The Three R’s of Physician Staffing: Recruitment, Retention, and Retirement

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Jackson Physician Search President Tony Stajduhar discussed the current state of physician staffing and what healthcare organizations can do to succeed in the competitive physician hiring marketplace at the recent MGMA Medical Practice Excellence Conference (MPEC20). In his presentation, Tony broke it down into three distinct categories: Recruitment, Retention, and Retirement. We’ll dive into each of these over the next three weeks, empowering your organization to be well-prepared to meet patient demand now and into the future.

Current State of Physician Staffing

Even though much of the world’s attention has been appropriately focused on battling COVID-19, the healthcare industry continues to face challenges that existed prior to the pandemic. The physician shortage has long been a topic of great concern, and while the pandemic has led to a temporary reduction in new physician searches, it won’t erase the problem. According to American Association of Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) research, the U.S. is facing shortages of anywhere between 54,000 and 139,000 physicians by 2033 and few would be surprised if next year’s projections are even worse.

Exacerbating the physician shortage projections is the reality that almost 30% of all physicians are at or near retirement age. Some reports even suggest that COVID-19 may influence near-retiring physicians to accelerate their plans once the pandemic is behind us.

Question asked by MGMA MPEC20 attendee: Are you seeing an increase in the number of physicians moving away from areas that are prone to natural disasters, or crisis situations?

Tony’s response: Yes, we are seeing an increase in physicians being interested in relocating – about 10%. Crisis leads some people to re-evaluate their choices and there has been an increase in the number of physicians who want to move closer to their families.

Additionally, increasing the number of practicing physicians has proven to be a significant challenge. For years, Congress has put forth legislation to increase the number of residency slots to train tomorrow’s doctors. Each time, the legislation has stalled. So, while more physicians are enrolling in medical school than ever before (up 31% since 2002), residency slots haven’t kept pace (up only 1% a year).

For a time, it appeared that the physician shortfall could be filled by foreign-born doctors, but even that has proven to be an uphill climb. Especially in today’s post-COVID world, the United States is experiencing greater than normal Visa processing backlogs, in addition to travel restrictions that are impacting the numbers of foreign doctors that want to practice here.

Read 5 Ways to Move the Needle on the Physician Shortage

With the physician shortage here to stay, the healthcare industry is forced to do more with less. This highlights the importance of ensuring that every aspect of an organization’s physician staffing strategy is operating at peak efficiency. Let’s dive in.

The First R: Recruitment

The current state of physician staffing may sound discouraging, but there are always ways to overcome a challenging environment. Considering the restrictions of the past year, it is essential for healthcare organizations to continually upgrade their physician sourcing strategies to meet today’s technological advantages.

Doing it the way you have always done it, is not going to cut it in today’s competitive physician marketplace. This means fully embracing a digital strategy that is faster, more cost-effective, and designed to help you connect with physicians in the digital realm where they are already active.

One of the biggest challenges is identifying the right candidate when only 11% of physicians are actively seeking new opportunities. The good news is that 76% of doctors might be interested in a new position, but they aren’t really looking. Those passive candidates are where your efforts should be directed. The key is to capture their attention by standing out from the crowd.

With so much competition for quality candidates, “How do you rise above the noise?”  Simply put, like the rest of us, 94% of physicians use their smartphones for both personal and professional needs. Plus, 87% of your target audience aged 36 to 55 years old are active on social media. Even 65% of physicians over age 55 are using social media, making a sound social media approach vital to your digital sourcing strategy.

Another approach that is gathering steam is the utilization of mass text messaging to reach candidates.

Traditionally, 95% of physicians point to email as the preferred means of contact regarding job opportunities. However, even with email being a preference, it doesn’t mean they want to be bombarded with emails that are not relevant to their interests. Sending mass emails, often referred to as the “spray and pray” method, only succeeds in creating noise in your candidates’ inbox. The smarter approach is to take the time to understand and segment your target audience to ensure that your message reaches those that are the most relevant to your search.

A creative, agile, digital recruitment strategy will always include content that physicians find relevant. This means capturing their attention by highlighting the work/life benefits, organizational and workplace culture, as well as compensation and career opportunities.

Question asked by MGMA MPEC20 attendee: Is LinkedIn a good place to recruit physicians?

Tony’s response: It can be and we’ve had some success, but more than 80% of physicians belong to Doximity. It remains the best social site to invest your time and dollars into when you are recruiting via social media. We believe in it so much that every one of our recruiters has a license, which is something no other firm can say.

Another way to set your organization apart from the masses is by cultivating a brand that lets candidates know who you are and what you believe in. Raise brand awareness by associating your brand with industry thought leaders. Sharing relevant content and articles through social media channels effectively creates a network of candidates drawn to your brand and messaging.

Why Fit and Culture is Important

In their own words, physicians express their desire to work for an organization that shares their beliefs and values.  Employees in any line of work tend to stay in a job where they feel connected to the organizational mission and values. And this leads us to the second ‘R’ in successful physician staffing, Retention.

In the next article of our three-part series, we are going to take a deep dive into the importance of focusing on physicians who ‘Fit’ and the role ‘Culture’ plays in successful retention. We will also provide you with strategies for assessing, understanding, and clearly communicating your workplace culture, so you can make stronger physician hiring decisions.

If you need a strategic recruitment partner to help you navigate physician recruiting during the pandemic and beyond, Jackson Physician Search is ready to help every step of the way.  Contact our experienced recruitment professionals today to learn more about how we can make a difference.

