Physicians are Fast-tracking Retirement: 5 Ways to Reduce the Impact


The healthcare industry continues to wrestle with how to solve the looming physician shortage, and now it appears that COVID-19 will make it even more challenging. Prior to the pandemic, more than one-third of practicing physicians were already at or anticipated to reach age 65 within the decade. Combined with the reality that the virus is more dangerous for this population segment, the financial strain of reduced patient volumes and canceled elective surgeries, and increasing rates of physician burnout, doctors already close to retirement may be on a fast-track to leaving medicine early.

A recent survey by Medscape, which garnered responses from more than 5,000 U.S. physicians, uncovered that 25% of doctors plan to retire earlier than originally planned. Clearly, what was once a challenge fueled by typical age-related retirements has now been exacerbated by factors created by the pandemic.

A 62-year-old physician in California described how the pandemic impacted the way he feels about his ENT practice in a article. “COVID definitely accelerated what I would call my ultimate burnout. The financial strains of dealing with COVID … patients not wanting to come in … Very much not good for telehealth.” In the end, the ENT couldn’t sell his practice, so he closed it and retired early.

5 Ways to Reduce the Impact of Early Physician Retirements

Whatever the reasons may be, COVID or otherwise, a percentage of your physicians are considering retirement or, at a minimum, changes within their career. Mitigating the downsides of losing physicians early requires a plan. Here are a few things to consider to help you navigate these potential physician vacancies.

  1. Recognize that it is Likely Going to be an Issue for Your Healthcare Facility. One of the worst things healthcare administrators can do is pretend that the pandemic fallout we have been discussing won’t happen in their organization. In their own words, physicians have stated that the events of the past year have had an impact on how they view their careers. If you have physician staff at or nearing retirement age, you can be certain that if they weren’t seriously considering retirement before COVID, they are now. It is also important to keep in mind that your physician staff at all ages have been impacted by the pandemic, and many of them may be considering alternative career options.
  1. Establish Open Lines of Communication. Let’s face it, the pandemic has been unnerving for all of us, and none more so than frontline healthcare workers. Physicians already suffer from the effects of stress and burnout at higher rates than much of the U.S. population. Most healthcare administrators are painfully aware of these tragic numbers and have programs in place to help their staff cope. Encouragement and promoting the availability of counseling services for staff is needed more than ever.

For the retirement conundrum specifically, the most important thing you can do is have the conversation. A pre-pandemic Jackson Physician Search survey of 550 physicians and 100 administrators shed significant light on how both sides viewed the retirement discussion. Most physicians (80%) feel it is their responsibility to raise the topic of retirement, but just 52% felt comfortable doing so. Only 37% of administrators responded that it was their responsibility to initiate the retirement conversation, but overwhelmingly (74%) indicated that they were comfortable having them.

The above illustrates that while physicians feel obligated to share their retirement plans with leadership, they may not be comfortable doing so. This presents an opportunity for administrators to develop communication mechanisms that facilitate a means for the retirement conversation. Whether that is driven by human resources or through direct conversations between leadership and staff, the bottom line is physicians are planning their retirement, and you need to know about it.

Additionally, physicians and administrators have vastly different opinions on what the ideal notice period is for a retirement timeline. Almost 50 percent of administrators indicated the ideal notice was one to three years, while 40 percent of physicians felt six months or less was sufficient.

  1. Rely on Recruitment Best Practices. With the number of physician vacancies expected to rise post-pandemic, understanding physician recruitment metrics can serve you well. With each physician vacancy potentially costing $150,000 or more per month in lost revenue, having gaps or inefficiencies in your recruitment processes can be financially devastating. While each specialty is different, a six, nine, or even 12 recruitment timeline is not unrealistic and further illustrates the importance of knowing which of your staff is considering retirement. Embracing new, digital sourcing strategies is an effective way to reach more candidates and are designed to keep you connected across social platforms where physicians are already active. The key to physician recruitment in today’s market is to find ways to reach the passive candidates who aren’t actively looking but are willing to consider an opportunity if it is right for them.
  1. Plan to be Flexible. Doing things the way you always have is not an effective strategy for retaining your physician staff. A case in point can be found in the aforementioned Jackson Physician Search survey. When a physician says that they are planning to retire, 40% of administrators believe that it means they are leaving medicine entirely. However, only 17% of physicians say that they are planning to retire completely. Many are planning to work at least part-time, and some even full-time at another healthcare organization. Understanding this dynamic leaves the door open for you to find creative ways to keep your retirement-age physicians engaged while you manage pending vacancies. Especially in this current environment, presenting “win-win” opportunities can help ease the transition to full or partial retirement.
  1. Engage a Strategic Recruitment Partner. Depending on the size of your physician recruitment team and their competing demands, consider the benefits of having a strong recruitment partner in your corner. A trusted physician search partner, like Jackson Physician Search, can supplement your existing recruitment teams. The key is to find a partner with access to a nationwide network and a full suite of digital recruitment tools that can maximize the pool of candidates available to you. It is always a sound strategy to acquire access to healthcare industry experts who can provide the resources and advice to keep you ahead of your retirement curve.

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 the difference we can make for your physician staffing needs.

2021 Physician Staffing: 6 Key Takeaways from Our Candidate Poll Questions

As healthcare administrators pursue their 2021 physician staffing plans, it’s a perfect time to share the intel we’ve been gathering from physicians over the past six months…

How Physician Retirements Could Disrupt Your Medical Staffing Plans

The three R’s of physician staffing include recruitment, retention, and retirement, and all three are integral to achieving your physician staffing goals…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

2021 Physician Staffing: 6 Takeaways from Our Candidate Poll Questions


As healthcare administrators pursue their 2021 physician staffing plans, it’s a perfect time to share the intel we’ve been gathering from physicians over the past six months. Jackson Physician Search asked physicians via our candidate email newsletter and job opportunity emails to answer a single poll question related to their career plans each month, with the queries beginning in June and concluding at the end of November. The results are not only enlightening, but they offer insight that can help healthcare organizations gain an edge in their 2021 physician recruitment plans. Here’s what we learned:

June 2020: Has COVID-19 prompted you to search for a new job?

