Primary Care Slated for Potential Boost in 2021 Physician Compensation

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The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has proven to be the ultimate test of the strength and resilience of the American healthcare system, and the backbone of highly skilled physicians and clinicians upon which it is based. And when it comes to physician compensation, the challenges created by the pandemic may have many physicians wondering what to expect in 2021, when the global and local impact of the pandemic hopefully begins to wane. The social distancing, quarantining and telehealth precautions and procedures adopted almost instantaneously, nationwide, in March of 2020, meant that elective surgeries came to a standstill and office visits dwindled to a trickle.

As a result, American healthcare systems saw furloughs, layoffs and staff reductions to an extent we couldn’t have predicted. According to the American Hospital Association, health systems and facilities in the U.S. lost more than $200 billion in the first quarter of 2020; MGMA research suggests that physician-practice income fell by as much as 55%, as clinics closed or patients chose to delay their visits.

The pandemic has surfaced questions about the efficacy of some of the existing compensation models and their ability to react to major systemic disruptions, while still providing physicians with the income they have come to depend on.

Major Issues in Primary Care

Primary care providers – family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and OB/GYN – were hit hard by 2020’s first round of clinic closures and service disruptions, especially those operating on a fee-for-service schedule.

A study conducted by Healthaffairs.org suggests that over the course of the year, primary care practices are expected to lose almost $68,000 in gross revenue, per provider, due to pandemic issues – leading to total systemic losses of more than $15 billion. And the number could be double that, they say, if CMS policies fast-tracking payment for telemedicine are only a short-lived fix.

Adding to the issues is the reality that primary care continues to experience a shortage of qualified physicians, for a variety of reasons. Even at the medical school level, some students are actively steered away from pursuing a career in primary care as medical specialists can and do, on average, earn twice as much as their primary care counterparts. And given the huge burden created by medical student loan debt, which has come to exceed $200,000 per physician on average, the incentive to pursue primary care after medical school has dwindled considerably.

According to Kaiser Health News, of 8,116 internal medicine residency positions offered to graduates in 2019, only 41.5% were filled by American medical students – and many of those may elect to ultimately pursue a fellowship in another specialty. As a result, the American Association of Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of 21,400 to 55,200 primary care practitioners by the year 2033.

CMS Proposes Long-due Changes that Increase Reimbursement for Primary Care

One particularly bright spot has appeared that might help to ease the financial burdens and ultimately entice more physicians to choose primary care. The 2021 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Physician Fee Schedule, set to be finalized December 1 and put into effect in 2021, proposes an array of changes aimed at addressing primary care issues, including higher reimbursement rates for evaluation and management (E/M) services such as office visits and care management services, as well as a renewed emphasis on telehealth procedures.

Primary care procedures and treatments ranging from electronic home visits to outpatient or prolonged virtual office visits have all been permanently added to Medicare’s lists; rest home visits, emergency visits and even psychological testing are also covered during the duration of the Covid-19 public health emergency.

Further, streamlined EMR documentation requirements for primary care doctors also mean more face-to-face time with Medicare-covered patients, lightening the bureaucratic burden and upping patient numbers. According to the American Association of Family Physicians, the increase in total allowed charges for primary care doctors is now slated for 13%. Given that Medicare spending grew by 6.4% in 2018 to $750.2 billion and Medicaid also grew by 3.0% to $597.4 billion – some 37% of national health expenditures in the entire country – the CMS changes represent a significant reinvestment in primary care.

Admittedly, other specialty areas are less enthused by the CMS’s proposed changes in priority. In order to pay primary care providers more, cuts in payments to surgery and other specialists have been made, in an effort to maintain budget neutrality. The proposed ruling calls for a 9% cut to cardiac surgery, 7% to vascular surgery, 7% for general surgery and 6% to ophthalmology procedures, versus 2020 rates.

Organizations such as the American Medical Association are urging the CMS to treat all physicians fairly, and are upset that radiologists, pathologists and anesthesiologists could be impacted by the realignment of fees, with further delays in treatment, compounding the disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Other Compensation Trends in 2021

With so many specialists facing the reality of lower incomes in 2020 as a result of lower patient volumes, both physicians and facilities have also used this year’s rollercoaster ride to reexamine the fee-for-service model. According to the National Law Review, the long-term fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to prompt a greater move toward value-based metrics as part of physician compensation.