Missed the MGMA MPEC20 Conference?

Watch Mastering the Three R’s of Physician Staffing

 

How to Drive Retention by Creating an Inclusive Workplace

The first thing most healthcare administrators think about when considering the current physician shortage is, “How are we going to recruit to fill vacancies?”  That is certainly a valid question, but it is one that needs to be asked in tandem with, “How are we going to retain the physicians we already have?”…

Physician Recruitment Amid Coronavirus - Keeping Your 2021 Staffing Plan on Track

Physician Recruitment Amid the Pandemic – Keeping Your 2021 Staffing Plan on Track

For administrators who are understandably stretched thin during the pandemic, taking their eyes off physician recruitment could put their 2021 staffing plan at risk. Let’s take a deeper dive…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

[Case Study] How One Medical Group Secured a Family Medicine Physician in Two Weeks

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Challenge

A 330-bed acute care hospital located in a south Texas community of more than 100,000 people was finding it a challenge to attract physician candidates who were both a clinical and cultural fit. The leadership team recognized how the growing physician shortage coupled with a seemingly endless supply of open positions, required multiple resources and a structured approach. And, since the group no longer employed an in-house physician recruiter, a search was initiated for a recruitment partner.

Solution

The leadership team interviewed Jackson Physician Search Divisional Vice President Brent Barnacle and quickly understood why our 100% digital sourcing strategy was superior in attracting candidates. With only 11% of candidates actively looking for new opportunities, recruitment success today relies on reaching passive candidates.

Scroll down to continue reading or download the Case Study.

JPS-2020-case-study-Citizens

Solution Continued

The physician shortage itself makes recruitment a complicated endeavor, but the difficulty is multiplied for those located in smaller communities due to a continuing provider maldistribution. Data shows that 20% of the population lives in these areas, yet only 8% of physicians are practicing there.

In addition to meeting patient demand, the financial toll of an unplanned or lengthy physician vacancy is steep. A facility can face over $1 Million per physician in lost revenue, while the cost to recruit is upwards of $250,000 (search expenses, sign-on bonus, relocation costs, etc.)

The leadership team interviewed Jackson Physician Search Divisional Vice President Brent Barnacle and quickly understood why our 100% digital sourcing strategy was superior in attracting candidates. With only 11% of candidates actively looking for new opportunities, recruitment success today relies on reaching passive candidates.

Direct mail has become an inefficient sourcing strategy, because it doesn’t build a pathway for immediate engagement of passive candidates. Brent demonstrated that our opted-in database of more than 400,000 physicians provided the talent pool it needed to reach. And, by sending job opportunities via targeted emails, social media (including Doximity, a network that engages more than 80% of all physicians), and national job boards, we have the resources and proven process to attract and deliver candidates.

Result

The speed in which Search Consultant Dan Rixon was able to source candidates impressed the medical group. But more importantly, the first placement was made in just two weeks, seven months faster than the national average. This drastically reduced time-to-fill potentially saved the medical group more than $500,000 in lost revenue.

Having gained the medical group’s confidence in our digital sourcing and recruitment process and trust in our transparent fee structure, we have since been retained for multiple searches and have already made an additional three placements – with more to come.

About Jackson Physician Search

Jackson Physician Search is an established industry leader in physician recruitment and pioneered the recruitment methodologies standard in the industry today. The firm specializes in the permanent recruitment of physicians, physician leaders and advanced practice providers for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers and medical groups across the United States. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., the company is recognized for its track record of results built on client trust and transparency of processes and fees. Jackson Physician Search is part of the Jackson Healthcare® family of companies.

To speak further about your physician and advanced practice provider recruitment needs, please contact Jackson Physician Search.

[Recruitment Guide] How to Deliver an Exceptional On-site Physician Interview

Physicians continue to express interest in new job opportunities despite the continuing pandemic. With an annual turnover rate of 6-7%, two out of five physicians reaching retirement age, and increased physician shortage projections, strategic physician recruitment must carry on…

[White Paper] The Realities of Physician Retirement: A Survey of Physicians and Healthcare Administrators

One of the major factors of the impending physician shortage is the aging physician workforce. We recently conducted a survey including practicing physicians and health administrators to better understand the situation…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

Tony Stajduhar Published in MGMA Connection – Tight Physician Market in a Post-COVID-19 World Calls for Competitive Compensation

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The year 2020 has been a remarkably challenging period for the healthcare industry, with intense pressure on physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Doctors have learned to cope with new safety protocols, while much of the industry has absorbed the financial impact of reduced elective procedures and patient volumes. And those providers on the frontlines of acute care have worked tirelessly helping patients in need, risking their health in the process.

In an average year, approximately 6% to 7% of the physician workforce changes jobs or location, meaning approximately 50,000 physicians will accept new positions in 2020 alone.1 Even in today’s softer recruitment environment in which more doctors are temporarily available, hiring remains a sizeable investment — up to $250,000 for a single candidate when you factor marketing, sign-on bonus, relocation stipend and other expenses.2 Interview costs alone can total approximately $30,000 per candidate.3

It’s also a time-consuming ordeal, requiring 7.3 months on average to fill a family medicine role and 7.9 months for a surgical specialist such as a cardiologist, according to Jackson Physician Search’s Recruitment ROI Calculator. Respectively, those vacancies can lead to $503,000 and $1,607,000 in lost revenue for a medical group.