Each year, the healthcare industry experiences physician turnover at a rate of 6-7%, which equates to approximately 50,000 physicians accepting new positions. Once the country began re-opening, we asked physicians if the pandemic had prompted them to search for a new job.

A striking 67% of physicians said, yes, COVID is influencing their decision to seek a new job opportunity. 

With the first vaccines rolling out now, it will be interesting to see how many physicians continue to pursue new roles. But clearly, they have taken stock of their current situation, and it may lead to higher physician turnover rates than in past years. Now is the time to ensure that you have contingency plans in place in order to keep your 2021 staffing plan on track.

July 2020: Would you accept a position based on a virtual interview alone (no on-site visit)?

Another component of physician recruitment that has been heavily impacted by the pandemic is the interview process. With in-person and on-campus meetings severely curtailed at various points throughout the year, we wanted to learn more about how virtual interviews impacted physician candidates’ decision-making process. We asked a yes or no question about whether a candidate would accept a new position based solely on a virtual interview.

The responses were split down the middle as 52% of physicians said yes and 48% responded no.

Obviously, virtual meetings and interviews have proven helpful during the shutdown protocols and several of our clients made successful hires via virtual interviews alone. But for many physicians, a face-to-face meeting is an essential part of the process.

August 2020: How many on-site or virtual interviews are needed for you to be comfortable making a career decision?

In that same vein, we sought to learn more about the ideal number of interviews before a physician candidate reaches a decision.

In response, 45% of physicians chose one interview, while 26% needed two, and 29% chose 3 or more as the ideal number.

Since almost half of the candidates only need a single interview before deciding if an opportunity is right for them, administrators should focus on delivering a great first impression.

September 2020: Which aspect of the community tour most influences your decision to accept or reject a job offer?

One aspect of the recruitment process that should never be discounted is the community tour. Site visits and community tours in 2020 were significantly challenged by the pandemic. However, according to physicians, they remain a vital influence on whether or not they will accept an opportunity that involves moving to a new community.

More than 90% of physicians responded that a community tour is essential to their decision.

In support of community tours, 42% cited the local housing market as the most important factor, while 31% pointed to the schools and childcare resources. These are timely data points to consider when planning out a community tour for physician candidates. It is also worthy to note that a well-planned community tour and site visit are essential parts of your first impression.

October 2020: In making your employment decision, how important is it that your significant other accompany you on the interview and community tour?

Another factor that should never be ignored when planning your in-person interview is the candidate’s significant other. In their own words, physicians are telling us that having their spouse or significant other accompany them on an interview is key.

Over 53% considered it very important, while another 18% chose somewhat important.

Just 12% said it was not important, while 17% chose not applicable. Knowing that 71% of the candidates with a significant other cite the importance of their inclusion solidifies the notion that the whole family should be recruited, not just the physician. When planning the on-site tour, aim to engage the candidate and any attending family members.

November 2020: What is your ideal interview schedule?

The last question posed to physicians was designed to determine a preference in how the interview process was scheduled overall.

The majority of the respondents split between having several visits (35%) and finishing the interviews all in one day (37%).

A smaller number indicated a preference for a 2- to 3-day long visit (13%), while 14% stated that it didn’t matter to them. While these numbers may seem inconclusive, they suggest that you may want to ask candidates what they prefer.  When the schedule is tailored around the candidate’s wants and needs, it demonstrates that they are valued as an individual.

6 Key Takeaways from Our Physician Polls

  1. COVID may be prompting physicians to seek new job opportunities.
  2. Virtual interviews have a place, but many physicians still prefer face-to-face interviews.
  3. Almost half of the physicians responded that they only need one interview to decide if an opportunity is right for them.
  4. Community tours are a significant factor for physician candidates, focusing on housing markets and school systems.
  5. Over 70% of candidates felt it was essential to have their significant other involved in the interview/recruitment process.
  6. Physicians didn’t state a strong preference for the number of days to commit for interviews. Take that as an opportunity to tailor the process to their needs.

We understand the challenges faced by healthcare administrators to recruit and retain physicians and aim to provide you with helpful industry data and sound recruitment strategies. Our latest whitepaper on the Physician Interview Experience addresses many of the topics discussed above.

Whether you are responsible for a small rural hospital or a large hospital system, our team of healthcare industry experts can help you source, recruit, and fill your physician vacancies. Contact our recruitment team today and learn how we can make a difference as your trusted physician recruitment partner.


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

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Digital Sourcing and Serendipity Result in Physician Placement in Only 54 Days


Jackson Physician Search had just made a successful physician placement at a Louisiana medical group when it found itself in a sudden bind. One of its senior physicians had become seriously ill and could no longer serve the group’s primarily Medicaid patient population. Additionally, another physician was about to go on maternity leave, so the urgency to recruit another doctor was palpable.

It was only six months earlier that the practice manager had evaluated multiple physician recruitment firms in search of a collaborative partnership. After speaking with Jackson Physician Search Regional Vice President Gary Seaberg, he felt confident in selecting us.

With a strong relationship already developed during the first search, Senior Search Consultant Don Evans immediately dove in to help the medical group recruit a second OB/GYN. To set the search up for success, Don met with the practice manager to clearly define this role and understand the characteristics of the group’s ideal physician.