“The new approach to physician compensation will mimic what we have seen in recent Medicare models, such as accountable care organizations. Outcomes-based, quality-based and population-based compensation arrangements will become more common,” the magazine notes.

Other Financial Benefits and Perks are on the Table

Primary care physicians looking for a new practice opportunity should also keep in mind that salary is just one component of a larger compensation package, as employers look to remain competitive and build long-term relationships to encourage physician retention.

Add-on features ranging from student loan forgiveness and housing allowances to sign-on bonuses are now part of the perks offered to help attract and retain the right physician candidates. Low-interest loans, deferred compensation, personal financial advisors or even time for sabbaticals and research projects are all on the table, as healthcare employers seek to build a happier and more productive workplace for their physician employees.

The Only Thing That is Certain is Change

 2020 has definitely been a challenging year, in so many different ways. Doctors are not only saving the world, quite literally, but many are making less money as a result of the pandemic, and working incredibly long, stressful hours. At the end of the day, you have to decide what you want for yourself and your family. Does that require a relocation to be closer to loved ones? A move away from a role as a self-employed practitioner, or decision to strike out on your own or become a medical practice partner? Reimbursement rates and compensation models will continue to change as the industry searches for a solution to the financial complexities that is healthcare.

If you’re looking for a new position, things are picking up in terms of physician recruitment after a six-month lull in the market. This means you have more access to positions that are a better fit your career, and your lifestyle. To connect with a nationally recognized physician recruitment firm, reach out to the healthcare industry professionals at Jackson Physician Search today. You can also search our open positions here.

Nail the Physician Interview to Land the Job – Preparation is Key to Success

The on-site physician interview is a pivotal moment for physicians seeking a new job opportunity, and it signifies that you’re one step closer to receiving a job offer…

The Physician Interview: Looking Beyond the On-Campus Meetings

When considering a new position, physicians should evaluate the opportunity though two lenses: career and lifestyle. A good fit with both is essential for professional achievement, staving off feelings of physician burnout, and creating a happy life…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

Take Stock of Physician Burnout, Well-being on World Mental Health Day

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World Mental Health Day falls this year on Saturday, October 10th, and organizations worldwide are raising awareness about mental illness and removing the stigma of seeking mental health treatment. World Mental Health Day was first recognized in 1992, and with the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting communities across the globe, this year’s events seem more relevant than ever.

Considering the chaos and challenges of the past eight months, a critical aspect to consider is how the pandemic has impacted the physician burnout rates, well-being, and mental health of our healthcare heroes, including physicians, nurses, and other providers serving on the frontlines.

In the United States – pre-COVID-19 – 45% of our physicians reported experiencing feelings of burnout at least weekly, and some studies show the rate is actually much higher. Also, an article reported that 20% of medical residents struggled with depression, further supporting the troubling trend of physicians having the highest rate of suicide compared to other professions. In fact, it’s estimated that 300 physicians die by suicide each year in the U.S.

Sadly, physicians rarely seek treatment, or they opt to self-medicate. A 2019 paper in Missouri Medicine, The Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association and published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information site explains that a little over 27% of medical students showed symptoms of depression but only 15.7% reached out for professional treatment.

While a mental health illness and physician burnout aren’t one in the same, both have devastating effects on physicians, their patients, and their families. And with 7.5+ million COVID cases and 210,000+ deaths to date, the lasting effects on physicians and other healthcare workers will not be known for some time. From providing care to wave upon wave of those infected, to worrying about having adequate PPE, to being concerned about exposing loved ones, physicians are at risk of experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Take Stock of Your Mental Health Through a Self-assessment

During this week leading up to World Mental Health Day, it is an important time for all physicians to do a self-assessment and seek appropriate treatment if you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, suicide ideation, other stress disorders, or PTSD. Symptoms may include:

  • Recurring dreams, flashbacks, thoughts, or constant reminders of traumatic experiences.
  • Not being able to share your thoughts or feelings about the trauma, or avoiding situations that remind you of it.
  • Noticeable negative thoughts about yourself or the world around you. Feelings of irritability, hopelessness, and being emotionally numb.
  • Having feelings of detachment, memory lapses, and a lack of interest in activities you would typically enjoy.