Demographic trends are contributing to a growing doctor shortage: Some estimates suggest that 30% of the physician population is at or near retirement age. Combine that with the prohibitively large costs involved in training to be a doctor and decades of student loan debt, and we are seeing an ever-increasing void in the specialist community.

As the business of healthcare returns to relative normal, it is the ideal time to resuscitate your physician recruitment process. Searches have decreased as much as 25% to 50% for some healthcare organizations and medical groups. Operational cutbacks and mandates to cancel or delay elective surgeries have meant that overall revenues are down, making recruiting of non-essential employees a lower priority. But essential physicians remain in high demand.

(cont. on MGMA.com)

Read the Entire Article on MGMA.com

Need Help Recruiting Physicians, Physician Leaders, and Advanced Practice Providers? Learn about Jackson Physician Search’s Executive Partnership with MGMA.

Jackson Physician Search is an established industry leader in physician recruitment and pioneered the recruitment methodologies standard in the industry today. The firm specializes in the permanent recruitment of physicians, physician leaders and advanced practice providers for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers and medical groups across the United States. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., the company is recognized for its track record of results built on client trust and transparency of processes and fees. Jackson Physician Search is part of the Jackson Healthcare® family of companies. For more information, visit www.jacksonphysiciansearch.com.

Sound Emergency Preparedness Plans Consider the Impact of Physician Vacancies

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The pandemic has given hospital administrators the unwanted experience of activating their emergency operations plans or emergency preparedness plans. With no immediate end in sight, preparing for the next spike in infections or, alternatively, the next natural disaster is top of mind throughout healthcare organizations.

Granted, no emergency preparedness plan can cover every conceivable situation as well as a hospital would like, especially since it can be difficult to maintain ideal physician staffing levels due to the growing physician shortage. But the more scenarios your healthcare facility is prepared for, the more effective your response will be when crisis strikes.

A formal Emergency Operations Plan outlines how a healthcare facility will respond to and manage an emergency. It includes the following six categories:

  • Communications
  • Resources and assets
  • Safety and security
  • Staff responsibilities
  • Utilities
  • Clinical support activities

By taking an “all hazards” approach, hospitals are well-equipped to address a crisis, just as they continue to do with COVID-19. But no matter how well prepared a facility is for an unexpected emergency, physician vacancies can cause derailment.

First, Consider Your Physician Community Needs Assessment

It’s customary for hospitals to partake in a periodic physician community needs assessment to determine proper staffing levels by specialty. This staffing plan also serves to lay the groundwork for physician recruitment.

In addition to identifying physician specialties that need to be added to your current staff to meet demand, you need to plan for physician retirements. With two out of five doctors reaching retirement age this year, now is the time to initiate retirement discussions with your senior staff so you can build in sufficient time to recruit.

Our recent retirement survey showed physicians feel six months is plenty of retirement notice, while administrators want one to three years notice. Clearly there is a disconnect, which could expose risks to your staffing plan.

-> Download The Realities of Physician Retirement Whitepaper

Normal physician turnover will also affect your staffing plan. Up to 7% or 50,000 physicians relocate for a new position each year. Practicing continuous physician recruitment can help to minimize the downside of turnover by keeping your physician pipeline full. Fostering a positive relationship with candidates now ensures that you will have physicians ready to join your organization when you have an opportunity.

Next, Identify Emergencies Your Facility May Face

As with any plan, there is no one-size-fits-all solution because your organization may have to react differently based on the type of emergency. In general, your team should discuss the “big three” when deciding on how to develop your emergency plans. The most common emergencies will be related to medical, environmental, and violence or civil disturbance. Over the past eight months, the U.S. has sadly experienced all three of these.

It is essential that for each type of emergency, you have identified the primary threats to the safety of patients and staff, as well as any threats that impair the functionality and capacity of your operations. Different emergencies will contain various threats meaning you may need different protocols.

Develop Emergency Protocols

Thorough, well-defined protocols allow your providers and staff to act with efficiency and confidence, rather than getting caught up in the chaos of trying to figure out what to do next. Local emergency response officials can be valuable resources for planning and developing your response protocols. Whether they are directly involved in the preparation or if they are used as a resource to provide input or assess what you have in place, they will have access to state and federal information that may not be readily available.

Another critical aspect of your emergency protocols is that they are not created as person-specific responsibilities but should be position-centric. Anytime someone is covering a job for another staff member who is on vacation or otherwise unavailable, that person should be aware of any emergency protocols that are included with those job responsibilities.

Conduct Training and Simulations

If your facility has experienced a surge in COVID-19 patients, you already have a clear indication of how well your emergency response plan supported the actions that needed to be taken. You also know how familiar your staff was with the established protocols. Whether your assessment is that everything went smoothly or that the plan was lacking, the experience should be used as a learning tool for improvement.

The current crisis has taught us that emergency preparedness plans are something that should not only be revisited at periodic intervals but discussed and revised in earnest. Further, training should be scheduled and mandatory for all staff at regular intervals to ensure that the concepts are clear and understood.

Maintaining Emergency Supplies

Nobody could have predicted the scale of the PPE shortage when COVID-19 hit, but it’s a reminder that having protocols in place to routinely inventory emergency medications and supplies is important. It is also good practice to ensure none of the products or packaging are compromised, expirations are regularly checked, and that the supplies are separated from everyday supplies so they are not mistakenly used.

An Ounce of Prevention

While the steps above are not inclusive of every aspect of an emergency preparedness plan, hopefully they serve as prompters to initiate a discussion about areas where improvement could be needed. We have also included some helpful links below.

