienced physician to be paid very well for part-time work. And for those who live in cities like Atlanta, Los Angeles or New York, or any others known for the worst commutes, moving to a smaller community gives you back hours in your day.
  • Open Lines of Communication with the CEO. In a smaller or rural practice setting, there is little to no bureaucracy to navigate. Physicians often have a direct line to the CEO, meaning that decisions get made faster, changes can be made to workflows more quickly, and dialogue is encouraged.
  • Physicians are Key Stakeholders. When was the last time you were directly involved in deciding how your organization was managed? In a smaller community setting, you will find that your ideas are welcome, and you are part of a collaborative team all working with the same goals in mind. In a recent Jackson Physician Search survey, 43% of physician respondents cited more autonomy as an important attribute in their careers.
  • Workplace Culture. In recent years, physicians have placed a greater emphasis on culture, values, and fit when considering new job opportunities. In a rural setting, you have a great deal of influence on the overall workplace culture, which is often appealing to early and late careerists who want to make their mark or leave a legacy, respectively.
  • Community Involvement. While being an active member of the community isn’t for everyone, when you are a physician practicing medicine in a smaller practice setting, you are going to have the opportunity to be as involved as you want. Instantly having the respect of the community may even move you to step out of your comfort zone and act on your newly acquired “pillar of the community” status. Not surprisingly, in the aforementioned survey, physicians who were practicing in rural communities ranked their top reason for choosing to practice there as community culture.

COVID-19 continues to challenge us all, and it’s leading some physicians to look for new ways to manage such a high-stress career. It’s always wise to take time and evaluate career options, but that’s true now more than ever.  If you have always been focused on staying within large, urban, and metropolitan hospitals and health systems, consider if the alternative is best for you. Smaller communities throughout the U.S. are medically underserved, and physicians who choose to practice there are making a difference in countless ways. Now just might be the perfect time for you to join them.

If you are actively considering your career options, or if you just want to see what types of opportunities are out there, contact the professional physician recruiters at Jackson Physician Search. Our team is comprised of experienced healthcare industry professionals who have nationwide contacts and the reach to help you secure your perfect practice setting.

 

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How Physicians Can Successfully Navigate a Job Search During the Pandemic

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The constantly changing landscape of COVID-19 has significantly impacted the healthcare field in nearly unimaginable ways, including the wide-spread postponement of elective procedures four months ago. In June, after some states began reopening from stay-home orders, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) conducted a poll to learn how much patient volume had begun returning to medical practices.

Poll results showed that the majority of medical practices (87 percent) had recovered at least some patient volume, and almost half of those reported patient volumes to at least 75 percent of their pre-COVID-19 levels. Even with the pandemic taking a turn for the worse in recent weeks, that is good news for physicians who are looking for new job opportunities.

Additionally, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released new information confirming long-held concerns about the physician shortage. It is now estimating the U.S. is facing a deficit of between 54,100 and 139,000 physicians in both primary and specialty care by 2033 – higher than previously reported. In other words, physicians remain in very high demand.

Up to 7 Percent of Physicians Relocate for New Job Opportunities Each Year

The industry sees 50,000 +/- physicians on the move every year, and the pandemic is having little to no effect on changing that for several reasons, including:

  • Per the recent AAMC study, more than two out of five physicians are reaching retirement age.
  • Jackson Physician Search polled physicians via our email newsletter and email job ads last month, and two-thirds of those who responded indicated that COVID-19 has prompted them to look for a new job.
  • 42% of doctors report feeling burnout according to the American Medical Association, which may prompt some to look for a new opportunity or retire earlier than planned.
  • Furloughs and salary cuts from COVID-19 may entice some physicians to seek a more secure position elsewhere. And, those in private practice may opt for an employed status post-pandemic.
  • Traditional reasons for accepting a new position also remain, including better work and life balance, a relocation closer to home, increased career potential, or improved culture and value alignment.

Be Open to a Virtual Recruitment Process

A live poll taken during the recent MGMA20 | The Operations Conference Online showed that a small percentage of medical groups – only 14 percent – aren’t actively interviewing due to COVID-19. For the other approximately 86 percent that are continuing to fill key vacancies, nearly 63 percent have adapted the interviewing process by using virtual interviews and video community tours. While many physicians prefer a face-to-face experience, some who are highly motivated to make a move are embracing this new method.

If you’re offered a virtual interview, here are a few tips to make a great impression:

  • Choose a professional, well-lit location where you won’t be interrupted.
  • Do a test run of your computer’s video and audio, as well as your Wi-Fi connection, with a family member or friend.
  • Close unnecessary tabs and turn off your cellphone.
  • Prepare your questions ahead of time to assess career and culture fit, and familiarize yourself with those who you will virtually meet.
  • Demonstrate engagement by maintaining eye contact, nodding and smiling as you normally would. Be authentic.

To augment the virtual interview, many healthcare organizations are showing off the best side of their community and facility with custom videos, as well as virtually connecting physicians to professional resources such as real estate agents, personal bankers, local school advisors, etc. For busy physicians, this can save a lot of wasted time by only traveling to those opportunities that you are most interested in pursuing.

Trust a Physician Recruiter to Simplify Your Search

Building a relationship with an experienced physician recruiter, especially during these challenging times, can pave the way for a smooth job search. With in-house recruiters potentially pulled in so many directions right now due to COVID-19, a recruitment firm can assist you with following up on opportunities in order to maintain momentum. Furthermore, a great recruiter will help to prepare you for the interview, increasing the potential for receiving a competitive offer.

Also, look for a firm with nationwide reach regardless of where you want to practice, and stay open to locations outside your target geographical zone. A national recruitment partner will have the resources, network connections and inside information about a position and facility to find you an opportunity that matches your career and life goals. Here are some additional tips to set yourself up for success when working with a recruitment firm:

  • Update your CV and accept honest feedback from a recruiter if edits are recommended. After all, both you and your recruiter want you to put your best foot forward.
  • Be transparent with your recruiter about why you’re looking for a new position, even if there’s less than flattering information to disclose. Also, ask your recruiter why the position is open.
  • Understand the various components of an entire compensation package, including base salary, benefits, bonuses, and potential incentives like student loan forgiveness.
  • Involve your family early in your job search. As important as it is for you to find the right opportunity for your career, you naturally want your family to feel the move is good for them, too.
  • Lastly, commit to your job search. As Warren Buffett famously stated, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and only five minutes to ruin it.” When you have the support of a recruiter, respect the process.

