How to Navigate Your Physician Job Resignation


Every year, approximately seven percent of physicians resign for a variety of reasons. They move to a new physician job with higher earning potential or for growth opportunities; they relocate to be closer to family; they accept a physician job with better hours or lower stress. Whatever the reason, physicians may struggle to tell their supervisor and peers of their decision during these times, as a physician vacancy can create more work and challenges for those remaining at the organization until a new physician is recruited in their place. 

Overall, the process of resigning can be awkward and difficult to navigate. As Vice President of Recruitment for Jackson Physician Search, Midwest Division, I often speak with physicians who have recently given notice or plan to resign as soon as they have an offer. The following are steps I always remind them to consider.

Know Your Physician Job Contract

First, know your obligations to your current employer. In fact, you should revisit your physician contract before you even begin looking for a new physician job. A strict non-compete clause or salary/bonus repayment requirements may significantly impact the geography or timeline of your physician job search. For example, I worked with one Gastroenterologist in St. Louis whose non-compete terms severely limited his options in the city. Yet, he was unwilling to relocate his young family. Because he knew the strict terms of his contract, we were able to think outside the box and find him an opportunity based in the satellite office of a St. Louis employer – just outside the non-compete radius. His employer was sorry to see him go but remained on good terms because he adhered to the contract. 

Another factor is the potential repayment of your guaranteed salary or bonus. The contract likely specifies that if physicians leave before working to meet the salary guarantee, they are responsible for paying some portion of it back. If you have not yet met these marks, you may want to consider holding off on your resignation.

Provide Ample Notice and Deliver the News In-Person 

Physicians should provide at least as much notice as their contracts require, but 90 days is best practice. Hiring a physician can take up to a year or longer, so the more notice you provide will help your current employer better prepare for your absence.

You will need to compose a letter of resignation that documents your decision to leave and your expected last day of employment. While this serves as your formal notice, it should be delivered in a face-to-face meeting with your supervisor after you verbally share the news. Disclose your decision respectfully and express gratitude for all you have learned from the opportunity. If asked, it is okay to be somewhat transparent about your reasons for leaving without becoming emotional or pointing fingers. Save the details for an exit interview and offer cooperation in whatever capacity is needed as you prepare for your departure.

Preserve Relationships

Ask your supervisor for guidance on how to share the news of your departure. He or she may want to make the announcement or leave it to you to deliver the news as you see fit. Make sure you also have clear direction on if and how to notify patients of your impending departure. Be careful not to ask or encourage patients to visit you at your new place of employment. Physicians will most likely be instructed not to disclose any information about the new employer. 

Other physicians and staff may have their own feelings about your resignation, but do your best to stay positive. Be cautious not to speak negatively about your current employer or dwell on your reasons for leaving. Ensure your peers know you have enjoyed working with them, and if desired, make a plan to stay in touch.

Continue to give 100% throughout your notice period, and make sure you are available to ease the transition process, whether training your replacement or providing your supervisor with a comprehensive list of your responsibilities. Your behavior in your final weeks of employment will be how you are remembered, so take care to do your best, be respectful, and preserve the relationships you have built.

Enjoy the Physician Job Journey

A physician’s career will likely involve several professional moves. While it can be challenging to move on, it is often a necessary step for job satisfaction and professional development. Your employer will likely be disappointed to learn of your decision to leave, but this doesn’t mean the bridge is burned. As long as you adhere to the terms of your contract, respectfully disclose the news, and remain helpful as you work out your notice period, you can move on with the knowledge that you have done everything in your power to leave on good terms, filled with gratitude for this step of your professional journey.

Whether you have already given notice or are contemplating doing so, the team at Jackson Physician Search can help you navigate the process of finding a new opportunity. Reach out to a recruiter today or start searching physician jobs online now.

About Tara Osseck

With more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Tara Osseck specializes in matching healthcare organizations with physicians who are a strong fit for the role and the culture. Her healthcare career began as a physician liaison. It quickly expanded to include physician recruitment, strategic planning, and business development, working for various hospitals throughout Memphis, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri. Based in St. Louis, Osseck leads the firm’s Midwest Division, placing providers across the Midwest and Upper Midwest. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Truman State University and a master’s in health care administration and management from The University of Memphis.


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COVID-19 Propels Occupational and Environmental Medicine to the Forefront of Public Health


This article is a collaboration between the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and Jackson Physician Search. It was first published on the ACOEM website on September 11, 2023. Jackson Physician Search is proud to be an ACOEM-endorsed physician recruitment firm, leading the industry in OEM search. 


The pandemic may be gone, but it’s not forgotten, especially by those in healthcare and corporate America who realize the critical importance of occupational and environmental medicine physicians. They shone through COVID-19 as they do daily, taking care of workers and the businesses that rely on them. The repercussions of climate change mean “added value” for this timely specialty.

The height of the COVID-19 pandemic is gone—but it’s surely not forgotten, even as the public health emergency in the United States ended on May 11, 2023.

The pandemic caused 1,137,057 deaths since Jan. 21, 2021, and it upended healthcare in numerous ways. The specialty of occupational and environmental medicine (OEM) was particularly impacted as its physicians found their special skills to be just what was needed to bring calm to the chaos.

We talked to two dedicated Fellows of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) about what it’s like to practice post-COVID.

Meet Douglas Martin, M.D., of CNOS Occupational Medicine in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, where he focuses on musculoskeletal medicine. He’s extraordinarily active in his field of work and on behalf of ACOEM.

Dr. Martin is joined here by William Brett Perkison, M.D., MPH, assistant professor in the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health, where he also directs the residency program. He’s passionate about the next generation that chooses this specialty.

Here’s how both view changes in the OEM landscape since COVID-19.