As you review your emergency preparedness plan, reflect on the status of your current physician openings. If you’re located in a rural area, need a specialist that is historically tough to recruit, or haven’t been attracting a steady pipeline of physician candidates to meet your staffing plan goals, reach out to Jackson Physician Search. Our recruitment team has access to a deep pool of physician candidates and an established nationwide network to help you fill even the most challenging vacancies.

Emergency Preparedness Resources

 

Strong leadership and a Supportive Culture are Key to Recruiting and Retaining Physicians in the New Normal

Some physicians are seeking out new positions because of COVID-19.  Your understanding of how the pandemic may have impacted them should be reflected in how you recruit…

Physician Recruitment Amid Coronavirus - Keeping Your 2021 Staffing Plan on Track

Physician Recruitment Amid the Pandemic – Keeping Your 2021 Staffing Plan on Track

For administrators who are understandably stretched thin during the pandemic, taking their eyes off physician recruitment could put their 2021 staffing plan at risk. Let’s take a deeper dive…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

[Case Study] How One FQHC Successfully Recruited Three Family Medicine Physicians

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Challenge

With physician recruitment becoming increasingly competitive due to the growing shortage of candidates and continued maldistribution of talent, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Pennsylvania was seeking a partner to help increase its candidate reach and streamline the process for hiring the physicians needed to meet community demand.

The Medical Director recognized that recruiting physicians to FQHCs posed innate challenges, as demonstrated by the reality that at least 70% of health centers report having a physician vacancy at any given time. In the past, health centers gained an edge in physician recruitment by offering student loan repayment along with “non-monetary” benefits, such as reduced call or a more flexible schedule to increase work/life balance and decrease physician burnout.

Now, organizations of all sizes are using every means available to attract physicians. Salaries and sign-on bonuses are rising, loan forgiveness is being offered, and FQHCs are having to find new ways to stand out and keep pace.

Solution

After reviewing different approaches and learning about Jackson Physician Search’s 100% digital sourcing strategy, the FQHC was confident it had found a recruitment partner with the right resources.

With access to more than 400,000 physicians coupled with an unparalleled level of service, the Medical Director trusted that JPS would quickly identify candidates who were a clinical match, as well as a fit with the health center’s mission, values and culture.

Result

Jackson Physician Search initially recruited a Family Medicine physician for the health center in just 91 days, reducing vacancy costs and avoiding the need for costly locum tenens coverage. Pleased with the results and the frequent search status updates, the Medical Director retained JPS for two additional searches. In just one year, the partnership has resulted in the hiring of three Family Medicine Physicians, with a fourth search underway. The Medical Director has also confirmed that he will undoubtedly continue to work with JPS.

 

About Jackson Physician Search

Jackson Physician Search is an established industry leader in physician recruitment and pioneered the recruitment methodologies standard in the industry today. The firm specializes in the permanent recruitment of physicians, physician leaders and advanced practice providers for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers and medical groups across the United States. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., the company is recognized for its track record of results built on client trust and transparency of processes and fees. Jackson Physician Search is part of the Jackson Healthcare® family of companies.

To speak further about your physician and advanced practice provider recruitment needs, please contact Jackson Physician Search.

[White Paper] The Realities of Physician Retirement: A Survey of Physicians and Healthcare Administrators

One of the major factors of the impending physician shortage is the aging physician workforce. We recently conducted a survey including practicing physicians and health administrators to better understand the situation…

Jackson Physician Search Issues Affecting FQHCs White Paper

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Physician vacancies are affecting health centers across the country. This paper examines some of the recruitment and retention challenges that Federally Qualified Health Centers are facing….

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

The Power of the First Impression: Delivering a Winning Physician Interview

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The COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping healthcare in nearly every conceivable way, and that includes how physicians are being recruited. But the enduring challenge in the recruitment and hiring process remains: mastering the interview – whether on-site or virtually – to deliver the first-time WOW experience for the right candidate.

Why is it so important to nail the first interview? It comes down to the power of the first impression. It may seem counterintuitive, but follow-up interviews do not necessarily increase the candidate’s feelings of confidence about the job and the likelihood that an offer will be accepted. Plus, multiple interviews drive up your cost per hire, prolong your time-to-fill and negatively affect your interview-to-hire ratio, ultimately impacting your ability to meet patient demand and revenue goals for your practice.

To uncover the specific elements of the interview process that are most important to the physicians you want to recruit, Jackson Physician Search recently commissioned the 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey.

We learned that the salient aspects of the interview experience for candidates who decided to accept a position after the first interview reflect the fulfillment of their needs on three levels: emotional well-being, informational and alignment of values. Specifically, we found that the majority of candidates who decided to accept their jobs felt:

  • Welcomed and excited about the organization and community
  • Assured they had all information in hand and all their questions answered
  • Aligned closely with the organization’s mission and values

-> Download the 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey

Create a Welcoming Interview Experience

A community tour tailored to appeal to candidates and family members is critical to helping them imagine living in your community and reducing any anxiety that comes with being the “new people in town.” Learn as much as possible about their background, family situation, interests and lifestyle to create an experience that makes them feel welcomed and excited.

Even if travel is not possible during the pandemic, an organized “virtual” agenda for spouses or significant others is an essential aspect of the interview experience. Take the time to understand what they may be looking for in a career and offer to arrange networking opportunities.