Jackson Physician Search has nationwide reach and a team of recruitment professionals with decades of healthcare industry experience. You can search our open jobs and apply today by visiting jobs.jacksonphysiciansearch.com.

 

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Interpreting Compensation Data Sources for Physician Recruitment Success

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Tony Stajduhar, President of Jackson Physician Search, joined Craig Hunter, Senior VP at Coker Group last week to lead an MGMA webinar titled, “Interpreting Compensation Data for Physician Recruitment Success.” The main objective was to help healthcare administrators understand and utilize the various compensation data sources available to build a competitive offer that would improve physician recruitment success.

Compensation Data Sources

Physician compensation data can be derived from a variety of sources, with some being more accurate and reliable than others. Overwhelmingly, compensation data found through MGMA is considered the “gold standard” as a data source.  Over 80% of participants responded to the webinar poll question that MGMA was being used as a benchmark for compensation data. Several also responded that they utilize a blend of compensation data gathered through MGMA, AMGA, and other data sources to arrive at competitive offers.

“There is a wide variance in reported compensation levels for physicians by specialty,” Stajduhar warned.  “It is critical that healthcare administrators utilize the most accurate compensation, like the MGMA data, to create their fair market offers.”

Hunter expounded upon that point by talking about how important it is to understand Total Cash Compensation or TCC.   When developing a compensation plan, all aspects of compensation must be taken into account and are already included in MGMA’s TCC benchmark data.  The organization must also realize that there will most likely need to be a FMV (fair market value) opinion completed on the physician’s compensation to make sure it is within regulatory guidelines.

Considering the Market

Clearly, location can play a role in how interested physicians might be to relocate to a particular area. Cost-of-living, crime rates, schools, and education systems all contribute to the desirability of a region. When putting together a compensation package, a location’s cost-of-living has to be a consideration. For example, In San Diego, California, the cost-of-living is 40% less expensive than San Francisco. In dollars, a physician in San Diego earning $179,000 annually needs to make $250,000 to support that same lifestyle in San Francisco.  As with the compensation data sources, there are tools available for administrators to utilize to ensure that they are considering cost-of-living when developing their compensation plans.  NerdWallet.com provides a simple user interface to compare cost-of-living between two cities.  Other sites, like Realtor.com, provide more detailed breakdowns of how much it costs to live, buy groceries, utilities, and more between two different cities.

Stajduhar advises that if an administrator is looking at compensation for a specific metro area or location, it is wise to cross-reference salary data found at Doximity.com. He cautioned that the data found at Doximity is self-reported and may or may not include benefits, but it can be useful in supporting an offer in specific localities.

“When creating compensation plans, utilizing as much relevant, detailed information as is available, will typically help you be within Fair Market Value guidelines for that physician.”

~Craig Hunter, Senior VP Coker Group

Total Compensation Packages

In considering the components of a total compensation package, utilizing the concept of Fair Market Value (FMV) should not be overlooked. Whether a healthcare organization has the resources to evaluate the plan for each physician specialty it employs, or it utilizes the support of industry experts, understanding the elements that comprise an attractive compensation package is vital to successful recruitment.

Additionally, as competition for physician services continues to increase and turnover results in lost revenue, crafting the salary portion of the offer is only the first part of the equation. The total compensation being offered should support both the recruitment and long-term retention of the physician. Healthcare administrators must learn what motivates their candidates. These benefits may include:

  • Student loan forgiveness
  • Optimal work/life balance
  • Housing allowance based on the location
  • Sign-on bonus
  • Time for sabbaticals or research opportunities

Other types of exclusive perks that can help attract candidates and lead your retention efforts are:

  • Personal financial advisors
  • Low-interest loans
  • Deferred compensation
  • Family tuition or family education grants

By knowing what is most important to your ideal candidates, you put yourself in the best position to build an attractive offer.

Physicians on the Move

Even with the pandemic, physicians are seeking new opportunities and preparing to make a move.  This is especially true during the summer months, and this year may even be busier than in the past because of the travel restrictions of late winter/early spring.  From a numbers perspective, more than 50,000 physicians will accept new positions in 2020. Factoring in recruitment costs and the loss of revenue incurred with each physician vacancy means it is critical to ensure your recruitment and retention efforts are functioning at a high-level.  Healthcare organizations are faced with six to nine-month time frames to recruit and hire most specialties. In addition to the +/- $250k sign-on bonus, relocation costs, and other expenditures.

“Each year, between 6- and 7% of all physicians move across the country.”

~Tony Stajduhar, President Jackson Physician Search

Recruitment Takeaways, Post Pandemic

As the nation continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, both Stajduhar and Hunter caution healthcare administrators to keep focused on candidate acquisition and adjusting their recruitment efforts to the current landscape. For example, one thing the pandemic brought to the forefront was how video conferencing could successfully be used to screen and interview candidates.

Not that technology will permanently replace in-person interviews and site visits, but these tools can be used to reduce costs and should be developed and used now. In fact, some organizations are using virtual interviews so effectively that candidates are accepting offers based on these interactions alone. Here’s how this Alabama facility recruited an ENT.

Stajduhar also advises healthcare executives to continue evolving and improving your internal processes to ensure that candidates are seeing and experiencing your organization in the best light. Workplace culture and fit continue to play an essential role in attracting the best physician candidates, and administrators need to ensure that organizational culture and values are front and center throughout the recruitment process.

If you need help with recruiting physicians, don’t hesitate to connect with one of our search consultants. They’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have about physician compensation packages, recruitment best practices, and retention tips.

You can reach Tony via email at tstajduhar@jacksonphysiciansearch.com and on LinkedIn here. You can reach Craig via email at chunter@cokergroup.com and on LinkedIn here.