1. Companies have realized the importance of public health.

As the journal The Lancet, Public Health documented in a May 2022 editorial, the pandemic “is not only a public health crisis but also a social, economic, and political one. Lessons must be learned to ensure that future public health crises are met with resilience, unity, and equity.” The event put OEM doctors front and center, and the academy calls “public health, surveillance, and disease prevention” one of its 10 OEM competencies. When the next public health emergency occurs, who better than OEM physicians to lead the charge? There’s just one problem: More are needed to be able to improve the care and well-being of workers.

“True, visibility has increased, and ACOEM has been asked to come to the table more frequently by government agencies such as NIOSH (The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration),” said Dr. Martin.

“But I think the general viewpoint would be, ‘Wow, these people are really important. Why don’t we make sure there are more of them?’” he said. “I thought there would be more funding for public health jobs, but that hasn’t really happened. Where is the public policy initiative to do that catch-up work after COVID?”

He said he hoped more money would be earmarked for additional medical school spots for public health systems, but that hasn’t happened.

In fact, most funding for OEM residency programs comes from NIOSH. “That results in a finite number of residency positions that creates a real bottleneck and lack of trained OEM doctors,” Dr. Perkison said.

He said his residents find a wealth of opportunities. “ACOEM residents get job offers nine months before they graduate.”

2. Management of large companies realized the tremendous value OEM physicians provide.

Dr. Perkison became immersed in the issue of whether companies should mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. It became an undeniably hot topic, generating intense discussion, as a review of the medical literature verified in a February 2023 study that was published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies. The authors looked at 28 relevant articles, finding 12 to be pro-mandatory vaccine, 13 neutral, and three against, and cited “ethical, moral and legal principles” involved here, the same as those faced by OEM physicians on the job during the height of the Pandemic.

Through the university, Dr. Perkison said he “counseled recalcitrant employees who didn’t want to get the vaccine” at a rural agriculture company. “The big city doctor from Texas did not go over well at first, and we answered some questions and responded to lots of misconceptions,” he said. “We didn’t convince everyone—they were going to be let go if they didn’t get vaccinated—but they appreciated our discussions one-on-one.”

3. OEM physicians must manage more work-at-home situations—from afar.

That’s especially true in non-blue-collar industries, Dr. Martin said. “How do you deal with the workplace of a person at home? Everyone’s home is different, and we need to understand ergonomic and workstation challenges. For example, are they working off a laptop and sitting on the couch sideways?”

A personal interview was the former assessment modality of choice until COVID necessitated virtual assessments. “You don’t know if that’s the whole story—it’s a snapshot in time,” Dr. Martin said. “And who else is at home? Are kids using the computer, too, and how much distraction does that cause? Are employees taking a stretch break?”

A study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine from September 2021 found employees working from home during COVID-19 experienced lower back pain and weight gain, yet said they felt more productive than at the office.

Working at a central corporate location means OEM physicians could design preventive health programs “for a captive audience,” Dr. Perkison said. “We knew what type of work environment they were in.”

However, not being with employees reduces the clarity afforded by in-person discussions.

“We can try to recognize mental health issues and encourage people to exercise and eat healthy—neither of which we can do as well remotely,” he said. “It is very gratifying to identify actual medical problems before they got worse and to manage those, which is different from treating disease after complications have occurred.”

Dr. Perkison predicts that “transitions back to the workplace are not complete yet, and some corporations haven’t determined what the optimum balance is between home and working elsewhere. It’s possible employees could start migrating back in.”

4. It’s taking longer to deliver appropriate care to patients.

With more health insurance claims managers, or nurse case managers, for example, working from home, that’s created communication issues, Dr. Martin said. “It’s not as fast or efficient as when people worked in offices, and I knew I could reach them there.”

He said that since most of his practice is on-the-job injury care, he frequently refers to physical or occupational therapy. “Pre-COVID, I saw a patient and put in the PT order that was approved the same day or the day after. Now when I call on Monday, it’s voicemail, and the process may require multiple calls. That person with the ankle sprain may have to wait until Friday and then may not make an appointment until Monday.”

Pre-COVID, that patient might have completed between four and six PT visits before they returned to see him for their two-week check-up, but now it may be only one—or none.

“The patient can then place blame on the insurance company or lose confidence in the healthcare system,” Dr. Martin said. “Patients also give up and don’t get something taken care of, or they lean on personal health insurance, which may make a fuss. When they do that, they lose the right to disability impairment and compensation.”

The two insurances may clash and leave the patient holding the veritable bag. It’s a tangled web that may leave the patient “stuck.”

5. Corporations no longer do so much OEM in-house.

“With more employees working from home, that means fewer working in the corporations’ buildings and visiting its in-house clinic,” said Dr. Perkison.

Formerly, a large corporation’s OEM physician worked in an office away from the company’s clinic, where administrative duties such as managing programs and medical surveillance took priority—and meant no hands-on patient care delivered by that physician.

The current trend is seeing more contracting “with the clinic down the road,” he said. It’s already in place, with staff, technology, and supplies.

6. OEM residents have new and varied opportunities.

“We have to instill in medical students that this is a really important specialty to think about,” said Dr. Martin.

And his peers would second that it’s a considerably less-stress specialty than some, that allows for a wonderful quality of work-life balance and a plethora of directions a doctor may take with their career—not just one.

Residency program directors such as Dr. Perkison want residents and fellows to benefit from a wealth of experiences before they graduate. At his institution, they might do a rotation at an oil or gas-related corporation or one of the major, well-respected healthcare organizations in Houston.

“Lifestyle medicine has gotten bigger, as has a holistic approach to medicine overall—both work-related and non-work-related, including stress at work or away,” he said. “Addiction medicine remains important as we work to get people off drugs and get them back to work. Bioinformatics is also coming on, and medical surveillance helps monitor people’s exposure to harmful substances. Treating chronic disease is still a major part of total worker health.”

Candidates can pursue residencies in internal medicine, family medicine, or occupational medicine and then do fellowships, said Dr. Perkison.