Just before the interview, send a gift basket of items that represent their interests and what your community has to offer.  Share a highlight video about your organization, local culture and popular attractions. Your realtor can arrange virtual home tours and provide a curated list of desirable neighborhoods and schools, favorite restaurants and relevant community activities.

All of these gestures demonstrate that the whole family is important to your organization. With the help of technology and creative ingenuity, you can spark excitement about your practice opportunity and a sense of being welcomed to the community.

Plan the Interview for Greatest Impact

Physicians are attracted to organizations that have well-planned, efficiently delivered recruiting and hiring processes. Responses to the survey make it clear that you can differentiate your organization and positively influence candidates’ decisions when you structure a comprehensive, well-organized interview that leaves no questions unanswered.

This is your best opportunity to demonstrate what it will be like to work there. Interview participants who appear distracted, or who show up late or not at all, represent a red flag to candidates. Instead, include stakeholders with high emotional intelligence who can pick up on – and help resolve – any feelings of anxiety, frustration or doubt. Gather feedback from candidates by inviting them to complete a post-interview survey.

Most physicians like to have a structure that allows them to keep moving forward; they are easily frustrated by the appearance of wasted time and energy. If the interview is virtual, be sure the technology is buttoned-up and have a back-up plan ready.

Keep the process moving by quickly producing an offer of employment, so it can be accepted before the candidate receives competing offers. It works: the survey reported that 61% of the candidates who accepted right away had received a written offer within seven days of the interview.

Tap Your A-Players to Demonstrate Alignment

As physicians have more choices in practice opportunities, they are more often inclined to seek out organizations that are culturally aligned with their values. This is borne out overwhelmingly in the survey responses from candidates who accepted immediately after their first interview.  These physicians ranked the alignment of organization’s mission and values with their own as 9.2, with 10 being perfectly aligned.

To achieve this level of alignment, put your “A-Players” on your interview team. Include senior leaders who can sell the vision and demonstrate by their presence that they place a high priority on physician recruitment and retention. Also include peers who embody the organization’s mission and values by offering examples of how these are reflected in their practice and daily work. This will help candidates recognize their own level of alignment. In fact, everyone on the interview team must be at the top of their game to clearly make them feel welcome as partners and assure their support in the family’s transition.

In summary, candidates want to feel welcomed, excited, well-informed and closely aligned with your organization’s values. The first interview is the make or break moment to engender these feelings with a best-in-class experience that results in the physician accepting your position right after the first interview.

To speak further about your interview process or for help with your physician and advanced practice provider recruitment needs, contact Jackson Physician Search.

Physician Recruitment Amid Coronavirus - Keeping Your 2021 Staffing Plan on Track

Physician Recruitment Amid the Pandemic – Keeping Your 2021 Staffing Plans on Track

For administrators who are understandably stretched thin during the pandemic, taking their eyes off physician recruitment could put their 2021 staffing plan at risk. Let’s take a deeper dive….

[White Paper] 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey

President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar, reviews the results of our recent Physician Interview Experience survey and provides a best-in-class recruitment and interview process….

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

[Case Study] How One Hospital Met Expanding Community Demand Through a Strategic Partnership

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Challenge

Due to rapid community growth and its relatively close proximity to larger cities, a 230+ bed Maryland hospital was struggling to build a pipeline of physician candidates. To meet increasing patient demand, the hospital needed to recruit several specialists who fit the culture and would help to expand services.

Solution

In need of a physician recruitment partner that would serve as an extension of the hospital’s recruitment efforts and had the resources to execute multiple searches, the leadership team began interviewing firms. By selecting Jackson Physician Search, the hospital gained a proven recruitment process that is rooted in trust and transparency, as well as a recruitment team who understood the hospital’s objectives and would be its advocate with candidates.

Result

After the first successful placement, the hospital continued to engage Jackson Physician Search for its recruitment needs and even recommended our services to another facility. It’s been an honor to assist the leadership team in recruiting the physicians necessary for program expansion, including a growing need for sports medicine. Notable results:

  • 22 Placed Physicians
  • 33% Reduction in Time-to-Fill
  • Reduced the Need for Locum Tenens

 

About Jackson Physician Search

Jackson Physician Search is an established industry leader in physician recruitment and pioneered the recruitment methodologies standard in the industry today. The firm specializes in the permanent recruitment of physicians, physician leaders and advanced practice providers for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers and medical groups across the United States. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., the company is recognized for its track record of results built on client trust and transparency of processes and fees. Jackson Physician Search is part of the Jackson Healthcare® family of companies.

To speak further about your physician and advanced practice provider recruitment needs, please contact Jackson Physician Search.

[White Paper] The Realities of Physician Retirement: A Survey of Physicians and Healthcare Administrators

One of the major factors of the impending physician shortage is the aging physician workforce. We recently conducted a survey including practicing physicians and health administrators to better understand the situation…

Jackson Physician Search Physician Recruitment ROI White Paper

[White Paper] Physician Recruitment: The Cost to Hire and Return on Investment

If you’re looking to reduce your cost to hire and optimize your return on investment when it comes to physician recruitment, this white paper is for you…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

Addressing Physician Student Debt and Education Costs Could Help Curtail the Doctor Shortage

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Physicians play an invaluable role in our health system, a role that has taken on new urgency as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep across the nation, and the world. We admire physicians for their dedication and their tireless service to the community.