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Now More Than Ever, Physicians Should Practice Self-Care

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Globally, everyone is dealing with the effects of COVID-19, including stress and uncertainty.  One subject that isn’t discussed often enough is the mental trauma being experienced by the physicians and frontline healthcare workers.  Recently, Tony Stajduhar, President of Jackson Physician Search interviewed Dr. Russell Livingston, a psychiatric physician, to discuss ways that physicians can mitigate and overcome the trauma they are experiencing due to the current healthcare crisis.

“The pandemic is unique in that the entire nation, the world, in fact, is trying to cope with the exact same stressor,” Dr. Livingston explains.  “And in times of stress, human nature seeks to find more certainty, even when there is no indication that certainty is a realistic expectation.”

For example, it is still unclear how vulnerable physicians are to COVID-19. Even with the utilization of PPE, it is impossible for any of them to have certainty as to the level of risk they are facing, and by extension, the impact and risk potential for their loved ones.

According to Dr. Livingston, the type of psychological trauma you are experiencing, especially in the hardest-hit areas of the pandemic, is increasing the risk of burnout and is causing an emergence in symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The dangers with this are two-fold. First, experiencing symptoms of PTSD causes physical and psychological damage. Feelings of depression, avoidance, lack of focus, feeling overwhelmed, can all have long term effects. Secondly, from a patient perspective, when physicians are experiencing the effects of PTSD, the quality of care suffers.

Mitigating the trauma being experienced by physicians and other healthcare providers at the frontlines of this pandemic is going to take a multi-faceted approach. You can implement mitigation strategies on an individual level, while hospitals and healthcare organizations can implement system-wide programs.

Steps Physicians Can Take to Mitigate Trauma Caused by the Pandemic

Dr. Livingston recommends that the first thing a physician should do is engage in reflection and do a self-inventory. As with a patient, it is critical to honestly assess whether prolonged exposure to trauma is manifesting in any physical or mental symptoms.  An honest approach to this exercise will help determine what strategies can be employed to mitigate stress.

There is no magic cure for addressing the stress and trauma being experienced by physicians and frontline healthcare professionals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as with any other wellness strategy, the most important things that anyone can commit to are the big three: Sleep, Nutrition, and Exercise! Physicians already know this, but the challenge is committing to making the behavioral change required to get the expected results.  Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Sleep, nutrition, and exercise should be addressed in total, rather than as three distinct strategies. All three work in concert to improve wellness, so only focusing on one or two will not drive the results that are needed.  When considering exercise, walking can be beneficial, but reducing the symptoms of trauma and anxiety requires 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic activity, at least three times per week.  Further, it is critical to modify any personal habits that interfere with one’s ability to adequately address this approach to improving wellness.
  2. For many, Yoga and Meditation can be effective strategies to help balance mental wellness. Practicing yoga improves overall fitness and flexibility, while meditation can promote emotional improvement through deep relaxation techniques in as little as ten-minute intervals.
  3. During periods of extreme stress and anxiety, one often overlooked strategy is to engage in a creative activity. Inherently, the act of creating art relieves stress and stimulates areas of the brain which promote a sense of balance. Studies have shown that engaging in creative endeavors increases the production of dopamine, thereby encouraging a feeling of well-being.
  4. As a physician, your expectation is that when individuals need medical treatment, they will rely on you to help them. That same logic applies to physicians who have or are suffering from mental trauma caused by the pandemic. Sometimes, the above-noted strategies aren’t enough to mitigate the stress and anxiety you are feeling. Never hesitate to seek professional help if you are unable to overcome the trauma you have experienced. Trained mental health professionals can help you cope and provide you with additional resources to address your mental well-being.

System-wide Approaches to Stress Mitigation

Proactively, hospital and health system administrators should be addressing the physical and psychological trauma the pandemic has created for their staff.

“There is a tremendous benefit for hospitals to set up structures that afford physicians the opportunity for self-care,” according to Dr. Livingston.  “Administrators can encourage and even facilitate the concept of having physicians and other staff create individual plans for self-care.”

He further explains that in many cases, Human Resources can take the lead in helping staff develop their own self-care plans. In other cases, a consultant, such as Dr. Livingston can help an organization create an environment where the staff is comfortable talking about their feelings. Specific strategies can be implemented, such as affording and encouraging staff to take time out of their day to participate in self-care activities. These may include activity breaks for walking or listening to music, or meditation.  A healthy organizational culture will promote and reward behaviors that model these activities, rather than discourage them.

According to Dr. Livingston, it should be commonplace for healthcare organizations to have a model or system for debriefing during extremely traumatizing times, such as the current pandemic.  It is important for individuals to acknowledge that they are being exposed to traumatic situations and that it is okay to talk about it.  Old school thinking will drive the argument that affording employees extra time for mindfulness breaks and walking sessions is bad for productivity. Researchers argue that the opposite is true and that employees who engage in self-care activities are more productive and provide higher quality work.

What Can Physicians do When Self-care Systems are Not in Place

Any physician that is in a workplace where systems of self-care do not exist or aren’t fully functional should feel empowered to try and effect change in the workplace.  There is enough research-based evidence available to support bringing the concepts of self-care forward for discussion. Demonstrating that it will have a positive impact on the entire staff can be a compelling argument.

Dr. Livingston cautions physicians who are trying to influence these positive changes in the workplace to not try to do it alone. He encourages individuals to never worry alone, and in a case such as this, it makes sense to reach out and involve colleagues and other providers to help get the process started.  Change is more readily accepted when it comes from within and bubbles up rather than decreed from the top down.

The last point Dr. Livingston makes on the topic of engendering change towards an environment of self-care is to take a realistic approach when the push back is too great.

“In this current environment, where demand for physicians is so great,” he explains. “Physicians have more job opportunities than many occupations.”

He further explains that because healthcare entities have so much competition to fill physician vacancies, they are more invested in retention than in the past. Because of this, positive changes may be more readily accepted. However, Livingston says that if administrators are unwilling to consider reasonable proposals, physicians may have to engage in self-reflection of a different kind. If changes of this nature are unwelcome, a physician is fully justified in considering whether a career change is needed. Physicians have opportunities available to them, and it is reasonable to seek an employment setting that is more aligned with their own culture and values. Clearly, a healthier provider translates to a higher quality of care being provided. If a compelling argument has been articulated, and leadership is still unwilling to advance a self-care initiative, you can control your future.