7. OEM physicians excel at Long COVID management quandaries.

While the international healthcare community “tries to have some arms around the Long COVID situation,” this specialty understands it and its ramifications well, said Dr. Martin.

OEM physicians’ lengthy experience with the condition since its origin contrasts with the July 31, 2023 announcement of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) formation of the Office of Long COVID Research and Practice. In addition to healthcare stakeholders, the initiative will interface with the business sector, too, HHS said.

Some healthcare advocates wonder why this took so long.

ACOEM has been asked to be involved, Dr. Martin said, and he affirmed that ongoing questions still loom that OEM physicians can help answer where “universal agreement” still lacks.

“We think about what we can do medically to help these patients, especially with regard to best practices and standards,” said Dr. Martin. Two crucial areas include fitness for duty and return to work. “That’s where OEM skill sets come in.”

For example, symptoms such as mental fog differ from physical challenges, and that begs the question: “When should we offer rehabilitation programs?”

8. OEM recognizes the future is here. Now.

The world has acknowledged, perhaps hesitantly, the workplace implications of climate change, Dr. Perkison said. He contributed to an ACOEM Guidance Statement on Prevention of Occupational Heat-Related Illnesses. “We have heat stress and disaster preparedness—this year, we are really feeling the effects. How do we message companies to transition to cleaner energy? When corporations know about us, there’s an opportunity for us to be leaders in the field of change.”


The author, Stephanie Stevens, would like to thank Douglas Martin, M.D., of CNOS Occupational Medicine in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, and William Brett Perkison, M.D., MPH, assistant professor in the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health for their expert contributions to this article.

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How to Evaluate Physician Candidates for Organizational Alignment


With concerns about rising physician turnover and more and more physicians reporting burnout, employers are motivated to find ways to improve physician retention. Organizational culture plays a critical role in employee engagement and job satisfaction, directly impacting retention. For this reason, healthcare leaders recognize the importance of hiring candidates for their ability to succeed in the job and their cultural alignment with the organization.  

At Jackson Physician Search, we talk a lot about hiring for cultural alignment, but what exactly does this mean? An organization’s culture is the manifestation of its mission, values, and beliefs. When employees’ behaviors reflect or align with the organization’s mission, values, and beliefs, it creates a positive corporate culture. Alternatively, when behaviors are misaligned, the environment can feel unstable.     

The importance of cultural alignment is paramount, and yet, it is not measured as easily as other job qualifications. Keep reading for ways hiring managers, recruiters, and other interviewers can better evaluate physician candidates for cultural alignment.

Be Clear About the Organization’s Values and Mission

The organization’s mission and values should be conveyed to the candidate before they even apply – not only on the job advertisement but also on the website and through stories shared via social media channels. In this way, candidates have an opportunity to screen themselves for fit and decide if they want to pursue the opportunity further. That said, healthcare leaders must have a clear vision of what alignment looks like in order to determine if applicants are truly compatible. 

Some questions to consider are: Which current employees best represent the organization’s mission and values? What attributes do they have that the ideal candidate should also have? Gain a consensus about the traits of the ideal candidate, and make sure everyone conducting an interview evaluates for those qualities. Also, select physicians who embody the culture to spend time with the candidate – either in an interview or a more casual setting.

Cultural Fit vs. Cultural Add

While it helps to know which characteristics work best in your group, be wary of hiring physicians identical to others on your team. A recent trending topic among hiring professionals is the difference between hiring for cultural fit vs. cultural add, and it’s worth keeping in mind as you explore candidates. 

Core values manifest differently in individuals, so be encouraging of hiring someone with diverse experiences or a unique personality. Inclusivity will enhance the culture and support your organization’s growth in a positive direction. Ask questions that reveal the candidate’s values, beliefs, and priorities, knowing that rare qualities are welcome and are likely to strengthen the culture as long as the values align.

Ask About Their Experience During the Pandemic

Whether in residency or employed at a hospital, private practice, or other, all healthcare providers have stories to tell about their experiences of the pandemic. For many, the situation brought realizations about what was most important to them professionally and personally. Did the physicians have any “Aha!” moments during the pandemic? There is likely no “right” answer here, but how they talk about that time – what was frustrating, what was inspiring, what they wish had been handled differently, etc. will perhaps give you an idea of what candidates prioritize in a professional environment – and how they might fit into yours.

Listen and Observe

Tune into the candidate’s questions, conversation style, and overall demeanor; it will help to see and understand who they are. Do they consistently interrupt questions before you have finished speaking? Can they concisely answer a question, making their point? Do they speak about past coworkers and supervisors with respect? How do they discuss the different patient populations with whom they have worked?

When candidates take the opportunity to ask questions, look for a theme in their areas of interest. Are they primarily focused on compensation and bonuses? Certainly, questions about compensation structure are expected, but what else do they want to know more about? Are they curious about the team dynamic, average physician tenure, or growth opportunities? Candidates will ask questions about what is most important to them, so give them ample time to show you who they are and what they care about.

Be sure also to observe how candidates behave when introduced to other team members, as well. Are they courteous and personable with staff at all levels, or do they dismiss those not seen as decision-makers in the hiring process? If teamwork and respect for others is a value of your organization, be wary of those reluctant to engage with staff members at every level.

Make It a Priority

Determining how candidates will fit into and add to your organization’s culture should be a primary goal of the interview process. Leaders should have a clear idea of the values they seek in candidates and know they can find those values in various personalities and backgrounds. Don’t rule someone out simply because they don’t think or act exactly like other employees. Differences promote growth.  

As you look for values that align with the organization, listen and observe how candidates engage with others and tune into their attitudes about past colleagues and patients. Let their questions show you what is most important to them. Evaluating candidates for cultural alignment is not easy, but by keeping these points in mind and listening to your intuition, the best candidate for your organization will become clear.