So why is it that, despite average wages of more than $243,000, only 77% of American doctors say they would choose the field if they had to do it all over again, according to a recent Medscape Report? More and more doctors are finding themselves saddled with nearly insurmountable student loan debt, on top of all of the many daily stresses facing modern practitioners. And with the lengthy duration of commitment required to complete medical school and a post-doctoral residency, many physicians spend years paying off that debt.

Consider Dr. Molly Dorfman, a 39-year-old pediatric care specialist working at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, California. Dorfman, interviewed by the New York Times, says she was paying more than $4,500 a month on a single student loan, an amount that represented almost one-third of her earnings.

In his paper Five Ways to Move the Needle on the Physician Shortage, Tony Stajduhar, President of Jackson Physician Search, discusses how a looming national crisis faces America as a wave of Baby Boomer doctors leave the healthcare industry. Research by the Association of American Medical Colleges suggests a current shortage of between 54,100 and 139,000 physicians nationally by 2033. The AAMC also notes new doctors, on average, carry approximately $200,000 in student loan debt.

Making medical school a more affordable and streamlined process, and working to more easily eradicate that crushing student loan debt, both represent much-needed solutions to help encourage more young and talented students to pursue medicine.

-> Download Five Ways to Move the Needle on the Physician Shortage Paper

Getting Assistance to Curb Student Loan Debt

Under the federal CARES Act, many frontline doctors were granted a freeze on their student loan payments, through the end of September 2020. The program is, in a way, an extension of the nearly 80 different state and national-level programs available to offer loan forgiveness or payment assistance to doctors.

While completing their residency, new physicians have the opportunity to provide two- or three-year commitments with organizations including the Indian Health Service or the National Health Service Corps, serving low-income communities, in exchange for considerable debt reduction. Similarly, service in three branches of the American armed services can largely take care of student debt, in exchange for work as a military physician.

Individual states have also enacted their own debt-relief programs. Dr. Dorfman is one of more than 250 California physicians taking part in the CalHealthCares initiative, which provides a $300,000 reduction in student loan debt, in exchange for accepting Medicaid patients. California’s forgiveness plan is part of a larger, $3 billion effort there to address the physician shortage.

Forgiveness Isn’t Necessarily an Easy Thing

But while many sing the praises of programs such as the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness plan, which promises to entirely forgive the balances on student loans after 10 years of work with a government or non-profit organization – plus steady loan payments – the reality is often more difficult, and elusive.

According to National Public Radio, the PSLF program has a 99% denial rate, and is almost impossible to access as other federal student loan forgiveness opportunities have also become more stringent.

Many hospitals and health care employers have opted to provide student loan debt reduction programs as part of their bonus and compensation packages to attract new doctors. More than 75% of hospitals offer bonuses to their physicians, usually in the form of performance incentives, but more and more are recognizing that debt relief is often a more pressing concern to potential hires.

For those healthcare facilities that are hiring younger doctors, a generous student loan payoff also gains them a competitive advantage in the recruiting market. These employers recognize that a smart approach to increasing the chance that job offers will be accepted by physicians is to customize their compensation packages to the specific needs of the demographic they’re recruiting.

-> A consultative recruitment partner like Jackson Physician Search has the breadth and depth of experience to assist in formulating attractive compensation offers.

Curbing the Costs, Before They Occur

What if those education costs could be addressed at the front end, with lower tuition rates or even a more compressed period of time required to actually complete medical school?

The time commitment to become a physician is certainly overwhelming, even by other professional standards: four years of college, four years in American medical school and between three and seven years in residency/fellowship. And costs of medical school are extraordinary, according to the AAMC: nearly $244,000 for public schools, and nearly $323,000 for private medical schools.

A new solution, one championed by more than 16 schools participating in the Consortium of Accelerated Medical Pathway Programs, is to condense medical school to three years. Major schools such as Penn State, Duke and Texas Tech have already offered the shorter programs – which mirror the quicker route available at foreign medical schools.

The benefits, advocates say, are enormous: students learn the same vital practice skills, but with less financial stress involved, with graduates expected to save more than a quarter million dollars over their professional lives.

Some private schools have addressed the tuition cost issue directly. Recognizing the long-term impact of high pre-career debt, the University of Illinois College of Medicine announced plans earlier this year to cut its out-of-state tuition prices by 16%. That is estimated to save students as much as $60,000 in educational costs.

Free Tuition as an Attractive Option

And after a decade of fundraising and financial planning, NYU’s medical school arranged to make tuition free to its students – normally $55,000-plus per year. Likewise, the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine also began offering free tuition in 2019, thanks to considerable underwriting. Could other schools, however, be able to bare the $600 million cost of NYU’s honorable undertaking?

Tackling education costs and the burden of student loan debt won’t happen overnight, but these many initiatives show there is room for creativity and concern in helping encourage more young people to practice medicine, thereby reducing the looming physician shortage.

If your organization can benefit from partnering with a physician recruitment firm that leads the industry with an all-digital recruitment strategy and can guide you in designing benefit packages that are effective in recruiting doctors across the spectrum of their careers, contact the Jackson Physician Search team. Our recruitment professionals can help keep you ahead of the recruitment curve and combat the physician shortage.

Physician Recruitment Amid Coronavirus - Keeping Your 2021 Staffing Plan on Track

Physician Recruitment Amid the Pandemic – Keeping Your 2021 Staffing Plans on Track

For administrators who are understandably stretched thin during the pandemic, taking their eyes off physician recruitment could put their 2021 staffing plan at risk. Let’s take a deeper dive….