If you want to explore new opportunities, contact the recruitment professionals at Jackson Physician Search. Our team of healthcare industry experts have the experience and nationwide reach to help you land the job that is best suited to your work/life balance.

 

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Telehealth Continues to Grow in Popularity – Is it Time to Add it to Your Skill Set?

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One of the things that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us is that patients are willing to adapt in order to continue receiving medical care.  According to a report on CNBC, virtual healthcare interactions could top one billion by the end of 2020. The impact of the current pandemic has driven the rapid adoption of telehealth services to unforeseen heights, easily overcoming the original barriers of cost, availability, and the relationship factor.

In addition, as most healthcare providers are now well aware of, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services paved the way by providing waivers for the duration of the current emergency. These waivers have allowed physicians to offer more than 80 additional healthcare services through telehealth and to bill for them at the same rate as in-person visits versus the previous lower rates.

As reported in a recent article in Healthcare Finance, Atlanta-based Emory healthcare went from offering no telemedicine appointments to over 4,000 each day, and now 91% of Emory’s providers are telehealth-trained. In addition to providing excellent preventative care and other services, Emory approves because it reduces hefty overhead and keeps revenue flowing.

Now, there is widespread talk that telehealth is here to stay, and it should be made permanently available to Americans coast-to-coast and not just in rural areas where access to care is limited. Congress will need to pass several regulatory changes once the pandemic passes, and many believe it will.

These developments open up a viable new career option for many physicians, with primary care and behavioral health the two areas with the greatest demand. Outside of your typical medical school and residency training, there are no other training requirements to inhibit your ability to practice medicine virtually as a full-time or part-time option.  Let’s look at a few things to consider if you’re planning to add telehealth to your physician skill set.

  1. Meet NCQA Standards. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recommends that physicians have a minimum of four years practicing in a typical practice setting before jumping into telehealth services. While individual state requirements may vary, a physician looking for the best telehealth opportunities should ensure that they meet the minimum NCQA standards of four years’ experience.
  2. Telemedicine Providers are not Created Equal. As you would with any job opportunity, a physician who is considering telehealth options should do some homework on the various providers of telehealth services. Basics to consider include Volume, Pay Structure, Work Shifts, Malpractice Support, and Credentialing Support. Another key component in your decision to credential with a particular telemedicine provider is their approach to technology support. The last thing a physician needs is to be experiencing an issue with the virtual platform, and attempts to reach technical support are met with automated email responses. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions about a provider’s technical support process before signing on with them.
  3. Are You Tech-Savvy and Comfortable Caring for Patients Simultaneously? Considering the fact that you will be conducting your patient visits virtually, if you don’t enjoy or struggle to navigate various software applications, telehealth may not be your best career choice just yet. It is never too late to take a couple of courses online to build up your skills. You will quickly master any telehealth interface.
  4. Develop Your Virtual Bedside Manner. One of the biggest learning curves for physicians who begin adding telehealth services to their repertoire is mastering the doctor-patient relationship virtually. When you sit down with your patient face-to-face, it is much easier to cultivate that vital relationship. When conducting a telehealth visit, it is critical for the physician to hyper-focus on listening and observing as much as possible. Instead of a physical examination, you are relying on what the patient is telling you. This means you have to listen carefully and ask the right questions to narrow down the medical issue at hand.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over, but millions of people have grown accustomed to working from home.  Once we are on the other side of this crisis, it will be interesting to see how many industries expand their telecommuting options.  The situation is not much different for physicians who have been working from home and want to continue to do so in a more permanent manner.  Patients that have adapted to virtual medical visits will continue to do so even after the pandemic threat has dissipated.  Now is a perfect time for physicians who want to plan for a full- or even part-time career change to telemedicine.

No matter what direction you envision your physician career path taking you, Jackson Physician Search can help you find an opportunity that best suits your skill set and your lifestyle needs.  Contact one of our experienced physician recruitment professionals today and see how we can help you achieve your career goals.

 

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Psychiatry Career Outlook: How the ‘New Normal’ Could Impact Your Job Search

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A recent APA poll revealed that 36% of Americans feel coronavirus is having a serious impact on their mental health and 59% feel it is having a serious impact on their day-to-day lives. As we progress towards the new normal, it appears already high levels of anxiety may increase the need for mental health professionals and that could exacerbate the psychiatry shortage.

A steady increase in demand means that psychiatrists have more options to find a practice opportunity that fits their career and personal life than ever before. Here are a few ways psychiatry professionals can ensure they are maximizing their career opportunities.

Pursue an In-demand Sub-specialty

If a psychiatrist is willing to pursue additional training, there are a variety of sub-specialties to consider. Aside from child, adolescent, and geriatric psychiatry, there are also opportunities for forensic (legal) psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, administrative psychiatry, public health, military, and psychiatric research. Other highly specialized training includes psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic institutes.

Choose a Setting that Fits Your Lifestyle

Like many physician specialties, psychiatrists can practice in a diverse array of clinical settings. Many (almost half) choose private practice, but beyond hanging out your own shingle, psychiatrists work in general and psychiatric hospitals, university medical centers, prison systems, nursing homes, and military settings.  Others choose rehabilitation centers, community clinics, educational settings, and hospice.

Another benefit of working in a high-demand specialty, psychiatrists can choose to expand the diversity and variety of settings and combine various practice settings.

Embrace Telepsychiatry

With no easy answers available for solving the ongoing shortage of psychiatric specialists, the federal government has eased restrictions on out-of-state licensure requirements to expand access to telepsychiatry treatment.  Overall, COVID-19 has driven an increased adoption of telemedicine services, which many industry experts predict will continue even after the pandemic is over. One of the largest telemedicine service providers, TeleDoc, is reporting more than 100,000 virtual appointments per week.  Telepsychiatry has been shown to be an effective way to maintain continuity and quality of care for patients, and previous studies have concluded that telepsychiatry assessments are a dependable method of assessment.

Take Advantage of the Demand

You’ve chosen a medical career that has been increasing in demand for the past twenty years, and now that you are established, you should feel free to find an opportunity that matches your aspirations.  With medical systems across the country clamoring for your services, take a moment to assess where you are at in your desired career path.