If your healthcare organization is seeking assistance in successfully evaluating cultural alignment in the physician hiring process, the physician recruitment team at Jackson Physician Search will first work to understand your organization’s unique culture and then help you identify the candidates who make the best addition. Reach out to Jackson Physician Search today to learn more.

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4 Job Search Tips for Advanced Practice Providers


With the physician shortage worsening, healthcare organizations of all types and sizes are leaning on advanced practice providers (APPs) to help meet the needs of patients. According to an MGMA Stat Poll earlier this year, 65% of medical practices planned to add at least one new advanced practice provider job during 2023. However, the demand for advanced practice providers has been on the rise for several years. At Jackson Physician Search, the number of nurse practitioner placements in 2022 was four times that in 2020. 

This heightened demand means job opportunities for APPs abound, but it doesn’t mean the advanced practice provider job search is without its challenges; this is especially true for APPs coming out of training. While many organizations incorporate APPs into their staffing plans, most clients want to hire APPs with (at least) several years of experience. So, newly trained APPs may have limited options. The flip side of this is that experienced APPs may be overwhelmed by too many options.

Regardless of where you are in your APP career, these 4 tips will help to move your advanced practice provider job search forward. 

Know What You Want in an APP Job

Whether you are completing your training or have several years of experience under your belt, it is helpful to know what you want in a job in terms of practice setting, area of focus, compensation, and potential for growth. This will help experienced advanced practice providers narrow their focus and filter out jobs that don’t align with their career progress and expectations for the stage they are in. New APPs should also have a clear vision of what they ultimately want in a position; however, it is important to understand it may take time to reach every box. 

New APPs should map out a five- or ten-year plan and be open to jobs that will put them on the path to their end goals. In some cases, this could mean taking an opportunity with a lower compensation or in a less ideal location. Keep an open mind as you set out to gain the needed experience to command whatever job you want eventually. 

Don’t Fixate on Location

When searching for your first job as an advanced practice provider, it’s essential to keep an open mind in all aspects of the job search – especially regarding location. If they have the choice, employers often prefer hiring someone with more experience, and the availability of experienced APPs will be greater in larger cities than in less populated areas. It’s beneficial for trained APPs to be open to work in smaller towns or rural areas where employers will likely be more flexible with the experience requirement.

Experienced APPs should also keep an open mind when it comes to location; however, if looking to relocate, there are a few things to consider. Be sure to research the state’s laws regarding APP supervision, scope of practice, and the licensure timeline. APPs should also consider the cost of living in the city they are targeting. A six-figure NP salary may stretch far in middle America, but usually, the same is not said in coastal cities. Additionally, organizations in bigger towns (with abundant candidates) often offer lower compensation packages. For these reasons, the best course of action for all APPs is to research before deciding where to apply.

Interview With the Goal of Getting an Offer

If you have applied to well-suited opportunities, an invitation to interview is likely to follow. Advanced practice providers should follow basic interview etiquette: arrive on time, dress professionally, ask thoughtful questions, and, of course, treat everyone with respect. Do your best to make a good impression, but remember that you are also there to evaluate the organization to determine if it is a good match for you. Ask questions to help you evaluate the culture and, more specifically, learn how physicians and APPs interact and relate to each other.

Even if it becomes clear that the job isn’t a good fit, use the opportunity to practice your interview skills. Treat every APP interview seriously, with the goal of walking away with a job offer.

Start the APP Job Search Earlier Than You Think

Healthcare organizations are increasingly adding advanced practice providers to their staffing plans, and those plans often map out hiring needs for the next three to five years. It’s not unusual for employers to extend offers with start dates two or more years in the future. While this is a more common timeline for medical residents, APPs are increasingly critical components to staffing plans, so it follows that organizations may begin to fill those roles earlier, too. Therefore, those who start the APP job search early may find themselves with offers well before their peers. 

It’s an excellent time to be an advanced practice provider. Demand is high, and opportunities abound; however, strategic planning still requires identifying the ideal opportunity to advance your career. Start your APP job search early and map out a clear vision of the job you want. Keep an open mind and take each opportunity to interview seriously. And finally, work with a trusted recruiter to help you identify and evaluate your options.   

If you are searching for your first advanced practice provider job or thinking about making a change, the recruitment team at Jackson Physician Search can help you assess the market in your target locations and prepare you for your next steps. Reach out today or start searching for APP jobs online now.

About Neal Waters

Neal’s career in retained physician search began more than 15 years ago. Early on, he recognized the strain an entire community feels when there is a shortage of physicians to meet patient demand. Since his first successful placement, Neal’s passion for identifying the best providers for each healthcare organization with which he recruits has grown.

Neal serves as Regional Vice President of Recruiting. In his role, he serves as a mentor to a growing team of Jackson Physician Search recruiters. He also enjoys collaborating with in-house recruiters dedicated to optimizing their physician recruitment and candidate acquisition strategies. Likewise, Neal specializes in helping physicians — especially residents and those early in their careers — advance their professional careers by finding the right fit.


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The Evolution of Physician Executive Jobs


A physician considering a future in leadership might define the goal as eventually running a department at a hospital or owning and operating his or her own practice. Through years of working with patients while navigating the healthcare business, the physician would have the experience necessary for either of these physician executive jobs. 

However, there are many more roles aspiring physician leaders have available to them. We see physician executives not only running their own practices and departments, but they are also leading hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, and more. 

At Jackson Physician Search, we have seen this firsthand. In recent years we have assisted our clients with numerous physician executive searches, including Medical Director roles and department heads at hospitals, as well as a Vice President for a healthcare tech company and a CMO for a non-profit health insurer. Organizations of all types and sizes are recognizing the benefits of physician leadership. As the role continues to evolve, we will no doubt continue to see more organizations hiring physician executives

But what has caused this expansion of opportunities for physicians on the business side of medicine? As healthcare as a whole becomes increasingly “corporate,” physicians are naturally paying more and more attention to this area of the profession. The combination of clinical expertise and business acumen brings a new and necessary perspective to a variety of healthcare organizations. 