As matchmakers, Jackson Physician Search is always on the lookout for both a clinical and cultural fit. In a medical group, everyone works so closely together that meshing personalities and common interests is key to long-term physician retention.

With a position description now in-hand, Don was able to customize the job ad, post the position to multiple job boards, and launch an initial email campaign in order to cast a wide net – and all within 48 hours.

The National Average Time-to-fill for an OB/GYN is 8.4 months, but Jackson Physician Search Comes Through in Just 54 Days

In a serendipitous-like moment, Don connected the very next day with an OB/GYN who had just read the job ad and found the opportunity intriguing. He also wanted to relocate back to New Orleans to be closer to family, so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Don submitted the candidate, and the practice administrator called the physician. They clicked right away and proceeded to schedule an on-site interview and community tour.

After identifying a candidate who appears to be a strong clinical and cultural fit, Jackson Physician Search recommends delivering an exceptional on-site interview, including a customized, comprehensive facility and community tour. In our 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey, we learned there are three aspects of the on-site interview that can improve your chances of a physician accepting a job offer after the first interview: make the candidate feel welcome and excited about the organization and community, answer all of the candidate’s question, and ensure that there is alignment with organizational and personal values.

The Medical Group Rolled Out the Red Carpet During the On-site Interview

With a game plan in place and feeling fortunate to interview a well-qualified candidate so quickly, the practice manager and the entire medical group were prepared to make a great first impression. Determined to recruit the candidate quickly, they rolled out the red carpet from start to finish. In the practice manager’s own words, “we treated him like a five-star athletic recruit.” Shortly into the on-site interview, the practice manager and the candidate were establishing a stronger professional connection when they discovered that both belonged to and were passionate about the same national organization. They even had common connections in the community, which only helped to solidify the candidate’s excitement about the opportunity. We couldn’t have wished for a more ideal cultural match.

 “Serendipitous” Recruitment Stories Have One Thing in Common: Effective Client Communication

While the client’s constant communication with both Don and the candidate contributed to the placement’s speed, an article from The American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL) notes that regular communication between providers and administrators instills trust. Two-way conversations allow administrators and physicians to understand one another’s perspective and discuss potential and existing challenges. Additionally, providing more autonomy regarding how their work is done and obtaining feedback about patient care and operations offers opportunities to increase physician engagement.

It is rewarding to be part of a homecoming for a hard-working, dedicated physician and his family. It also gives us great pride knowing that the medical group feels confident about its newest physician and the potential for long-term retention.

Digital Candidate Sourcing Drives Improved Recruitment ROI

To go from search initiation to offer acceptance in just 54 days is an incredible achievement in physician recruitment. Because our candidate sourcing process is 100% digital, we’re able to begin advertising a new position and actively screen candidates in days versus weeks and months. This positions our clients to potentially beat the average time-to-fill for any particular specialty, just as this medical group experienced.

Between our excellent track record of successful placements, a transparent fee structure, and our ability to show increased Reruitment ROI through our ROI calculator, we consistently earn a 97% client satisfaction rate. We’re also delighted that over 90% of clients trust us with multiple searches. To learn more about improving your physician recruitment and interview process, contact an experienced Jackson Physician Search industry professional today.


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

Download this step-by-step recruitment guide on how to deliver an exceptional on-site interview experience to reduce your time-to-fill, increase your interview-to-hire ratio, and maximize your recruitment ROI…

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Going Beyond Compensation: 3 Tips to Win Top Physician Candidates

The volume of physicians who are looking for their next opportunity is surging right now. To recruit and retain your ideal candidates in today’s crowded recruitment environment, it’s time to get creative. Here are three tips for success…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

How our Physician Leader Search Earned Doximity’s “Hire of the Quarter”


For two years, a Midwestern academic institution tried to fill a Family Medicine Department Chair position. Faculty members were all pitching in to help, but the lengthy vacancy was taking a toll on everyone. Impressed by our track record of quickly presenting qualified physicians, the institution decided to give Jackson Physician Search the chance to find its new physician leader.

With confidence, Regional Vice President of Recruiting Tara Osseck dove in to develop a clear understanding of the position. Her goal was to find the type of candidate that would be successful and fit into the culture. Tara worked with the client to refine the job description to reflect the position’s diverse responsibilities, including a unique clinical and administrative balance.

Greater Access to Physician Leaders

Once the role was accurately depicted, Tara leveraged several sourcing tools, including Jackson Physician Search’s 100% digital sourcing strategy allowed Tara greater access to a significant pool of physician executive candidates, targeting close to 450 physician leaders through Doximity alone. One of the candidates that jumped off the page was a mid-career physician who was currently on the faculty of an academic institution in Kansas. Dr. P had been working her way up the ladder and had significant leadership experience. But, she had not yet achieved the higher-level position she aspired to reach.

Tara reached out as Dr. P wasn’t actively looking for a new position, even though she deserved and wanted more for her career. As fate would have it, Dr. P had graduated from the very academic institution Tara was recruiting for and was very familiar with the university’s history and culture. Because she hadn’t been actively seeking opportunities, she was unaware of the Department Chair opportunity. As Tara spent time with Dr. P, she knew that this could be a perfect match.

The top three candidates were presented to the search committee, Dr. P included. Tara prepped the candidates for what ended up being a rigorous interview process. The search committee wanted to choose someone who was a great cultural fit and someone who could lead the department through future expansion.

Due to the pandemic restrictions, the interview process was conducted entirely virtually, including having the candidates present a lecture to students.