For example, if your goal is to retire in the country with some land and outdoor activities to fill your free time, you may be able to take a few steps in that direction today.  Rural health systems are some of the hardest hit for psychiatric care shortages, and now is the perfect time to prepare for what comes next. Or, if your current practice setting is not affording you the proper work/life balance that you desire, you should have little trouble finding a setting that works for your family and lifestyle needs.

Another aspect of a career as a psychiatric physician is a wide range of salaries from state to state and whether you will be practicing in a rural or urban location. To learn more about what compensation you can expect, visit the Jackson Physician Search salary calculator to access the most accurate compensation data.

The bottom line is that your psychiatry career is providing you with more options than you may have had in the past. Now is the time to take advantage of the demand your specialty is giving you.  Also, you don’t have to invest your own time to find the next opportunity, consider establishing a relationship with an experienced recruitment firm. A good recruiter will have a network of connections and the industry experience to help you land an opportunity that makes the most sense for you and your family.

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 opportunity that meets your needs.

Learn about compensation and benefits to get the most of your job search

Looking for Your Next Job? Understanding Physician Compensation, Benefits, and Bonuses

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Three Things to Know Before Deciding if a Medical Practice is the Right Career Path for You

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Choosing the type of organization in which you want to practice is a big decision for all physicians. Despite the financial hit many medical practices incurred during COVID-19, you might have dreams of starting your own practice. Or, you might see yourself working in a hospital where the business burden of healthcare is on someone else’s shoulders, not yours.

Medical practices often offer unique benefits that those two options cannot. For example, partnership tracks offer enhanced income, profit sharing and other perks for physicians in established medical practices. And unlike starting out on your own where you’ll need time to build your patient load, working with an established practice means you’ll be up and running quickly with your own patient panel.

Still, medical practice work isn’t for everyone. Here are some tips on evaluating whether it is the right choice for you.

 

  1. Research the compensation median and bonus structures available for the specialty and region.

We offer an online physician salary calculator to help you easily access physician compensation data customized by specialty, state and type of location. Other resources are helpful, too. The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) sells a DataDrive Provider Compensation report with valuable information on the compensation differences among physician-owned, hospital-owned and academic practices for a variety of regions, practice sizes and provider experience levels.

For example, the 2019 report shows that median compensation for established providers increased 3.4% for primary care physicians from 2017-2018. Specialty physicians had a 4.4% increase.

The report also shows how median total compensation for primary care physicians varied greatly by state from 2017-2018. The District of Columbia was the lowest paying, with $205,776 in median total compensation. Nevada was the highest paying state with $309,431. States that saw much larger increases in median total compensation compared to the national rate were Wyoming, Maryland, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi. Two states—Alabama and New York—saw decreases in median total compensation for primary care physicians.

 

  1. Understand the different employment models available (employed, partnership track)

There are five basic employment models used by physician practices.

Straight Salary
The physician has a sense of security and a guaranteed level of income. The con aspect is that a straight salary model does not encourage innovation or cost reduction efforts.

Salary Plus Bonus
As a means of encouraging physicians to increase practice income, reduce costs or achieve other predefined performance metrics, a salary plus bonus payment model provides physicians with a guaranteed salary while also having an opportunity to earn a bonus.

Equal Shares
Divides revenue equally among the group of physicians after expenses are covered.  One of the pros of an equal shares model is that there is a natural aversion to the overutilization of resources. A downside of this payment model is that there is no incentive for creating efficiencies or higher productivity.

Pay-for-Performance
More physicians are finding that systems are implementing variations of a pay-for-performance model as a way to tie financial incentives to the achievement of predetermined performance goals.  Physicians are being encouraged to innovate.

Productivity-based
In this model, physicians receive a percentage of their billings, or are paid according to a scale that is based on procedures being performed or the type of patient visit. An advantage of productivity-based models is that physicians are rewarded for extra effort, and they are also encouraged to be mindful of excessive overhead costs.

According to MGMA, a 50% or more salary-based compensation plan with added incentive payments is the most common plan, with productivity-based compensation a close second. Which plan is right for you? With a myriad of factors and choices, we can help you ask the right questions to negotiate a package that is fair and aligned with your goals.

There are three basics:
Ask about the structure, how the model works, specifically what production, quality and patient satisfaction metrics you must achieve to earn an incentive bonus.

Ask about incentives, such as a stipend while still in training and student loan repayment options.

Ask about transparency, including a review of the practice financials, how much current physicians are making and how long it took them to ramp up to that level.

You can find additional advice from our experts on the most important questions to ask here.

 

  1. Partner or employee?

The idea of becoming a partner in a medical practice was once the dream of many young doctors. The advantages are many: an equal vote on practice issues, due process protections, a culture of partnership. But there are risks involved when medical practices offer partnership tracks, including the burden of extra administrative duties and a buy-in process that can lower initial salary payments.

If you’re interviewing with a medical practice that offers a partnership track, be sure to discuss the length of the buy-in period and how the process works. Before accepting any offer, consult your own legal and financial advisers to be sure your bases are covered.

 

Make sure it’s a cultural fit

There are some simple questions you can ask yourself to see if the culture of the practice will be conducive to your happiness and success.

  • Do you feel there is a shared mission that is clearly defined and followed at every level of the organization?
  • Are behaviors and corporate decisions aligned with your own personal values?
  • Is communication transparent from top to bottom?
  • Does the organization value things like work/life balance and demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of the employees?

Notice how none of these questions involves compensation. Sure, you want to do your due diligence in finding a practice with a compensation plan that suits your needs, but you also want to be sure it feels good, too. Getting answers to these questions during the initial interview can make the difference between a successful experience and burnout.

Contact us if you’d like additional insight into working with a medical practice.

 

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Looking for Your Next Job? Understanding Physician Compensation, Benefits, and Bonuses

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This article is Part III in a series dedicated to helping physicians plan their next career move. Click here for Part I and find Part II here.

Medical school training is both comprehensive and exhaustive for today’s physicians, and the one area that too little time is spent talking about is compensation.  After all, physicians don’t want to spend almost ten years training for a career and not have a clear understanding of how they are going to be paid.