Five Ways to Move the Needle on the Physician Shortage

The COVID-19 pandemic is raising new challenges that no one expected in our lifetime. It is also shining a spotlight on challenges that have been around for a while—like the physician shortage….

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

[White Paper] 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey

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President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar, reviews the results of our recent Physician Interview Experience survey and provides a best-in-class recruitment and interview process that administrators and physician recruiters can follow to recruit more physicians after the first on-site interview.

Mastering the On-site Interview: Results from the 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey

Mastering the on-site interview is the enduring challenge in physician recruitment. The first interview is a make or break moment for both the candidate and the hiring organization. More than 200 physicians responded to the 2020 Physician Interview Experience survey. Keep reading for insight on how to improve your interview process and win more candidates.

 

Introduction

The enduring challenge in the physician recruitment and hiring process is to master the on-site interview. The first interview will continue to be the make or break moment in the hiring process for both the candidate and the hiring organization.

To help provide clarity on how today’s physicians feel about the interview process and the elements comprising an exceptional interview experience, Jackson Physician Search received completed survey responses from more than 200 physicians. The survey group represented a mixture of practicing physicians and 2020 and 2021 residents who had interviewed for a position in the previous 18 months. Physicians were asked to answer questions in regards to their interview experience corresponding with their current position.

The survey confirmed many elements of the interview process that have become standard industry practice. But the physicians’ responses also open a window into how they feel about interviewing and the important aspects of the interview that helped them decide whether or not they want to immediately accept a position.

Their insights provide valuable guidance in how to deliver the best-in-class interview experience that results in the physician deciding to accept your position – ideally – on their way home from the first interview with you.

What you may find surprising is that their feelings of excitement and alignment with your organization – and a well-planned community tour – are the factors that tip the scales toward that best-in-class result.

This survey demonstrates the vital role your interview team plays in establishing cultural fit and an overall outstanding interview experience to influence a candidate’s decision. The results will help you fine-tune your interview process and ensure you are landing the candidates who are best suited for your organization.

Executive Summary

Most organizations understand the high costs of conducting multiple interviews with a single candidate. Interviewing expenses and loss of revenue during a prolonged vacancy can add up to over one million dollars per physician. But it appears that few deliver the best-in-class interview experience that will improve their chances that the candidate will decide to accept the offer on the way home from the first interview.

According to our survey:

  • Only 27% of candidates decided to accept the position on the way home after just one on-site interview.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, another 23% never left an interview feeling confident, even though they ultimately may have accepted the job.
  • For the remaining 50%, it took a bit of time after the first interview to accept. Some even required scheduling a second or third interview to win them over to the point where they decided to accept.

Moving that large, undecided group toward accepting your offer after the first interview requires investing in a rigorous recruitment process and effective interview techniques.

The salient aspects of the interview experience for candidates who decided to accept on the way home from the first interview reflects the fulfillment of their needs at many levels: informational, alignment of values and emotional well-being.

Of those who decided to accept on the way home:

  • 89% said all their questions were answered at the interview
  • 61% received a written offer within the week
  • 80% felt excited
  • 82% felt welcomed
  • 2% or fewer felt confused, anxious, or stressed
  • These physicians also ranked their alignment with the organization’s mission and values at 9.2, with 10 being perfectly aligned

By contrast, a good number of those who were undecided after the first interview reported feeling excited (63%) and welcomed (76%). But, a concerning percentage left the interview with negative emotions:

  • 39% felt anxious
  • 23% felt stressed
  • 23% felt confused

Physicians need enough information, as well as positive feelings, to support their decision to accept on the way home from their first interview with you. Even if the candidates reporting negative emotions took the job, it’s easy to imagine that these feelings could linger and create challenges in the future.

Power of the First Impression

The survey results reinforced the power of the first impression. The majority (69%) of all respondents had accepted their most recent job after just one interview. Additional survey data indicates that the second or third interviews are not nearly as impactful as the first interview.

Multiple interviews do not necessarily increase the chances that the candidate will feel confident enough to decide to accept the position. But, multiple interviews do drive up your cost per hire, prolonging your time-to-fill and negatively impacting your interview-to-hire ratio.

As the survey showed, it is far more likely that the candidate will decide on the way home from the first interview (76%) than on the second, “third or more” interviews (12% for each). You will have better outcomes when you invest in a process that creates the first-time WOW experience for the right candidate.

Download the full survey results to get more insight and recommendations to improve your interview and hiring process almost immediately.

 

To speak further about your interview process or for help with your physician and advanced practice provider recruitment needs, contact Jackson Physician Search.

About Jackson Physician Search

Jackson Physician Search is an established industry leader in physician recruitment and pioneered the recruitment methodologies standard in the industry today. The firm specializes in the permanent recruitment of physicians, physician leaders and advanced practice providers for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers and medical groups across the United States. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., the company is recognized for its track record of results built on client trust and transparency of processes and fees. Jackson Physician Search is part of the Jackson Healthcare® family of companies.

[White Paper] The Realities of Physician Retirement: A Survey of Physicians and Healthcare Administrators

One of the major factors of the impending physician shortage is the aging physician workforce. We recently conducted a survey including practicing physicians and health administrators to better understand the situation…

Jackson Physician Search Physician Recruitment ROI White Paper

[White Paper] Physician Recruitment: The Cost to Hire and Return on Investment

If you’re looking to reduce your cost to hire and optimize your return on investment when it comes to physician recruitment, this white paper is for you…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

Solving the Physician Shortage: Making Licensing Waivers Permanent

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The ongoing COVID-19 crisis in America has been a real test of the scope and resolve of our healthcare community, with physicians, nurses and support staff stepping up in even the most dangerous circumstances to help save patients’ lives.