Doximity’s “Hire of the Quarter”

Ultimately, Dr. P was the candidate that the search committee gravitated towards, and she was offered the position. Her familiarity with the institution’s history and culture, as well as her strong combination of clinical skills and leadership experience made her the best candidate for the role.

In addition to earning Doximity’s “Hire of the Quarter,” it also had quite an impact on Dr. P as she sent the following note to Tara after being hired:

“Tara, I owe you a lot for ‘finding me’ on Doximity and partnering with me every step of the way. I know you were hired by the university, but I felt you also worked for me as well. I wouldn’t have found or landed the career-defining leadership role without your attention to detail throughout the process.” – Dr. P, D.O

Keys to Success

Clearly, Dr. P was a terrific candidate with the right skills, background, and clinical experiences that fit what the institution was looking for. But, there were several factors that Tara and Jackson Physician Search were able to bring to this process:

  • A 40-year track record built on trust and transparency and unparalleled access to physician leaders.
  • Because only 11% of candidates are actively searching for a job, our 100% digital sourcing strategy allows for a customized and targeted approach to reach passive candidates which account for 76% of the market.
  • Jackson Physician Search is the only firm where every recruiter has a Doximity license.
  • When sourcing candidates, the Jackson Physician Search team understands the vital role that culture and fit plays in recruitment and retention.

If your organization needs a trusted partner to help you find top-tier physician leaders, reach out to Jackson Physician Search today.

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The volume of physicians who are looking for their next opportunity is surging right now. To recruit and retain your ideal candidates in today’s crowded recruitment environment, it’s time to get creative. Here are three tips for success…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

Managed Care’s Earliest Roots Planted in Rural America: How One Hospital CEO is Building on Its Legacy


This year marks the 10th annual National Rural Health Day, a day set aside to celebrate rural communities and to honor the mission-oriented healthcare providers who selflessly care for some 57 million Americans. It’s also a time to bring awareness to the unique challenges facing rural healthcare organizations.

Unlike any other year, rural hospitals have witnessed how COVID-19 has accelerated some aspects of healthcare that have elevated patient access, while also shining a light on others that remain insufficient. And considering that the closest specialist could easily be 100 miles or more away, the stakes are often higher in our rural communities.

Advocating for rural healthcare is how Corey Lively has found a deepening sense of purpose ever since taking over seven years ago as CEO of Great Plains Regional Medical Center in Elk City, Oklahoma. With big shoes to fill, he’s passionate about engaging the community, inspiring others to find happiness through humility, and building on the legacy of a 72-bed hospital that is known as the birthplace of one of the earliest managed care systems in the U.S.

We had an opportunity to get Corey’s perspective on the impact of COVID-19 on rural healthcare, what needs to change to improve sustainability for the entire rural network, and how his staff embodies resilience in the face of an unrelenting pandemic. Keep reading as he answers our questions with wisdom and a much-needed dose of empathy.

Question: Great Plains Regional Medical Center has a unique history that transformed the industry. Can you share the story?

Answer: It’s a great one! In 1929, Dr. Michael Shadid of Elk City, Oklahoma, which is about half-way between Amarillo and Oklahoma City, convinced the area’s Farmer’s Union that they’d have improved access to affordable healthcare by pooling their resources to build a hospital. Selling shares for $50, the hospital was built, and it became one of the earliest managed care systems. Today, Great Plains Regional Medical Center remains a true, independent hospital with more than 400 shareholders who continue to have voting rights. To give you an idea of our reach, we have 450 employees who serve our immediate community of about 15,000 people. Each year, we handle more than 2,500 acute care admissions, perform more than 3,000 surgeries, and field more than 15,000 emergency room visits.


Question: What has been your experience regarding the pandemic from March through today?

Answer: We started by planning aggressively to face whatever was coming. We put our surge plans into place and made the difficult decision to postpone elective surgeries. Like most facilities, we followed the community census closely to ensure we were on top of the critical data regarding infection rates and hospitalizations. We went through a difficult period for about six weeks starting April 1st but then it began to taper off as the summer months approached.

There was a valley in cases through July and August, but a new spike appeared in September. As patient admissions continue to rise, we’re responding in a big way. What’s really challenging as a leader and for our staff is to maintain peak adrenaline for such an extended period of time. Rural healthcare is taxed because there is no “B” team. Everyone is playing offense and defense, so we’re focused on doing everything we can to support our staff through this crisis.

Question: What types of new processes and procedures were implemented and will some of those changes be permanent?

Answer: We definitely had to do things differently. Out of necessity, some will end up being permanent, especially as it relates to security. One challenge that arose right away was how we would help families communicate with loved ones in our care and their physicians, while visitor access was restricted. It was especially heartbreaking for us to watch patients struggle with isolation, so we quickly brought in iPads. Now, via Facetime, patients, physicians, and families remain connected.

In rural healthcare, it’s really important to engage the community. Our hospital is unique in that we have a very nice cafeteria that serves great meals. During normal times, we operate like a restaurant and people in the community come to dine with us. When COVID hit, we had to prioritize patient safety and close the cafeteria. This left a big gap, so we have since implemented mobile meals.

Question: Has Telehealth played a larger role your response to COVID-19?

Answer: To put it in a statistical framework, prior to COVID, we had about 5% utilization of telehealth, and now we are up around 48-52%. It has really been a valuable tool that grew out of necessity. Many of our specialties got creative in utilizing the technology to continue serving patients. For example, we’re championing increased use of telehealth for dialysis and psychiatric care. It’s interesting – I’ve read that telehealth adoption and technology has jumped a full ten years from where it was anticipated to be right now. As a rural health advocate, I hope that the relaxed policies that came after COVID hit become permanent. I can already envision how many more patients a specialist could see remotely from a single location versus practicing out of several.