Part of the challenge in understanding physician compensation models is that they vary across the board. Often times, when weighing one job opportunity against another, it is difficult to make an apple-to-apple comparison regarding the salary structure.

Hopefully, by the time you reach the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the different types of compensation packages and will feel more confident in negotiating an offer that is fair and aligns with your personal and career priorities.

Types of Compensation Packages

Straight Salary

Without question, the easiest compensation model to understand, in any industry, is the concept of a preset level of income for the hours and work that you perform.  To support the salary level, physicians are typically required to achieve pre-defined, reportable metrics, such as productivity and quality.  With a straight salary model, physicians will have a sense of security due to the guaranteed level of income, but may not be motivated to pursue innovation or cost reduction initiatives.

Salary Plus Bonus

As a mechanism to encourage innovation, reduce costs, or achieve other performance metrics that aren’t tied to a guaranteed salary, administrators often implement a bonus structure on top of the straight salary.  For many healthcare organizations, this is a popular method of physician compensation. An important consideration for physicians negotiating the bonus portion of the offer is to ensure the appropriate metrics are included and are transparently reported regularly.

Pay-for-Performance

One of the more complex and administratively burdensome pay structures is the pay-for-performance model.  Health systems are increasingly moving to tie financial incentives to the achievement of predetermined performance goals.  This model has an obvious benefit to the organization as physicians are being incentivized to achieve performance and quality targets.  Pay-for-performance models also succeed in motivating physicians to find innovations and efficiencies.  When this type of compensation model is contained within an offer, it is important for physicians to understand all of the individual components that are going to be impacting their salary.

Value-based Measures

Ever since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare industry has been evolving toward value-based outcomes.  Similarly, physician compensation models are gravitating toward value-based compensation.  In the past, physician compensation was often driven by patient volume and the number of procedures performed.  Today, many other factors are included, such as costs of care, patient experience, coordination of care, quality, and productivity.  And, while productivity still comprises the largest factor in physician compensation, a mix of value-based factors can contribute up to 20% of total compensation.

RVUs

Another trend that was more pronounced after the passing of the Affordable Care Act was a move toward mergers and consolidations across the healthcare industry. Relative Value Units (RVUs), a concept introduced in the 1990s, have not only played a role in physician compensation, but also in determining the value of medical practice buyouts and mergers.  In its simplest form, an RVU accounts for physician time, technical skill and effort, mental effort and judgment, and stress as components of providing a service.  Some physician compensation models use a base salary, but add to it a bonus factor that is based on the number of RVUs generated.  This is another example of a compensation structure that needs to be carefully studied when considering employment offers.

Stacking

When a compensation model includes stacking, physicians can be sure that it will have a higher level of complexity.  Stacking occurs when a physician is performing multiple roles and being compensated for each individually.  For example, hours spent working as the medical director or other leadership capacities will be paid at a different level then hours worked in their regular capacity.  This type of arrangement can serve as a motivator for doctors who may be considering a leadership position, or possibly a move to a different position altogether.  Stacking models can lead to higher compensation for physicians but is more challenging to track to ensure you are being paid for work performed.

Guaranteed Salary

Just looking at the name, physicians may think that this compensation model is the most straight forward and easiest to understand.  Not necessarily.  In some cases, your contract may state that you are 100% guaranteed to earn a specific salary annually.  In other contracts, your guaranteed salary may be a lower overall number that is guaranteed but includes incentive triggers that allow you to increase your compensation.  Just because the name suggests a guarantee, it is still wise to have your lawyer examine the contract to ensure you understand what is guaranteed.  Whenever incentives are involved, it is important to understand how the RVUs are calculated and how they are tied to your salary.

Common Bonuses

As we have discussed, in most compensation models, your compensation doesn’t consist solely of a base salary.  Most employers combine an agreed-upon salary with variable components that affect total compensation. You need to determine – and be comfortable with – how much of your pay will be based on your individual performance, organizational performance, and other factors like patient satisfaction. It is fair to ask how those variables have affected compensation in recent years – and why.

Bonuses are playing an essential role in physician compensation.  They can be productivity-based, quality-based, or a combination of both.  Factors that impact a healthcare organization’s bonus structure include payer mix, overhead costs, percentage of self-payed patients, RVUs, and more.  Let’s take a closer look at how bonuses can be used in a physician’s compensation package.

Quality Bonuses

As mentioned above, the passage of the Affordable Care Act ushered in a new era in healthcare, where more emphasis was placed on the quality of care.  Healthcare administrators are increasingly looking for ways to incentivize the achievement of quality indicators.  Part of that effort is in the form of quality bonuses for physicians.  Quality bonuses can be tied to many factors, such as patient satisfaction, throughput time, paperwork/medical records completion, etc.  One way a physician can determine the fairness of the quality bonus structure is to ask what percentage of employees are earning the quality bonus. This will give you an indicator of whether the bonus plan is achievable.  You will also want to know how often the bonuses are paid out, as some are quarterly, bi-annually, or annually.

Sign-on Bonus

As the physician shortage continues to drive up the competition for services, sign-on bonuses have become a differentiator for healthcare organizations when filling vacant positions.  Something for physicians to consider is that sign-on bonuses are impacted by geographic location.  In some areas, physicians can expect signing bonuses of up to $40,000. By contrast, in other localities, bonuses of $10,000 or less are common.  Physicians who are not tied to a specific location can seek out more lucrative offers if they are willing to relocate.

Student Loan Forgiveness

Most physicians finish medical school training with an incredible amount of student loan debt.  That kind of pressure adds stress to a young physician who is starting their career.  Student loan forgiveness and assistance is another way healthcare administrators are attracting physicians to fill their vacancies.  In most cases, a physician will receive a set amount of student loan assistance for a contractual commitment to stay in the position for a number of years.  In the past, student loan forgiveness was a key drawing card for rural and community health systems to aid their recruitment efforts.  Now, as the competition for physician services becomes fiercer, organizations in all settings are using student loan forgiveness as a recruitment tool.

Retention Bonuses

As the costs to recruit and hire physicians continue to escalate, healthcare administrators are paying more attention to finding ways to keep the doctors they already employ. One way administrators are addressing this is through the implementation of retention bonuses.  These bonuses are typically paid at periodic intervals throughout the length of an employment contract, but some are held until a physician has completed the entire agreed upon term.