An Ounce of Prevention May Stave Off Feelings of Depression

With so much about the COVID-19 crisis still unknown, and with no clear end in sight, physicians should continue to monitor levels of depression and stress – even if you’re currently coping well. Additionally, consider the following pro-active steps to counteract the negative impact the pandemic may have on your mental health and overall well-being.

  1. Talk about your feelings. One of the simplest, but most often ignored ways to relieve stress and anxiety is to talk about it. Whether you sit down with a mental health professional, a trusted colleague, a professional physician coach, or a loved one, speaking freely about how you are feeling can be a release from your internal struggles.
  2. Practice what you preach. In the past, how many times have you counseled a patient to find ways to get more rest, employ a healthier diet, and engage in regular physical activity? Now, more than ever, these basic coping strategies should be implemented into your daily routine as much as practical.
  3. Turn off social media. Just as you might tell your teenager to cut back on screen time, you should follow suit yourself. Today’s political and social environment means that just spending a few minutes scrolling through social media sites can be enough to raise your stress levels. If you have a few minutes of downtime, use your smartphone to read a chapter of your favorite book or listen to music.
  4. Take a break. If possible, take your scheduled vacation, even if it means a staycation. Reconnecting with loved ones and relishing in your hobbies can bring feelings of much-needed normalcy.
  5. Take solace in the importance of your work. While the past eight months may feel like more than you signed up for, you were called to medicine for a reason. Through the frustrations, challenges, and worries, the practice of medicine is a noble and worthy pursuit. Take a moment to remind yourself of the importance of your work and recognize that the sacrifices being made by yourself and your colleagues are invaluable.
  6. Finally, do not self-medicate. Trust a healthcare professional to assess your symptoms and prescribe a course of treatment. Getting past the fear of judgment or negative stigma associated with mental illness may be difficult, but it has been documented that non-depressed physicians make fewer errors – and you’ll feel better.

While World Mental Health Day is a good reminder to highlight the mental health of physicians during this pandemic and have empathy for those who are struggling, the feelings of depression, burnout, stress, and fatigue are not going to magically disappear once COVID-19 becomes a historical discussion, much like H1N1 and SARS. Physicians will be dealing with the aftereffects of this crisis well beyond, making it vitally important to take appropriate actions now. Practice self-care and also be mindful of the mental illness warning signs in your colleagues. Sometimes it takes an uncomfortable – but brave – conversation to save a life or a career.

Resources for Anonymous Help

Remember that you are not alone, and there are resources available to help you through these troubling times. Physicians can call the Physicians Support Line at (888) 409-0141 for free, anonymous counseling. Another free resource providing peer-to-peer programs designed to provide support, connection, encouragement, and skill-building to help physicians combat burnout, is PeerRxMed. Finally, physicians and others in crisis can always contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

If, upon reflection, you decide now is the right time to explore new career opportunities, Jackson Physician Search has a team of healthcare industry experts who can guide you every step of the way. We have the experience, network, and nationwide reach to work with you in finding a practice setting that gets you closer to achieving your career and life goals. Contact our team of physician recruitment professionals today and find out how we can make a difference for you.

physicians doing yoga

Now More Than Ever, Physicians Should Practice Self-Care

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 Physician Interview: Looking Beyond the On-Campus Meetings

When considering a new position, physicians should evaluate the opportunity though two lenses: career and lifestyle. A good fit with both is essential for professional achievement, staving off feelings of physician burnout, and creating a happy life…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

[Infographic Guide] Physician Do’s and Don’ts for the On-Site Interview and Community Tour

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Congrats! You’ve landed the coveted on-site interview and community tour. To make the most of this important part of the process, learn the Physician Do’s and Don’ts.

 

Physician Do’s and Don’ts for the On-Site Visit

5 Do’s:

  1. Do Have a Game Plan and Conduct a Background Check
  2. Do Prepare Questions
  3. Do Make the Best Impression
  4. Do Research the Community
  5. Do Establish a Strong Relationship with a Recruiter

5 Don’ts:

  1. Don’t Spend Too Much Time on Compensation
  2. Don’t Leave Your Family Out
  3. Don’t Forget to Have Fun
  4. Don’t Hesistate to Chat With a Neighbor or Someone at the Local Coffee Shop
  5. Don’t Overlook the Details

The Physician Interview: Looking Beyond the On-Campus Meetings

When considering a new position, physicians should evaluate the opportunity though two lenses: career and lifestyle…..