Question: What can HHS or the federal government do to help rural health systems?

Answer: COVID aside, to this day, there is no greater gap in the delivery of care than the one that exists between rural and urban populations. The federal government doesn’t engage rural healthcare administrators often enough, and that needs to change. They can start by listening and striving to understand our needs. For example, they should be helping us tighten up the rural provider revenue cycle. That is something that can be solved. And from a COVID perspective, one thing the pandemic has shown us is the vulnerability and inadequacy that exists in the medical supply chain. With COVID spiking again, we’re finding it difficult to secure PPE like gowns and gloves.

Question: With rural healthcare sometimes deemed a less desirable career option for physicians, what are your strategies for recruitment?

Answer: We are constantly keeping an eye toward the future, because any provider we bring on board has to be right for the facility and the community. The barometer we use is, “would I trust them with a family member?” Our approach is to use every tool available to find quality physicians who fit our culture. Sometimes we are able to source the candidates on our own, but we also maintain a strong relationship with Jackson Physician Search because you know our facility and what types of physicians can be successful with us. You’ve done a great job.

Another thing that I do is maintain a list of medical students and residents that have ties within 60 miles of our hospital. I make an effort to reach out to them periodically. Sometimes we share a meal, just so I can let them know we care about them and their success. I do the same with a list of about 50 practicing physicians. As an independent hospital, we have more flexibility in our compensation and benefits package. For instance, if a candidate cares more about student loan payoff, we can often work with that.

Question: Since we’re celebrating National Rural Health Day, has anything surprised you about how your staff has handled the past nine months?

Answer: Honestly, we have an amazing team and nothing that they accomplish really surprises me. I believe so much in them! But through all of this, three things have really stood out. First, everyone here has an incredible sense of family and community. Second, they are incredibly resilient. And third, their expertise and caregiving skills are unrivaled. We are all pulling together, and we support each other every day by saying, “We’ve got this!”  We will keep pushing through, because the person next to us is doing the same. As members of this special community, we are passionate about helping rural Americans to have access to great healthcare.

Combat the Turnover Trap

“We’ve had multiple staff test positive for COVID, and you might think that it would make them hesitant. But after recovering, they all came right back to work to keep treating patients. Their resiliency inspires me every single day!”

Corey Lively, CEO, Great Plains Regional Medical Center

Question: Before we close, what drove you to become a CEO at a rural hospital?

Answer: Becoming a hospital CEO was actually not in my early career plans. I have a Master’s Degree in Counselling and had always wanted to help children. As I pursued that, I realized there were so many things in this world that happen to us as we grow up, and they nudge us toward the path we are supposed to be on. For me, it was having the desire to influence children, to help them move from where they are to the best place they can be.  And then, I got the nudge about fifteen years ago when I had an opportunity to come over to healthcare administration. The move really ignited my passion to bring healthcare to rural communities, especially to where I am from in rural Oklahoma.

Consider this, we are over 117 miles from the nearest Level-1 Trauma Center. I want this community to know that if something happens to any of them, we may not be able to do everything they need. But we are going to save their life and get them to where they need to be. It’s part of what drives me. Every day, I realize that we are doing something here for the greater good – for our community’s health and well-being.

I’d like to leave you with a little story. You never how or when you are going to impact someone’s life. Seven years ago, as I was leaving my previous job for this position, the staff had a little going away party for me with a few gifts. Our Director of Pharmacy handed me a box and asked me not to open it until later. When I opened the box, there was a plaque with a star on it that said, “I will never forget that humility is the key to happiness.” I was taken aback because it was something I said to him four years prior when he was going through a difficult time. I reached out to thank him, and he said that sharing that sentiment changed his life. It just goes to show that you never know when you’ll have the opportunity to help someone, and you may never even know that you did.


Corey Lively became CEO of Great Plains Regional Medical Center in 2014

Great Plains Regional Medical Center at a Glance

  • 72-bed, Joint Commission accredited, acute care facility, not-for-profit corporation located in Elk City, Oklahoma
  • Only Hospital in Western Oklahoma and only 1 of 12 Oklahoma hospitals named a top performer for Quality Patient Outcomes by The National Organization of State Offices Rural Health and iVantage Health Analytics
  • Emergency room named by Becker’s Hospital Review as a Top 20 in the Nation for its superior Quality Outcomes and efficient care
  • 100+ physicians and providers offer advanced care in more specialties and subspecialties than any other facility in Western Oklahoma and North Texas

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of our staff. The way they have rallied to the call is incredibly inspiring, and it is not just the medical staff. Everybody is in this together from our physicians to our nurses to registration and our housekeeping staff. The effort is amazing, because it is so difficult to maintain peak adrenaline for such long periods of time.”

Corey Lively, CEO, Great Plains Regional Medical Center

Partner with a Recruitment Firm Dedicated to Your Community’s Success

If your rural hospital could use additional support in recruiting physicians who fit your culture, will engage with the community, and will stay, consider partnering with the healthcare recruitment professionals at Jackson Physician Search. Our decades of experience has afforded us the ability to maintain a nationwide pool of candidates and to develop the technology and tools to help you fill your most challenging vacancies.



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How Physician Retirements Could Disrupt Your Medical Staffing Plans


The three R’s of physician staffing include recruitment, retention, and retirement, and all three are integral to achieving your physician staffing goals. For years, the industry has warned that we’re on the cusp of a mass exit of talent as baby boomer physicians inch closer to retirement. No longer cautionary – reality is here – and estimates show that two out of five physicians are at or near retirement age.