The Benefits of Physician Executive Leadership 

The benefits of physician executive leadership are many, though often the first to come to mind is the ability to act as a bridge between the boardroom and the clinic. They bring a clinical perspective to administrative conversations, ensuring decisions are made with the patient in mind and an awareness of how staff will be impacted. In the same way, physician executives can convey administrative directives to staff, ensuring the motivations for new policies are clear. Because physician executives have direct experience with patients, they may garner more trust and respect from patient-facing staff, making it easier for them to get buy-in on new initiatives. 

As mediators, physician executives are certainly helpful, but today’s physician executives are increasingly called upon to set policies and launch initiatives designed to grow the patient base. In a competitive healthcare landscape, physician executives have the unique experience of knowing what patients want and need as well as what is financially favorable for the organization. Finding the balance between these two things is critical for the success of any healthcare organization–and physician executives are best positioned to achieve it.

Must-Haves for Physician Executive Jobs

The role of physician executive is undoubtedly expanding, as seen in the growing list of must-have skills for physician executives. Today’s physician executives must go beyond being an expert in one’s specialty or a longstanding team member. They need to be business-minded with a head for strategy and innovation. They must also be excellent communicators with high levels of emotional intelligence, capable of taking the temperature of any room (metaphorically) and knowing how to ask questions or present information in a way that will be well-received.

As healthcare organizations increasingly act more like corporations, physician executives must take a more strategic role focused on growing market share. This means a keen understanding of general business principles as well as market trends and community needs. Physician executives must be capable of building relationships within their own organizations and with other organizations’ leaders. These soft skills are increasingly important in today’s physician executives.

Mentoring Tomorrow’s Physician Executives

Because the role of physician executive has evolved significantly in recent years, today’s physician executives have largely had to learn on the job. Their mentors may have guided them through clinical challenges, but it is unlikely they could have foreseen the demands that would be placed on them in a business capacity. That said, future physician leaders have the benefit of dual MD/MBA degrees, extensive in-house training programs, and of course, mentors who are tackling these challenges and proving the value of physician executives every day. 

Organizations must create an environment that encourages physician executive mentorship. They can do this by offering physicians a clear view of how decisions are made and inviting them to participate when possible. Identify physicians interested in leadership and assign them to a physician executive mentor who will meet with them regularly and prepare them for a future in leadership. Physicians who learn firsthand from successful physician executives are most likely to one day find success in the role themselves.


At Jackson Physician Search, we’ve built relationships with physicians for 40+ years. Our physician database includes physicians from all over the country and at all stages of their careers. This means we are well-positioned to connect organizations with the most qualified physician executives for any role. Reach out today to learn more about our physician executive recruitment process.

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3 Advantages of Working with a Regional Physician Recruitment Partner


Every day on her way to work at the Jackson Physician Search Dallas office, Director of Physician Recruiting Tonya Hamlin passes by the new tower being built for a hospital that happens to be one of her ongoing clients. Over the past year, she’s been speaking with candidates for this client and simultaneously watching the development of the tower, allowing her to share the building’s beauty as construction progresses.

“The idea of working in a brand new building is appealing to candidates,” says Tonya. “And because I live here in Dallas, I can tell them firsthand what I see as the building goes up. I can also help them understand the different parts of town and where they might want to live in terms of traffic and access to the hospital and other parts of town. I know and love Dallas, and I think that comes through when recruiting physicians to the area.”

Tonya demonstrates the advantages her Texas clients gain by working with her and the Jackson Physician Search Texas office. Having spent years recruiting physicians to Texas healthcare facilities, she understands the state’s unique market and can quickly identify physicians most likely to find long-term success there. Her state pride shines through whenever she speaks with candidates, though she is also transparent about the challenges of living in some areas. Tonya paints a realistic picture of life in Texas for potential candidates, which physicians appreciate. Her clients also enjoy that she is easily accessible for face-to-face meetings when needed. She can hop in the car to visit local sites, and direct flights from Dallas are readily available for those farther than a few hours’ drive.

So, does it really matter where a physician recruitment partner is based? The current popularity of remote work and telework might make you think geography is less relevant to business partners. It is true that the work of physician recruitment can be done from anywhere, and it is important to work with a partner that has established connections nationally, not just in one region. Although, a recruiter who lives and works in your region will be more likely to understand and react to the nuances of your market, communicate the area’s appeal to candidates authentically, and be available when and where you need to connect. Keep reading to explore the advantages of working with a physician recruitment partner that has both national reach and regional expertise.

Regional Physician Recruitment Advantage #1: Market Expertise

Working with a physician recruitment partner in your region ensures your recruiter knows exactly how to attract and retain physicians nationwide to your specific area. When a recruiter is exclusively focused on recruiting physicians to one region, he or she becomes an expert on that market in terms of what employers are offering in the area and what physicians expect. 

In a recent physician search in rural Nebraska, Senior Search Consultant Evan Kaspar was able to present his client with real-time data on signing bonuses offered by rural organizations in the same market. From his own experience in the market, he knew precisely how much was needed to make an impact. The client trusted Evan’s expertise and moved forward with a bonus in line with Evan’s recommendation. As a result, the position quickly had multiple applicants. 

Takeaway: The physician recruiters at Jackson Physician Search are constantly communicating with healthcare administrators in their regions as well as physicians working or seeking work in their specific areas. This gives each recruiter a finger on the market’s pulse, which he or she can then leverage to help clients make the right offer to the best candidate.

Regional Physician Recruitment Advantage #2: Regional Pride

When recruiting physicians to a new area, no one sells an opportunity better than a recruiter who loves and lives in the area he or she is recruiting for. 