Nail the Physician Interview to Land the Job – Preparation is Key to Success

The on-site physician interview is a pivotal moment for physicians seeking a new job opportunity, and it signifies that you’re one step closer to receiving a job offer….

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

The Physician Interview: Looking Beyond the On-Campus Meetings

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When considering a new position, physicians should evaluate the opportunity though two lenses: career and lifestyle. A good fit with both is essential for professional achievement, staving off feelings of physician burnout, and creating a happy life for yourself and your family.

In the first part of our Physician Interview series, we provided you with the tips and tools to help you have a successful on-site interview. However, meeting with the leadership team and your potential colleagues on the healthcare campus is only part of the equation. To ensure that you are contemplating a job opportunity that will set you up for professional success and personal happiness, also examine everything that lies outside of the facility.

Depending on your family situation, there are different considerations for you in deciding if the opportunity being presented is the right one. Ideally, as you prepared your “game plan” ahead of this process, you also took the time to layout the essentials for your life outside of the workplace. Let’s dive in.

Family Matters

Before arriving for your on-site interview and community tour, hopefully, you have conducted a little research. While in most cases, you can’t accomplish everything online, you can develop a pretty strong understanding of the things that will impact your family the most. Additionally, include your spouse or significant other in the community tour.

Housing Market

Clearly, finding a place to live is an important aspect of any potential move for a new job opportunity. Physicians who are preparing for an upcoming interview and community tour should research the housing/rental markets in and around the community where you would be residing. Spending time on a site such as NerdWallet.com can provide you with an understanding of how your future cost-of-living might compare to your current city. Another online resource, Realtor.com, contains detailed breakdowns of how much it costs for groceries, utilities, and other financial impacts of living in a new community.

Another factor that must be examined when scouting out a real estate market is a breakdown of the most recent and relevant crime statistics. Visiting www.city-data.com provides you with a snapshot of your potential new locality, including crime statistics, income and education levels, primary occupations, and even household sizes.

School Systems

For young families, one of the most important things to look for is the educational support system within a community. Fortunately, there are many online resources to help you gain an understanding of how school systems are performing in districts across the country. The Department of Education has a myriad of data to help parents find critical metrics on K-12 and secondary education performance. Other sites such as greatschools.org and schooldigger.com can help you dig a little deeper into the makeup and effectiveness of more than 120,000 K-12 schools across the United States.

Fun and Games

The last bit of digging before going on your physician community tour is seeing what the area can offer you and your family in terms of recreation, culture, and other activities outside of school and work. Using your favorite search engine is the easiest way to learn what a community has to offer. Use simple searches, such as:

  • [City name] event listings
  • [City name] parks and recreation
  • [City name] golf courses

Now that we have covered a few things about preparing for your community tour, let’s shift our attention to your actual time on the ground.  If you have done some homework, you already have an idea of what to expect once you are off-campus and experiencing your potential new surroundings.

Employer-sponsored Activity

Even in a competitive job market, a physician has enough job options available to allow for some discernment when weighing offers. As documented, more physicians are choosing to work in environments that are a better cultural and personal fit than working for an employer with which they do not feel aligned.

One way to measure that fit is by looking at the interview experience in total. For example, proactive employers are putting forth an effort to ensure that a physician community tour is an experience, rather than a formality. Aside from the actual interviews and meetings with potential staff and colleagues, consider whether they have an agenda that reflects your personal interests and needs.

While no one wants every minute of the off-campus visit to be pre-planned, activities relating to your individual and family situation should be evident. If you are out on a community tour that has not been tailored for you and your family, it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, but it is worthy of additional reflection. We learned from our recent Physician Interview Experience Survey that 82% felt the community tour had a positive influence on their decision to accept the job, so you’re in good company to expect an experience worthy of your time.

Spend Time in the Community

The competitive physician job market may add a slight element of urgency for you to decide should you be offered a position. Knowing this, making the most of your time on the visit becomes even more critical to an informed decision. And since nearly 69% of physicians only go on one on-site interview, you’ll want to be sure you’ve gathered enough information to make a wise choice.