It has also offered a unique opportunity for physicians to do what is often a tremendously difficult proposition – that is, to practice medicine in other states, without going through the often laborious process of re-licensing for each jurisdiction.

Temporary national licensing waivers allowed thousands of doctors to travel to virus hotspots like New York City and join the fight against coronavirus, not to mention scores of other physicians volunteering their services, far away from their homes. The pandemic has also relaxed rules to let out-of-state physicians provide much-needed telehealth visits to patients across the country, while their patients may be a thousand miles away, safely sheltered at home. And considering that telehealth usage jumped as much as 4,300% at one New York hospital in a six-week period, patients definitely appreciated the extra resources.

A Massive Doctor Shortage Lies Ahead

While these waivers certainly seem like easy ways to offer Americans care in a time of extreme need, they represent quite revolutionary changes for physician licensure. In a way, COVID-19 has led the industry to adopt a practical solution to one important aspect of our looming physician shortage, a massive demographic issue in the United States. One in three American physicians is currently over the age of 65 and approaching retirement, feeding into a shortage that could grow up to 139,00 doctors by 2033, in a study done by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

As noted by Tony Stajduhar, President of Jackson Physician Search, in his paper, Five Ways to Move the Needle on the Physician Shortage, making these licensing waivers a permanent solution might be a simple way to expand opportunities for international medical graduates to more easily practice where needs exist. Often, without getting caught up in endless regulatory red tape, or the sheer cost of applying for licenses in different jurisdictions.

-> Download Five Ways to Move the Needle on the Physician Shortage Paper

According to the Federation of State Medical Boards, 49 states at the time of this writing have temporarily modified their requirements for licensing, issuing waivers to allow physicians to perform in-person services or more easily obtain temporary license renewals, while 47 states have approved short-term measures allowing out-of-state physicians to perform telehealth visits.

A further 39 states have expedited licensing for inactive or retired physicians, allowing them to quickly rejoin the fight against COVID-19. Some 27 states have also modified their Continuing Medical Education requirements, allowing doctors to focus squarely on medicine, for the time being. In Arizona, for instance, a six-month deferral was issued for some medical license renewals in certain date ranges; as infection and hospitalization rates multiply there and in other states, it’s likely these waivers may be extended.

Simplifying the Path for New Doctors – and Some Bipartisan Agreement

Any movement to simplify the steps necessary for qualified doctors to more easily practice anywhere in the United States is welcome news, given other disruptions to the path for new doctors. Consider that thousands of medical students had been unable to complete the U.S. Medical Licensure Examiners’ Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge tests since the spring, as Prometric, the testing vendor was closed due to stay-at-home rules; we’re now seeing testing events create long-awaited additional testing opportunities for examinees.

There is more good news, as well. The pandemic has also shown some inspirational moments of bipartisan cooperation in Washington D.C., as politicians recognized the immediate impact of physician shortages on care for their constituents. That’s something which might bode well for further political support of permanent licensing waivers or similar governmental efforts to address and remedy America’s long-term physician shortage.

In May, the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act was introduced by senators Todd Young (R-IN), David Perdue (R-GA), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Dick Durbin (D-IL). Recognizing that almost 25% of today’s American physician workforce are international medical school graduates, the legislation calls to repurpose some 15,000 available immigrant visas for qualifying physicians and 25,000 nurses – all in an effort to bolster healthcare resources. The senator sponsors even took the unusual step of exempting countries such as China and India from the existing per-country caps.

Working to Make It Easier to Work

These COVID-19 licensing waivers, to some extent, fast-track the work undertaken by the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, an agreement championed by the FSMB since 2013. Since officially being engaged in April 2017, the compact has allowed more than 7,400 physicians to secure more than 9,400 multi-state licenses in 29 participating states, plus the District of Columbia and Guam – with more introducing legislation.

The IMLC offered a model that emergency waivers could certainly help make permanent, providing much more flexibility to both veteran and newly graduated physicians. And while resistance to interstate licensure in the past has often focused on varying standards for education and experience, the compact ensures high standards by asking participating physicians to meet nine requirements of professionalism, in addition to holding an unrestricted license in their home state.

A time of extraordinary healthcare challenges has helped us see the immediate value of streamlining and simplifying the ability for doctors to practice where they are needed. And as the national physician shortage continues to grow, maybe this is the right time to make those waivers a permanent solution. For more information on other ways the healthcare industry will likely discuss solutions that will aid in minimizing the impact of the physician shortage, review the Jackson Physician Search paper Five Ways to Move the Needle on the Physician Shortage.

If your organization can benefit from partnering with an organization comprised of respected healthcare industry physician recruitment professionals, contact the Jackson Physician Search team today to learn how we can help keep you ahead of the recruitment curve.

Physician Recruitment Amid Coronavirus - Keeping Your 2021 Staffing Plan on Track

Physician Recruitment Amid the Pandemic – Keeping Your 2021 Staffing Plans on Track

For administrators who are understandably stretched thin during the pandemic, taking their eyes off physician recruitment could put their 2021 staffing plan at risk. Let’s take a deeper dive….

Five Ways to Move the Needle on the Physician Shortage

The COVID-19 pandemic is raising new challenges that no one expected in our lifetime. It is also shining a spotlight on challenges that have been around for a while—like the physician shortage….

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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