Benefits

Malpractice/Liability Insurance

Arguably the most popular benefit that healthcare organizations are providing to their physicians is insurance against malpractice claims.  These benefits can include variable coverage limits and other claim specific details.  This is another essential clause for your lawyer to review, so you understand your coverage, limitations, and what happens should you leave the position.

Relocation Stipend

Many healthcare organizations are sweetening their offers by offering relocation benefits to physicians who are willing to move to a new location to accept a job offer. Relocation benefits are typically negotiable based on the geographic area and other location-specific circumstances.  Physicians should be sure to understand the specifics of what is required to earn the stipend and how it will be paid out.

Miscellaneous Benefits

Other bonuses and stipends can be available but are less common.  In some geographic locations, physicians may be offered a vehicle stipend, housing allowance, parking stipends, and more depending on specific challenges in that area.  Other benefits include paid time off (PTO), retirement plans, health insurance, and continuing education programs.

Recruiter Help

Throughout the years of medical training, the person a physician relies upon the most, is themselves.  Physicians are naturally born problem solvers, and most are fiercely independent.  One time that being self-reliant should be reconsidered is during a job search.  When a physician is ready for their first position or seeking the next step in their career, a recruiter can help navigate the myriad of unforeseen challenges.  A trusted, experienced physician recruitment professional will have access to open positions that you may not find on a typical job board.  They will be with you every step of the way throughout your search and can provide you with critical information about the organization, the leadership team, geographic considerations, and compensation expectations.

The key is to find a reputable physician recruitment firm.  One that has a nationwide network and experienced healthcare industry professionals who can help you find the best fit for your personal and professional goals.  Your recruiter is a great sounding board and can help you polish up your CV and provide you with the tips you need to ace the interview process.  When it comes time to negotiate an employment offer, your recruiter can give you seasoned insight into what to expect, how achievable the bonus structure is, and a number of other details that will impact your earnings.

To connect with a nationally recognized physician recruitment firm, reach out to the healthcare industry professionals at Jackson Physician Search today.

Take Charge of Your Career as a Physician

Take Charge of Your Career to Avoid Physician Burnout

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, through the year 2026, physician employment is projected to increase by 13%.

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Coping with Stress: How Physicians can Maintain their Well-being During COVID-19

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No one is immune to the physical, emotional, and even financial side effects of COVID-19. Stress levels are at an all-time high worldwide, as everyone is grappling with the uncertainty of when life will return to normal.  But for physicians, staving off feelings of fear, anxiety, and burnout is as critical as saving lives while getting through this pandemic.

Jackson Physician Search president Tony Stajduhar has been checking in via video calls with several of his physician and healthcare administrator friends and most report feeling growing levels of fear and anxiety.  Each has isolated themselves in homes separate from their spouses and children in a valiant effort to protect.  That means after a long day, suited in full protective gear that is anything but comfortable, they arrive to empty homes.  More than ever, physicians could benefit from the support and companionship of their loved ones.

Feelings of burnout were already prevalent among physicians, but now loneliness is settling in as well.  The one constant in COVID-19 is that we are continuing to learn as we go.  Fortunately, many organizations are trying to get in front of a mental health crisis by putting together resources and daily practices that healthcare providers can use to protect their mental health.  Let’s take a look at some coping strategies that you can practice to maintain your emotional and physical well-being during this challenging time.

Prioritize Your Health

Your health and well-being are essential during this global health crisis.  The world relies on you to help us get through this unprecedented event, and we’ll also need you for all our health issues that are currently taking a back seat. As you know, the benefits of eating well and partaking in physical activity are both physical and mental.  Continue your exercise routine and, if you can get outside and enjoy the spring weather while doing so, that’s all the better. Don’t be afraid to indulge once in a while in some comfort food or a guilty pleasure.

Take Breaks

While taking a break may seem impossible when the flow of patients doesn’t appear to let up, fatigue and stress have a direct impact on performance.  The same applies to your nurses and other support staff, making it even more critical to set the example and find time for regular breaks.  Stepping away for a few minutes will provide you with an opportunity to pay attention to your mind and body.

Prioritize Sleep

No one needs to explain to you how a lack of, or poor sleep, can affect an individual’s mental and physical well-being.  The challenge is that as stress levels increase, sleeping well becomes more difficult. Adding to that, many physicians and healthcare professionals respond to elevated patient loads by working excessively long hours at the expense of their own well-being.  Unfortunately, the less time your body spends in sleep, the more compromised your immune system becomes. In a pandemic, that is an especially dangerous combination.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindful meditation is usually practice seated and can be done for as little as one minute. This breathing practice is an excellent time to exercise compassion towards yourself, so don’t let your mind wander to negative thoughts and keep your attention on your breathing. Body scan exercises, available online, are a great way to assess your mental and physical well-being while giving yourself a chance to relax and decompress in the process.

Stay Positive

Controlling negative emotions during a crisis is probably one of the most difficult challenges front-line healthcare workers face right now.  Like finding time for a break, and allowing yourself to sleep, being kind and compassionate to yourself starts with a positive mindset but requires intentional effort. It is important to acknowledge the fact that you, your family, and your colleagues are experiencing similar challenges.  Taking a supportive and positive approach during such a difficult time goes a long way toward helping everyone successfully navigate another day.

Connect with Family and Friends

Call someone you love every day and talk about something meaningful. Use Facetime or another video calling tool to get a digital face-to-face conversation with someone you haven’t seen in a few weeks or even a few years. Resist the urge to binge-watch Netflix alone and instead find something more engaging. If you are going to watch a show or tv to unwind, netflixparty.com allows you to with others using the Chrome browser on your computer.

Ask for Help – Know That You’re Not Alone

Reaching out for help is a sign of strength and emotional awareness.  Many hospitals and health systems are ramping up the availability of psychological therapists to help their front-line healthcare professionals during this time.  If you don’t want to sit down with a therapist, reach out to a trusted friend or a mentor, and allow yourself to verbalize your feelings. Talking to someone you trust can be liberating and may help you emotionally process the situation.