If a realtor is accompanying you to a variety of housing developments, be sure to take enough time to explore outside the home also. Don’t hesitate to chat with a neighbor who is out watering the lawn. Or stop by the local soccer field to see the community “in action.” Even strike up a conversation with someone at the local coffee shop or the person next to you at the gas station. You might be surprised how easy it is to measure the friendliness of your neighbors. Remember, the inside of a house makes it comfortable, but it is the community that makes it a home.

Never underestimate the value of a well-coordinated interview and community tour when it comes to your ultimate satisfaction with a new position. Involving your loved ones in the process is a vital component of making a smooth transition should you accept a job offer. Smart administrators know this and will ensure that your off-campus activities are given the same importance as your on-campus meetings. While you are meeting with administration and future colleagues, having someone take your loved one on a guided tour is often the key to closing the deal.

Establish a Strong Relationship with a Recruiter

Another way physicians can improve their due diligence is to have an established relationship with a trusted recruitment professional. A seasoned physician recruiter will have relationships with key administrators and provide you with valuable insight into the organization, the staff, and the local community. The recruiter has also toured the community and can help you fill in any holes that will aid in deciding to accept or reject a job offer.

Your recruiter can also help you identify vacancies with a healthcare organization that shares your values and meshes with your personality and skillset. Having an open and honest relationship with a trusted recruitment professional should never be underestimated in your search for the perfect practice opportunity.

Jackson Physician Search employs a team of experienced healthcare industry professionals with an established network of relationships across the country. Our recruitment professionals can help physicians identify the organizations and the vacancies that fit your individual needs and career goals. Contact our team today, and learn how we can make a difference in your physician job search.

Nail the Physician Interview to Land the Job – Preparation is Key to Success

The on-site physician interview is a pivotal moment for physicians seeking a new job opportunity, and it signifies that you’re one step closer to receiving a job offer….

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

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

Read about the different types of compensation packages and feel more confident in negotiating an offer that is fair and aligns with your personal and career priorities….

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

Nail the Physician Interview to Land the Job – Preparation is Key to Success

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The on-site physician interview is a pivotal moment for physicians seeking a new job opportunity, and it signifies that you’re one step closer to receiving a job offer. If it’s a coveted role – one that you’ve worked your entire career for – you would be wise to prepare as though you’re going to have to edge out some serious competition. Let’s review the steps you can take to make a great first impression and to put yourself in the best position to land the job.

Have a Game Plan and Conduct a Background Check

To use a sports analogy, prior to each game or match, the team prepares and studies its game plan. Interviewing for a job opportunity is similar in that while a potential employer is evaluating your candidacy, you should also be doing the same of them. This ensures mutual fit, and it assures the hiring organization that you’re serious about the opportunity.

Start by researching the facility online and reaching out to colleagues who may have worked for the hospital or medical group to see what you can learn about the leadership team, management style and workplace culture.

You can glean quite a bit of information about the leadership’s management style and your potential colleagues by reviewing what they post on LinkedIn, whether they’re well-published in industry publications or journals, or if they are frequently invited to speak at association events.

Jackson Physician Search learned last year in a physician survey that there are three attributes in an organization’s culture that physicians most value. They include: a patient-focused environment, autonomy within their roles, and true teamwork. Your research should give you some insight on how well the organization aligns with this.

Additionally, it is important to research the community and its unique amenities but do keep an open mind to opportunities that are outside your desired location. Sometimes boots on the ground can change your perspective.

Prepare Your Own Questions

Conducting your “background check” should bring up some questions you’ll want to ask during the interview. Here are a few examples:

About the Organization

  • How often is the medical staff asked about or surveyed on staff satisfaction?
  • How would you describe the culture of the organization?
  • What is the board’s plan for navigating this era of change and uncertainty?
  • How are physician and administration disagreements handled?

About the Job Opportunity

  • What skills and abilities are needed to succeed in this position?
  • Can you explain how patient scheduling is typically handled?
  • How often are formal and informal reviews given to new employees?
  • What supports are in place for physician career planning?

About Compensation and Benefits

  • Can you walk me through your compensation structure?
  • Do you incorporate productivity formulas? If so, can you explain?
  • Are there any plans to change the compensation structure in the near future?
  • How would my practice be marketed, and what role would I play in that?