At last month’s MGMA Medical Practice Excellence Conference (MPEC20), Jackson Physician Search President Tony Stajduhar led an enlightening breakout session about the Three R’s of Physician Staffing. Well received by more than 240 attendees, we decided to take a deeper dive. The first two topics – Recruitment and Retention – have already been addressed in previous articles. In this one, let’s take a closer look at physician retirements and how they could disrupt your staffing plans, as well as what you can do to mitigate the impact.

Understanding Physician Demographics

Much has been written about the ongoing physician shortage in the United States and how it is likely to worsen without legislative changes. Increasing the allowable number of physician residency slots to keep pace with medical school graduates would be a great first step. But with the rate of retirements outpacing patient demand for care coupled with not enough doctors in training and uncertain post-pandemic restrictions regarding foreign doctor visas, healthcare administrators should be proactively looking at their physician retirement scenarios in creative ways.

Demographics of the Physician Shortage:

  • GenX and Millennial Physician Pool Growing More Slowly
  • On Average, Millennial Physicians Provide 13% Fewer Hours of Patient Care Per Week

Having a Retirement Conversation

Jackson Physician Search recognized the impact that retirements were having on physician staffing plans throughout the industry and set out to better understand the situation. A survey was conducted that asked both physicians and administrators a number of questions about things ranging from who should initiate the retirement conversation to what is the appropriate lead time to provide notice of retirement. Not surprisingly, the responses were significantly different between the physician group and the administrators.

Among the key findings:

  • Physicians’ drivers for retirement include lifestyle, financial stability, burnout, and frustration with the current state of medicine. While physicians cited lifestyle issues (44 percent) as the most important reason driving their retirement decision, followed by financial stability (23 percent), comments from nearly 20 percent of them noted burnout and frustration with the increased focus on paperwork and patient volume as well as decreased focus on patient care.
  • Physicians feel it’s their responsibility to initiate the retirement conversation, but they are less comfortable doing so than administrators. A large majority of physicians (80 percent) said it’s their responsibility to broach the subject compared with 37 percent of administrators. Yet, they weren’t (52 percent) as comfortable discussing retirement plans as were administrators (74 percent).
  • Physicians and administrators have vastly different opinions on what the ideal notice period is for a retirement timeline. Almost 50 percent of administrators indicated the ideal notice was one to three years, while 40 percent of physicians felt six months or less was sufficient. Also, 34 percent of physicians said they don’t feel obligated to give any notice of retirement. Conversely, 81 percent of administrators said physicians were required to provide more than three months.
  • Administrators assume that many physicians will fully retire, but a number of them plan to work elsewhere. Almost 40 percent of administrators named full retirement as a top retirement transition method at their organization, but just 17 percent of physicians were planning to do so. In contrast, 28 percent of doctors say they will work part or full time somewhere else.

These findings should be a ‘call to action’ for administrators to initiate an open dialogue with physicians approaching or at retirement age, especially if there is no process in place that encourages early notification. Given that a hospital can lose $150,000 each month a specialty is vacant or that some specialist searches can take up to 10-12 months, there are significant financial reasons to plan ahead.

Planning for Physician Retirements

The survey established that over 80% of physicians feel responsible for initiating the retirement conversation but aren’t so comfortable in doing so. Administrators should respond by facilitating these important retirement conversations. Clearly, a more formal process, but one that invites discussion, will ease an uncomfortable situation for staff. One benefit of this approach is it provides you with an opportunity to ask physicians to be a part of the physician succession planning process, which could carry into the recruitment and onboarding of new physicians.

Another interesting result from the survey was the number of physicians who planned to keep working after retiring from their current position. They discussed seeking reduced schedules, locum tenens, PRN, or telemedicine opportunities, which leaves the door open to find ways to keep physicians in your organization and ease the transition to a replacement. Initiating a reduced schedule can lengthen the retirement timeline, reduce the burden of a full vacancy, and allow your organization to continue to meet patient demand.

Key Takeaways from ‘The Three R’s of Successful Physician Staffing’

Physician recruitment can be a costly and time-consuming process, even when it is a planned vacancy. It is critical to streamline your processes and drive efficiencies to reduce your interview-to-hire and time-to-fill ratios for improved physician recruitment ROI.

Improve Recruitment ROI and Maximize Revenue:

  • Reduce Interview-to-Hire Ratio from 5:1 to 3:1 for a Potential Cost Savings of $18,ooo
  • Improve Offer Acceptance Rate by 20% for a Cost Savings of Approximately $24,000
  • Shorten Vacancy Time by 60 Days for a Potential Revenue Gain of $138,000

Each extra day you spend recruiting equates to thousands of dollars in lost revenue through reduced productivity, morale, and patient loyalty. As shown above, even small incremental improvements can significantly enhance your bottom line. It is also essential to keep in mind that these outcomes can be advanced by leveraging technology to recruit more efficiently.

Lastly, sometimes even the best efforts and intentions do not move the needle enough. Building a trusted relationship with a recruitment partner who can fill in the gaps or bring a fresh set of eyes to your recruitment and hiring processes will be the impetus for maximizing your recruitment dollars. Jackson Physician Search is here to help. Our team of healthcare industry recruitment professionals have access to proprietary technology and industry-leading tools to help you recruit physician who will fit, succeed, and stay. Reach out today to learn more.

Missed the MGMA MPEC20 Conference?

Watch Mastering the Three R’s of Physician Staffing


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

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…

Recruit with Physician Retention in Mind: Why Cultural Fit Matters

Using your organizational culture as a centerpiece to your hiring practice is the first step to achieving strong physician retention rates. When you have a strong culture, you already have a blueprint of what types of employees embody that culture…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

Applying 5 Principles of Persuasion to Improve Physician-Patient Engagement


Have you ever thought about how much healthier patients would be if they just followed their caregivers’  instructions? It’s a frustration that virtually all caregivers feel because the consequences of patients’ non-compliance are very real in terms of morbidity and mortality, not to mention costs. 