Senior Director of Recruiting Carly Clem demonstrates this truth in her 11-year partnership with a hospital client out of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Not only does she visit the facility several times a year, but she also previously lived in the area. Having firsthand knowledge of the city, Carly can reliably describe what it’s like to live there. This is especially helpful because, while the client has built up a strong employer brand locally, physicians coming out of residency are typically unfamiliar with the facility and its location. Carly’s genuine depiction of the area and its amenities often makes candidates more inclined to visit.

Takeaway: While not every recruiter will have direct ties to a client’s location, residing in the same region establishes common ground and ensures an appreciation of both the rewards and challenges of a given location.   

Regional Physician Recruitment Advantage #3: Ease of Access

Helen Falkner, Regional Vice President of Recruiting for the Jackson Physician Search Western Division, is based in Denver, where she manages a team of recruiters who also live in the area. They work with clients all over the region that often face similar recruitment challenges, so she and her team have become experts in the market, which clients value. Helen notes that clients also appreciate that she can hop on a direct flight to reach most of her clients.

“If we were working out of the Jackson Physician Search headquarters in Atlanta, traveling to some of our Western clients would require a full day of travel and multiple flights. But from Denver, we have many clients within a few hours’ drive or accessible by a direct flight,” Helen explains. “Being in the same time zone as most of our clients is also helpful in terms of scheduling calls and meetings.” 

Takeaway: Working with a regional recruitment partner makes scheduling calls and in-person meetings easier and reduces travel costs.

National Reach, Regional Expertise

As noted earlier, it is critical that a physician recruitment partner has a reputation nationally and the tools to source candidates from all over the country. A quality partner has the ability to reach active and passive candidates nationwide; however, they should also have expertise in your given market. That is, they understand the specific challenges organizations in the region face and know what it takes to attract candidates to jobs there. Their enthusiasm for living in the region shines through with candidates, and they are easily accessible for calls and client meetings. For these reasons, working with a nationally backed, regional recruitment partner will best position healthcare organizations for physician recruitment success.

If your organization needs a partner with both national reach and regional expertise, reach out to the Jackson Physician Search recruitment team today.

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4 Reasons to Make Time for Physician Mentorship (And How to Do It)


Whether you are embarking on your first physician job, a practicing physician thinking of taking on more responsibility, or a physician executive looking for ways to support your organization, you could no doubt benefit from physician mentorship — that is, either having a mentor or being a mentor. In my role as Regional Vice President of Recruiting for Jackson Physician Search’s Midwest division, I always counsel physicians starting their first jobs to seek out a mentor, but I’d argue physicians at every stage of their careers should take part in mentorships — as mentees, mentors, or possibly both. Physicians with mentors are more likely to be successful and experience greater job satisfaction, which improves the chances that they will stay with the organization. Healthcare employers will thus see improved retention rates, and patients will experience more consistent access to care.  

Keep reading to explore the benefits of physician mentorship, find out the best ways to initiate a mentor-mentee connection, and learn how to be a positive participant in the relationship. 

Benefits of Physician Mentorships

1. A Fast Track to Success

When new physicians have a mentor to show them the ropes (both clinically and within the organization), they will reach productivity faster and likely be happier in the job. This, of course, improves the chances that they will stay with the organization beyond the average three-year tenure of physicians in their first jobs. But mentorship doesn’t only benefit new physicians. When practicing physicians start taking on more responsibility and begin to consider a leadership role, they will benefit from seeking counsel from a physician who has already forged that path. A mentor who is a step or more ahead of you professionally is a wealth of knowledge.

2. The Chance to Create a Legacy

Physician executives willing to serve as mentors will experience the reward of knowing they are giving back or even creating a legacy. By sharing their wisdom with the next generation of physicians, they will continue to impact patients long after they hang up their white coats. 

3. Improves Job Satisfaction and Physician Retention

Some studies have found a correlation between mentorship and job satisfaction. When physicians are building their skill sets and developing professionally, which mentorship encourages, they will likely feel more satisfied with their jobs. Similarly, when older physicians are actively helping to develop new talent, they, too, are likely to feel more job satisfaction. We know from other studies that physician job satisfaction significantly impacts physician retention, so organizations may see improved retention rates as a result of physician mentorship programs.

4. Patients Receive More Collaborative Care

Physicians with mentors have access to more experienced physicians and will incorporate their wisdom into the care they provide, resulting in better, more collaborative patient care.  

Making the Mentor-Mentee Match

Mentorship benefits everyone — mentee, mentor, the organizations they work for, as well as the patients they serve. However, most organizations don’t provide formal mentor programs, so it is up to the physician to seek out a mentor relationship. This can happen in a variety of ways, some more organic than others. Most commonly, the mentee will approach someone they admire professionally and ask if the potential mentor has time to share some advice on a specific topic. If the mentor agrees, one conversation leads to another until a mentor-mentee relationship is born. 

A more formal approach, though just as effective, could be to simply ask a respected physician if he or she has time to be your mentor. He or she may not be able to commit but can perhaps refer you to someone more willing. And while it may not happen as often, sometimes an experienced physician will make a connection with a promising new physician and offer to mentor them. Sharing wisdom with a new generation of physicians is a powerful way for them to impact more patients, and those who recognize this will be motivated to be a mentor. 

Tips for Physician Mentorship Success

Make Yourself Available

Physicians’ days are often packed, and coffee with a mentor or mentee may seem like the easy thing to cancel when a day or week gets particularly hectic. This is inevitable sometimes, but it is important to prioritize the relationship and make the time to connect — even if only for 15 minutes or over the phone instead of face-to-face. Some time is better than no time at all. 

Set Clear Expectations 

In an ideal mentorship, both parties know what each is hoping to get out of the relationship. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Dr. Sanjay Saint and Dr. Vineet Chopra discuss the different roles a mentor may play and counsel physicians to know which one is expected of them. A physician mentor may serve as a coach, teaching the mentee new skills; as a sponsor, increasing the mentee’s visibility within an organization and helping them navigate promotions; or as a connector, making introductions to grow the mentee’s professional network. A new physician may primarily need a coach, while a physician hoping to move into leadership will need a sponsor and/or connector. Most mentorships will be a blend of all three, but it is useful to have an understanding of what is expected so neither party is let down.  