By coming prepared with a list of thoughtful questions, you’re setting yourself up to be able to quickly make an informed decision to accept or turn down a potential job offer – ideally after the first interview.

Making the Best Impression

Up until now, all of your efforts have been on preparing your game plan and doing the pre-work necessary to make the most of this in-person opportunity. Now, it all comes down to execution.

First impressions are essential. You are a competent, skilled physician, and that should be the persona you portray as you walk into the interview process. Dress the part, come prepared with copies of your CV, and bring a notepad to write down your thoughts.

Culture and fit are increasingly important for most physicians, and not surprisingly, it has become a vital component of hiring decisions. During the interview, be genuine. There are many traits that make a successful physician, but typically, administrators will break them down into eight qualities.

  • Communication – Arguably, one of the most important qualities in a physician is the ability to clearly communicate. During the interview, it is critical to listen and to respond concisely.
  • Empathy – How predisposed you are to understanding and relating to your patients is a key quality that administrators look for in candidates. Being able to express how you accomplish that through your patient interactions is an essential aspect of the interview process.
  • Passion for the Work – The fire and drive you had when choosing to become a doctor is imperative to maintain over the course of your career. In the interview, be prepared to describe what drove you to enter the field of medicine and how that passion can set you apart from others.
  • Honest/Forthright – Being fast and loose with the facts is not the way to make a great impression in an interview, just as it would be a disaster in your patient relationships. Demonstrating that you are upfront with your patients and provide them with the information to help them make decisions about their treatment plans is vital.
  • Professionalism – Your actions and demeanor in an interview is an indicator of how you will be with your patients. Having appropriate body language, maintaining eye contact, and appearing engaged are all winning traits in both interviews and patient settings.
  • Being Respectful – When you walk into an interview, it is important to check your ego at the door. Being genuine and approachable are traits that come across during an interview. Job candidates who talk down to others or try too hard to demonstrate superiority are going to put off the interview team.
  • Knowledgeable – Everyone wants a doctor who is skilled and has mastery in the chosen specialty. Instead of relying on what you have learned and earned, talk about what you have done. Have examples of situations or cases when you relied on your skills and abilities to overcome or solve a perplexing condition. Another piece of advice is to be prepared to talk about a situation where you didn’t have the answer and the steps you took to reach a positive outcome.
  • Attention to Detail – Carpenters measure twice and cut once. Physicians don’t have that luxury when it comes to making a proper diagnosis. In your interview, demonstrate your process for managing the thoroughness required to reach a proper diagnosis. Obviously, a major part of that is your ability to listen to the patient, but also to ask the right questions. Your level of engagement and interaction throughout the interview process can be a good indicator of your attention to detail about the job, the organization, and where you see yourself fitting into the environment.

A Final Note About Compensation

Compensation is always going to play a major role in your decision to accept or reject a job offer, but it usually isn’t the number one factor in deciding if it’s the right fit. Resist the urge to spend too much time in your interview on this topic, as it can be effectively addressed during negotiations. Also, it could inadvertently give the interview team the impression that you value compensation more than long-term fit.

When it does come up, be prepared to discuss what best meets your present needs. If you’re early in your career, student loan forgiveness may be most desirable, while mid-careerists may be more interested in a partnership track.

When it’s all said and done, the goal of the on-site interview is information gathering and putting yourself in the best position to receive a job offer for you and your family to consider. Taking the time to thoroughly prepare for the interview increases your odds of achieving both.

If you are planning on entering the physician job market, it may be the right time to discuss your options with an experienced physician recruitment professional. Contact our team today and learn how we can make a difference in your career search. We also invite you to try our physician salary calculator. You can see compensation information based on the specialty, state, and rural versus urban location.

How Physicians Can Build Their Digital Brand to Enhance a Job Search

To stand out in a more competitive job market, building an authentic, digital brand that gets noticed by medical groups and hospitals will help you secure an on-site physician interview….

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

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

Read about the different types of compensation packages and feel more confident in negotiating an offer that is fair and aligns with your personal and career priorities…..