Within the last decade, patients have become active participants in their care—often seeking online reviews to determine from whom they receive care. As a result, your physicians cannot simply dictate care but must engage patients in new ways to increase patient adherence to health advice. One method that has grown in popularity within the last decade, and is used across multiple industries (including healthcare) is the practice of the Principles of Persuasion.

It’s important to note that there are 6 Principles of Persuasion, developed by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D.; however, applying the Principle of Scarcity in a healthcare setting, can present an ethical dilemma. We recommend deploying the five principles listed below.

Read, ‘Transcending Life Experience Into Influence.

5 Principles of Persuasion to Improve Physician-Patient Engagement & Adherence

  1. Reciprocity

The power of reciprocity is immense. A great way to put this into action is by giving patients a useful promotional item as they are checking out at the desk before leaving their appointment. It can be as small as a branded pen, reusable face mask, hand sanitizer, tissue packet, or digital thermometer. This is a particularly effective tactic dentists have employed for years. 

Once the patient accepts the small gift, the staff member can then book a follow-up appointment. The patient will be more likely to commit to another appointment.

“Simply put, people are obliged to give back to others the form of a behavior, gift, or service that they have received first.” — Robert Cialdini, Ph.D.

  1. Liking

The Principle of Liking is genuinely powerful. In a study published in the National Library of Medicine, 261 patients and 44 physicians were asked after a medical visit how much they liked each other and how much they felt liked, along with additional questions about patient health, physician/patient satisfaction, and the patient’s affective state. Here is what happened at the 1-year follow-up.

“The physician’s liking for the patient was positively associated with the following variables: better patient health, more positive patient affective state after the visit, more favorable patient ratings of the physician’s behavior, greater patient satisfaction with the visit, and greater physician satisfaction with the visit. The patient’s liking for the physician was positively associated with better self-reported health, a more positive affective state after the visit, more favorable ratings of the physician’s behavior, and greater visit satisfaction. Both the physician’s liking for the patient and the patient’s liking for the physician positively predicted the patient’s satisfaction 1 year later and were associated with a lower likelihood that the patient considered changing physicians during the year.”

“People prefer to say yes to those that they like.” — Robert Cialdini, Ph.D.

  1. Consistency

Activate ‘consistency’ by looking for, and asking for, small initial commitments from patients. Interventions, like consistently requesting patient feedback, encourages patients to speak with their doctor about additional health-related issues that can improve the quality of care. This can be delivered via secure messaging systems that allow for direct messaging between patients and physicians. In addition, staff members can provide patients with appointment cards at checkout and request them to handwrite their next appointment time and date. As a result, patients are more likely to commit to memory and make a subconscious effort to go to the next patient follow-up visit.

“People like to be consistent with the things they have previously said or done.” — Robert Cialdini, Ph.D.

  1. Authority

According to Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., “the Principle of Authority is the idea that people follow the lead of credible, knowledgeable experts.” Persuade the situation by introducing the staff member who will give patient instructions and position them as the expert in teaching patients. Patients are far more likely to follow care instructions if they feel they are speaking with someone who possesses expertise in the field.

You are the “Authority”- Your instruction carries weight. — Redelmeier, D. A., & Cialdini, R. B. (2002)

  1. Social Proofing/Consensus

Factual storytelling is a valuable influencer for social proofing. People often look at the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own. In a study published by Duke University, participants were tested on whether descriptive norm information would influence hypothetical treatment choices in the case of a cancer-treatment scenario. The results were interesting; “Exact statistics about other people’s decisions had a greater effect than when norms were described using less precise verbal terms (e.g., “most women”)…Strategic presentation of such statistics, when available, may encourage patient outliers to modify their medical decisions in ways that result in improved outcomes.”

“Whether he wants to be or not, the doctor is a storyteller, and he can turn our lives into good or bad stories, regardless of the diagnosis…In learning to talk to his patients, the doctor may talk himself back into loving his work. He last little to lose and everything to gain by letting the sick man into his heart.” — Anatole Broyard, from Intoxicated by My Illness

Having a well-thought-out plan of care is critical to helping the ill get well, and the healthy remain in good condition; however, the plan only works if it is followed. Physicians can build a strong foundation for communication with their patients by employing these five principles of persuasion. These methods will improve patient behavior and facilitate favorable outcomes.


Jackson Physician Search wishes to thank Marion Spears Karr, MA, for contributing this timely and important article. 

Marion Spears Karr, MA joined Tyler and Company in 2018 and serves as Vice President. With 30+ years of experience in healthcare executive recruiting and talent acquisition, Marion brings a distinguished set of skills in leading successful recruitment teams that specialize in nursing leadership, C-level, Vice President and Senior Director-level searches.

Jackson Physician Search and Tyler & Company belong to the Jackson Healthcare family of companies.  Contact Tyler & Company to discuss how they can help your organization achieve operational efficiency by matching the best possible candidates for your unique executive and interim healthcare leadership needs. Contact Jackson Physician Search for permanent recruitment of physicians, physician leaders and advanced practice providers for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers and medical groups across the United States.

Additional Reading from the Jackson Healthcare Family of Companies


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

By 2020, one in three physicians will be over age 65 and approaching retirement. For hospital administrators, recruiting an experienced physician is a complicated process that takes significant time. An open position is costly in terms of lost revenue and the potential loss of both patient satisfaction and staff morale…

[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 that administrators and physician recruiters can follow to recruit more physicians after the first on-site interview…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

Recruit with Physician Retention in Mind: Why Cultural Fit Matters


MGMA’s Medical Practice Excellence Conference (MPEC20), held October 19-21, 2020, provided a top-notch line-up of speakers who are well-versed in identifying and implementing solutions to the challenges healthcare executives face each day in their medical groups. Contributing to the impressive educational tracks, 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. In his presentation, Tony broke it down into three distinct categories: Recruitment, Retention, and Retirement. Last week, we took a deep dive into retention, while this article focuses on the very important – albeit often elusive – topic of physician retention.