Get Ahead of the Physical Toll

While the emotional toll of COVID-19 is high now for all healthcare providers, the physical toll is yet to come. Many of you are have patients with elective procedures and other treatments that are currently being postponed. Adopting a good set of coping strategies now only serves to help you through the rush of patients that will follow this crisis.

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 will leave many lessons learned in healthcare and in all areas of life. May some of those lessons be a new emphasis on managing mental health and achieving a healthy work/life balance. For immediate support, we’re pleased to see that The American Medical Association has curated mental health resources to help physicians during COVID-19. You can find more information here. If prioritizing a better work/life balance or moving closer to home is best for you and your family, trust Jackson Physician Search to guide you through the job search process. You can search our open jobs and apply today by visiting jobs.jacksonphysiciansearch.com.

 

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How Shelter-in-Place Orders May Affect (But Don’t Have to Derail) Your Physician Job Search

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With more states issuing shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, healthcare administrators are working tirelessly to procure personal protective equipment for their providers and medical devices to save the lives of their patients. They are also focused on keeping up with a myriad of other essential responsibilities required to keep hospitals running effectively during these challenging times and, for many, that includes reviewing their staffing planning goals.
 
As a physician recruitment firm, we are finding that several healthcare organizations are continuing to recruit and fill physician vacancies. Because 50,000 physicians are expected to relocate for a new position before the end of 2020, interviewing, site visits, and job offers continue, albeit there are some noticeable differences to the traditional process.
 
If you’re seeking a new opportunity, keep applying for positions that interest you and read on to learn what you may expect as the new “temporary” normal.

Video Interviewing Takes Precedence

Virtual interviews are frequently used in many other industries to conduct the initial screening, to interview candidates who will work remotely, and to interview out-of-town candidates in lieu of travel. With air travel drastically reduced, and social distancing practiced everywhere, video interviews are becoming more prevalent throughout the physician hiring process. Here are a few tips to consider when preparing for your video interview:
  • Choose a Location. With stricter shelter-in-place orders more common than not, chances are that you will be doing the video interview from your home. If you don’t have a home office, choose a room that is well-lit and one where you won’t be interrupted. It is also best to avoid having a lot of clutter visible in the background.
  • Test your Setup. Even if you are familiar with video conferencing technology, always do a test run with a friend or family member. This is to make sure your internet connection is stable, your webcam produces a clear picture, and your audio is working clearly. Have a light source in front of you rather than behind you and put your computer/webcam at eye level for the best video.
  • Dress for an Interview. Treat the video interview as you would a face-to-face meeting. You wouldn’t wear workout clothes for an in-person interview, so don’t do it for a video interview. Wearing a suit or other professional attire will project your professionalism and also subconsciously put you in an interview frame of mind.
  • Close Unnecessary Tabs. Before the scheduled video call, shut down any tabs or programs on your laptop that aren’t needed for the interview, especially social media and email. Your interviewer will see if you are distracted and working on other things during the meeting.
  • Turn Off the Cellphone. At a minimum, keep your cell phone on silent mode, but preferably turn it off altogether to avoid the potential for distraction.
  • Be Prepared. In a typical interview environment, you would walk in with your CV, a pen, and a pad to write on. Have those same essentials available during your video interview. Jot down any questions that come up and have your CV available for reference.
  • Act Naturally. One of the most widely accepted interview tips is to maintain natural eye contact with your interviewer. That shouldn’t change with a video interview. Maintain eye contact, nod, and smile as you normally would to demonstrate engagement. Looking off into space or continually turning your eyes toward something off-camera is not a good look. Also, if you typically talk with hand gestures, don’t try to depress your natural way of communicating. Be yourself, and your personality will come across as authentic.

Conduct Your Own Virtual Community Site Visit

While the projection models show that we’re going to be dealing with COVID-19 for the near foreseeable future, there’s no way to know precisely when stay-at-home orders will be lifted, travel will resume, and life will return to normal. Physicians who are actively pursuing a new career opportunity are often looking at jobs from one coast to the other. Moving your family is a very real part of the job-hunting consideration process, so finding new ways to narrow down your options is important when a traditional community site visit isn’t viable.
 
In addition, assessing cultural fit with the organization and its people is vital to long-term employment. You might not be able to shake hands – or even tap elbows or bump feet – but you can still meet your colleagues and staff before accepting an offer. Here are some suggestions:
  • Video Site Visit. Typically, the site visit is an opportunity for physicians to get a first-hand look at the facility and to meet potential colleagues. Now, you may be invited to a video conference to meet your fellow physicians, members of the board, and even some of your staff. Much like when you were the video interviewee, this may be your best chance to assess the different personalities on the team and determine if you are finding a good cultural fit. Plan your questions ahead of time and interview everyone you can about the organization.
  • Community Information. With travel mostly prohibited, you can do investigative work online to learn as much as possible about the community, including school systems, religious centers, sports teams, entertainment options, and anything else that is important to you and your family’s happiness and well-being. Your potential new employer will likely have someone assigned to “show you around,” but now it will be a virtual experience. Instead of being there in person, they will probably point you to online resources and give you telephone and email information for important local contacts, so you get your questions answered from the comfort of home. An excellent resource to find out about crime, schools, and even weather for any community in the United States is www.city-data.com. Travel and tourism websites are also great options and many feature drone video footage to give you a bird’s eye view of the area. It may take a leap of faith to consider accepting an offer in a community unseen, yet physicians and other adventurous executives do it every day.
  • Real Estate. If you are planning to buy a house in your new location, you may end up doing a lot of the preliminary work online anyway. This might include interviewing real estate agents via phone or video and doing virtual tours of houses on Zillow or other real estate websites. Just like it would be if you were there in person, finding a good real estate agent is going to be the key to a successful house hunting experience.
 
It goes without saying that much of life feels upside down right now for everyone. At Jackson Physician Search, we’re here to support you by continuing to work day and night to help facilitate your next career opportunity, while also assisting hospitals and healthcare organizations with staffing their facilities. As our new “temporary” normal continues to take shape, we’re here to guide you through the interview and job selection process. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have – together, we will get through this. You can also review our commitment to you during the COVID-19 crisis by clicking here.
 
If you are looking for a physician job search partner, contact a Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional.

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