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

How Physicians Can Build Their Digital Brand to Enhance a Job Search

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If there is one thing that Americans have learned during the last six months, it is that ‘business as usual’ no longer exists. That can also be said about physicians who are looking for a new career opportunity. Obviously, not every aspect of a physician job search has changed, and the high demand for doctors isn’t going to resolve itself anytime soon. But with some healthcare organizations still hitting the pause button on their recruitment efforts due to reduced patient volumes, there are fewer opportunities available – at least for now.

To stand out in a more competitive job market, building an authentic, digital brand that gets noticed by medical groups and hospitals will help you secure an on-site physician interview. Hiring organizations are also digging deeper into a candidate’s online presence to make sure any job offers made are to physicians who are a strong fit professionally and culturally.

Keep in mind that a digital brand extends further than how you market yourself to employers, it also includes how colleagues, industry partners and patients perceive you. When defining who you are as a doctor, it is important to assess how your unique attributes, skills, ambitions and values could appeal to or deter those involved in the hiring decision.

Before you begin working on your digital brand, it is important to spend some time in self-reflection. Naturally, part of your brand is your specialty, but taking the time to understand yourself (and what is important to you) facilitates the development of an authentic and relatable brand. Here are a few things you should ask yourself to best define and understand your own professional brand.

  • What are your biggest passions?
  • In which skills or environments do you excel?
  • What are your personal and professional values?
  •  What do you want to achieve? By when? With whom?

Now, let’s review two paths you can take to communicate your brand digitally.

Boost Your Digital Footprint

Make it easy for potential employers to find you online by engaging with social media. While some physicians haven’t made the leap to building a social network, it’s really just a digital version of networking – an activity in which we all need to undertake to advance our careers. Follow these simple tips:

  • Regularly review your online profiles. It sounds simple, but many physicians neglect to simply Google themselves. Clean up any outdated profiles and address any unfavorable reviews.
  • Check your privacy settings on personal social media accounts. Not every picture, meme or thought you post needs to be available to the entire world. Ask yourself if you would want your patients to see what you’re posting?
  • Don’t rely on a single source for your online professional presence. Yes, more than 700,000 physicians are using Doximity, and you are probably one of them. It is a great tool for getting referrals and for promoting your brand. LinkedIn has grown in influence beyond just healthcare administrators. More physicians are using the platform to engage with professionals from a variety of industries.
  • Stay engaged on the social media sites. Write a blog article, share a post that illustrates something of interest for you, and follow thought leaders. It is essential to stay active, so potential employers who visit your profile don’t find it covered in virtual cobwebs.

Seek Publication in a Medical Journal

While it requires some work, one of the ways a physician can build a digital brand and an enhanced reputation is to seek publication in a medical journal. If you successfully publish a paper in a respected venue, you are firmly establishing yourself as a thought leader.

However, the digital age we are living in makes it even more important to avoid the common pitfalls. Here are a few tips from the National Institute of Health for those interested in medical writing.

  • Focus on originality. Being original is a two-pronged requirement. The first is to find a subject that is compelling and hasn’t been covered excessively. While this can take some time, the result will be an article that sparks the attention of your reader. The second component of originality is to avoid plagiarizing the thoughts and research of others.
  • Find an innovative approach. It is nearly impossible to craft a compelling paper if you are revisiting a medical challenge from the same angle as five previous authors. That’s not to say that an old problem should always be off-limits, but tackle it with a new treatment approach.
  • Stick to the accepted format. Scientific and medical papers are formal in nature, and deviating from the accepted organizational approach will limit your ability to achieve publication. Another aspect of your work that should never be overlooked is having enough data to back up your conclusions. Once your paper is exposed to the online world, you can count on digital detectives and keyboard warriors trying to find cracks in your theory.
  • Persistence usually wins. Your first attempt at publication may fail. At least that is the approach you should take because most medical journals will not accept a paper the first time it is submitted. Not succumbing to discouragement and redoubling your efforts to fine-tune a paper you believe in will be key to publication success.

A great deal of uncertainty remains in the healthcare industry. The professionals at Jackson Physician Search have been at the forefront of physician recruitment and placement for many years and have the established relationships and experience to help you find the best opportunity. Contact our recruitment team today and learn how we can make a difference in your physician job search. Or, search our open jobs and apply right away at jobs.jacksonphysiciansearch.com.

 

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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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