Recognize the Importance of Physician Mentorship

Across industries and professions, no one achieves success without the guidance and support of those who came before them. Nowhere is this more true than in medicine, where a commitment to sharing knowledge is even built into the modern Hippocratic oath. 


In my experience working with hundreds of physicians each year, I have found most of them are wired to be both lifelong learners and teachers. They recognize the important role mentorship plays, not only in their own professional development but in the advancement of medicine and improvement of patient care. So, despite the many demands on physicians’ time, most are willing to make the time for physician mentorship. 

No matter where you are in your physician career, the recruitment team at Jackson Physician Search is eager to assist. We have clients of all types and sizes in every region of the country that are looking for physicians like you. Reach out today to learn more, or start searching for physician jobs online now.

About Tara Osseck

With more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Tara Osseck specializes in matching healthcare organizations with physicians who are a strong fit for the role and the culture. Her healthcare career began as a physician liaison and quickly expanded to include physician recruitment, strategic planning, and business development, working for various hospitals throughout Memphis, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri. Based in St. Louis, Osseck leads the firm’s Midwest Division, placing providers across the Midwest and Upper Midwest. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Truman State University and a master’s degree in health care administration and management from The University of Memphis.


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5 Physician Job Relocation Considerations


From undergraduate school to medical school, medical school to residency, and then residency to fellowship, the life of a physician in training may feel a bit nomadic. When the time comes to search for that first physician job, residents are often eager to settle down in a specific location. Maybe they’d like to return to where they grew up; perhaps they want to find a job near a spouse’s family; maybe they’ve always dreamed of living in a big city, near the ocean, or serving in a rural community. There is no shortage of options. 

As Regional Vice President of Recruiting for Jackson Physician Search Eastern Division, I regularly speak to physicians searching for jobs in a new location. While many are residents seeking their first jobs, physicians at all stages of their careers may contemplate relocation at one point or another. No matter their career phase, it’s not uncommon for a relocating physician to have their hearts set on a specific city and to primarily consider opportunities within a set radius of the targeted spot. While I understand the inclination, I advise all physicians to keep an open mind and consider each option, as job satisfaction depends on various components beyond location. 

There are certainly multiple factors to consider when weighing a job offer — scope of work, compensation package, cultural fit, growth opportunities, and, of course, location. While location should not be the only consideration, it is likely the one that will have the most direct impact on your family. That said, when weighing the pros and cons of an opportunity’s location, be sure to ask yourself the following:

Physician Job Relocation Question #1: How is the patient demand in this area?

Physicians determined to work in a big city are often surprised to learn that while the cost of living is higher, their income potential could be lower than in less populated areas. This is because the market is likely to be more saturated; metropolitan areas typically have enough physicians to serve the needs of patients, so acquiring new patients can be tough. Employers may offer a salary guarantee to new physicians for the first year or two; however, in that timeframe, the physician will need to cultivate an adequate patient base to meet productivity goals afterward. Establishing this solid patient base is often less challenging in a less populated area with fewer physicians in your specialty. 

Physician Job Relocation Question #2: What are the available housing options?

When interviewing with a potential employer, you’ll want to find out what the housing market is like in the area. Are you likely to be able to buy or build a house that meets the needs of you and your family? If the ideal inventory is limited, are there good rental options available? If you and your spouse decide you would rather reside outside the immediate area, do circumstances allow you to do so? How far of a commute is acceptable? Plan to discuss these inquiries with the employer and meet with a realtor during your on-site visit to give you a well-informed understanding of your options. 

Physician Job Relocation Question #3: Could my spouse find employment here too?

Whether relocating to a large city or exploring jobs in rural medicine, physicians will typically need to consider the employment needs of their partners as well. If your spouse also works in healthcare, the potential employer may be able to help him or her secure a job. Alternatively, perhaps the spouse can work remotely but will need to travel somewhat frequently; this leads to another consideration–what amenities, such as an airport, are easily accessible? Whatever your partner’s profession, you’ll want to be sure you both have the opportunities and resources to thrive in your new location.

Physician Job Relocation Question #4: Does the location provide access to the amenities I want and need?

Restaurants, shopping, entertainment–you’ll want to check out the selection of it all, from your favorite chains to various new options in or near the town. Also, think about your hobbies and favorite vacation spots. Whether you love to hike and ski or are a theater buff and collector of couture, you may wish to confirm you can continue pursuing these interests wherever you consider relocating. Lastly, as mentioned before, consider how often you and your family travel by plane and decide if it is critical to have easy access to an international airport. 

Physician Relocation Question #5: How are the schools?

Depending on your stage of life, the quality of educational options may be a consideration when relocating. Physicians with school-age children or younger will want to evaluate the public school system and potentially explore private school options. Physicians moving to bigger cities can expect to find more choices when it comes to education, but the smaller communities also offer quality education. If you’d like, you can ask your potential employer to arrange a school tour while you are in town. An in-person visit to a school may provide a clearer picture than a scoring system on a website.  

Building a Career and a Life

There are multiple factors to consider before accepting a job and signing a physician contract, but the location is certainly a major part of the equation. Don’t judge an area based solely on internet research, but instead plan a visit to the community and ask questions about the patient demand (and income potential) in the area, housing availability, employment options for your spouse, access to amenities, and, if applicable, education needs. These considerations will help you determine if the location has the potential to be a good long-term fit for you and your family. But remember, if the job itself is not a good fit culturally, location alone is not guaranteed to satisfy you. So, evaluate your compatibility with the workplace thoroughly during the interview process and trust your physician recruiter to guide you to positions that will be a good match.  