Make sure to tune in next week for installment three, where we’ll talk about the massive impact upcoming physician retirements will have on staffing plans in 2021 and beyond.

What is Organizational Culture?

Put simply, organizational culture is the development and proliferation of a shared mission and vision that helps drive success. A healthy organization cultivates and rewards behaviors that are aligned with those values and strengthen the workplace culture. Those who think culture is “just a buzz phrase” or that it does not make a difference in physician recruitment and retention are mistaken. Research from Gallup clearly shows that organizations who foster a healthy workplace culture perform better and have fewer retention issues. Considering how competitive today’s physician staffing market is, promoting a healthy workplace culture is an advantage that can’t be discounted.

Consider this, how many healthcare organizations endorse the idea that they are “mission-driven?” That same Gallup survey reported that only 40% of employees feel that “their job is important to the organization’s mission.” Yet, when employees feel they contribute to the mission and ultimately to the organization’s success, performance metrics are dramatically improved. Clearly, claiming to be mission-driven is not a panacea without the underlying work that goes into cultivating a healthy workplace culture.

Building Culture

A healthy culture isn’t created overnight, so it is imperative to get the ball rolling if course-correction is desired. The first order of business is to find out what type of culture exists in your organization. The best and easiest way is to ask.

Building a Strong Culture 101:

  • Assess your current environment through surveys
  • Identify the gaps and develop a plan for improvement
  • Implement ongoing measures for continuous improvement
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate

Start by deploying surveys and other feedback mechanisms to identify how your employees feel about the workplace environment. Your physician staff plays a crucial role in contributing to the workplace environment, so it is vital to understand their feelings about the culture. Use the survey results to discover where the gaps are and implement strategies to address the shortcomings. As you learn and execute these corrective actions, it is important to measure their effectiveness. Continuous improvement is achieved through the diligence of monitoring and measuring performance. Lastly, none of this is possible without a firm commitment from leadership and constant communication.  A healthy environment is one where systems allow for open dialog at all levels of the organization.

Why Culture Matters to Physicians

A survey sponsored by Jackson Healthcare illustrated significant gaps between physician perceptions of culture and work environment compared to those of administrators. For example, 68% of administrators responded that physicians are always treated fairly, and 78% stated that physicians are always treated with respect. Responses by physicians to those same two questions were vastly different. Only 46% of physicians felt they were always treated fairly, while 49% felt they were always treated with respect. To illustrate why that disparity exists, in that same survey, only 34% of the physicians felt that communication in the organization was good, while 42% of administrators felt the same. Open, honest communication is critical to the development of a workplace where employees feel valued and committed to organizational success.

In Medscape’s annual survey dealing with physician burnout and suicide, 42% of respondents reported having feelings of burnout. While this is down from prior years, it illustrates a continuing problem in the healthcare industry. Considering that 48% of those reporting burnout are at an age that can be considered mid-career, it is not unreasonable to see them as being motivated to seek out new opportunities. Shortages and increased competition for their services mean that physicians who are not satisfied will have other options available.  When asked, physicians point to having trust in the healthcare organization’s leadership team and the quality of communication as the two most important job satisfaction elements, both of which rank higher than money when it comes to long-term retention.

Hiring for Culture and Fit

We have established that physicians, or any employees for that matter, who feel a connection to the organization’s mission and values are more engaged. Essentially, they feel a greater sense of satisfaction and are less likely to seek other opportunities. In our recruitment article, we touched upon recruiting physicians that are a strong cultural fit with your organization.

Using your organizational culture as a centerpiece to your hiring practice is really the first step to achieving strong physician retention rates. When you have a strong culture, you already have a blueprint of what types of employees embody that culture. Those employees are your “brand ambassadors” and should be involved in the process. Here are ways you can highlight culture when you are hiring physicians who fit, succeed, and stay:

  • Everyone involved in the interview process should embody your culture
  • Create an on-site interview experience that is tailored to the candidate specifically
  • Find ways to make the candidate feel welcome/special
  • Sell the community as well as the opportunity
  • Engender a sense of excitement throughout the site visit
  • Always answer every question before the physician candidate leaves

A recent Jackson Physician Search white paper summarized physician responses to a survey about their interview experiences. Physicians who accepted job offers cited feeling a genuine sense of excitement from the interview team and also feeling welcomed throughout the visit. Both of those elements are entirely within your control. The key take away from that survey is the important role an on-site interview plays in hiring for cultural fit.

Staying Ahead of Retirements

Our final installment in our “Three Rs of Successful Physician Staffing” will address the realities of working through and planning for physician retirements. Data shows that more than 25% of physicians are at or near retirement age, making this a key element in every healthcare organization’s physician staffing plan. The good news is that physician retirements shouldn’t catch anyone off guard.  Plus, we will cover several strategies to help you develop transition plans that work for you and your doctors.

If you need a strategic recruitment partner to help you navigate physician recruiting and retention, Jackson Physician Search is ready to help every step of the way.  Contact our experienced recruitment professionals today to learn more.

Missed the MGMA MPEC20 Conference?

Watch Mastering the Three R’s of Physician Staffing


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

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…

Engaged Physicians Discussing Healthcare Topics

Quick Look: Physician Retention Tips

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Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

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


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.

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


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.

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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