Are you considering relocation and a new physician job? The recruitment team at Jackson Physician Search can help you assess the physician job market in your target location and prepare you for the next steps. Reach out today or start your physician job search online now.

About Neal Waters

Neal’s career began in retained physician search more than 15 years ago. Early on, he recognized the strain that an entire community feels when there is a shortage of physicians to meet patient demand. Since his first successful placement, Neal’s passion for identifying the best providers for each healthcare organization with which he recruits has grown.

Neal serves as Regional Vice President of Recruiting. In his role, he serves as a mentor to a growing team of Jackson Physician Search recruiters. He also enjoys collaborating with in-house recruiters dedicated to optimizing their physician recruitment and candidate acquisition strategies. Likewise, Neal specializes in helping physicians — especially residents and those early in their careers — advance their professional careers by finding the right fit.


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5 Ways to Reduce the Impact of Physician Executive Retirement


An aging physician workforce combined with burnout and heightened pandemic-era stress has led to an increase in the recent rate of physician retirements. As the industry braces for the numbers to continue rising, one segment of physician retirements may be especially concerning–that of physician executives. Year to date, CEO turnover at hospitals is at a four-year high, and many of those retiring are physician executives. The reasons for the increased turnover are complex, but retirement certainly plays a part

What can the industry do to prepare for physician executive retirements? The Jackson Physician Search Retirement Report offers several things administrators can do to reduce the impact of physician retirements, and they apply to physician executive retirements as well. Succession planning will lay the groundwork for finding a replacement, but other strategies, such as offering flexibility and retention bonuses, may serve to delay a physician executive’s retirement timeline. Keep reading to learn more about five ways to reduce the impact of physician executive retirements.

1. Physician Executive Succession Planning

According to an MGMA STAT poll, just 35% of healthcare organizations have a succession plan for leadership positions. While this is slightly better than the 21% that reported having succession plans for typical physician retirements in the Jackson Physician Search Retirement Report, it still shows a lack of proactive planning from the majority of healthcare organizations. However, this is not because they don’t recognize the importance of succession planning; in a 2021 joint study from MGMA and Jackson Physician Search, healthcare administrators assigned an average importance of 7.5 to succession planning (with 10 being the most important). Although administrators clearly understand its importance, they may feel they don’t have time to work through the multiple steps involved with succession planning. We’re here to suggest it’s okay to start small by prioritizing just a few of the steps. 


2. Build or Strengthen Internal Leadership Training Programs

Ideally, healthcare organizations are able to seamlessly promote someone internally to replace a retiring physician executive. After all, across industries, multiple studies suggest that internal hires have higher performance rates, better retention rates, and are more cost-effective. In the aforementioned MGMA and Jackson Physician Search study, 43% of administrators who reported having succession plans said their plans included a mentor program. We are hopeful to see this percentage grow, as some of the most respected, physician-led hospitals in the nation are known for their robust internal training and mentorship programs.

Internal training programs will look different at every organization, and obviously, a thriving leadership training program isn’t built overnight. However, it is worth taking small steps, such as assigning physician executive mentors to promising physicians. You can also assemble a team to start building a curriculum around the key leadership skills needed by physician executives at your organization.   

3. Offer Retention Bonuses and Increased Flexibility

In the Jackson Physician Search Physician Retirement Survey, just 12% of physicians said they intend to retire and stop working altogether. Nearly half (43%) of physicians hope to reduce their work hours in the years leading up to retirement, and a third of physicians plan to retire from their current job and work locum tenens or work part- or full-time with another organization. The numbers may look somewhat different for physician executives, but it is likely that retiring physician executives also hope to continue working to a certain extent. 

The question then becomes, how can administrators retain retiring physician executives for a longer period at their current organizations? Offering increased flexibility–reduced hours or the option to work remotely–may be enough for them to consider prolonging their departure, and, of course, a retention bonus or an enhancement to their future retirement package may also be persuasive. However, retention efforts are not one size fits all. Talk to retiring physician executives about their motivations for leaving and discuss adjustments that can be made to keep them happily working in their own capacity. This will give you ample time to find a qualified replacement who is a good fit culturally and, therefore, likely to stay long-term.

4. Develop a Contingency Plan 

Organizations must also prepare for the case scenario that a physician executive will retire without substantial notice or interest in retention incentives. This is where a contingency plan for a physician executive vacancy comes into play. Just as a locum tenens physician may temporarily fill a physician vacancy, an interim physician leader may step in to temporarily fulfill the duties of an absent physician executive. While this situation is not ideal, it is one worth exploring so you know who to call if needed.

5. Partner with a Physician Executive Search Firm

If it is determined that an external search is needed to replace the retiring physician executive, organizations will improve the odds of connecting with top candidates by utilizing a physician executive search partner that has spent decades building relationships with physicians and physician leaders. Over the course of 10,000+ permanent placements, Jackson Physician Search has developed relationships with physicians all over the country at all stages of their careers. In addition to providing access to a vast network of physicians, a successful physician executive search firm will serve as an extension of your team, putting in the hours to conduct the necessary physician executive outreach for you.  


News of a physician executive’s retirement from a healthcare organization is typically not wished for, but adequate planning can help prevent it from burdening other leaders and staff or disrupting the continuity of patient care. Focus on creating a comprehensive succession plan and prioritizing internal leadership and mentor programs. Create an environment of transparency so you can openly discuss with the retiree their reasons for leaving and propose solutions that allow them to consider staying on in some capacity. Prepare for the worst by lining up a temporary contingency plan, but ideally, you will have ample time to activate your retained physician executive search partner to officially start your search for a replacement.

If you need help preparing for a physician executive retirement at your organization, reach out to Jackson Physician Search today. Our Physician Executive Search team has the experience, network, and expertise required to provide organizations of all types and sizes with the physician executive recruitment support you need. Contact our team today to learn more.  

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