How to Develop Strong Physician Executives


As a generation of Baby Boomers continues to reach retirement age, organizations are faced with finding qualified replacements for these retiring physicians, many of whom are in leadership positions. With a majority of organizations lacking succession plans, most will be faced with launching an external physician executive search. This process, though made easier and quicker with a trusted physician executive recruitment partner, can be lengthy. To expand their options, some administrators may consider looking inside their organizations for physicians who may be ready to transition to a leadership role. However, if there has not been a conscious effort to develop future physician executives within the organization, administrators are unlikely to find any qualified candidates within their ranks. 

According to a September MGMA Stat poll, only 53% of medical groups provide any management training to staff. While an increasing number of physicians are seeking out leadership training for themselves — either starting out in an MD/MBA program or later pursuing an MBA, MPH, or MHA degree — organizations should provide opportunities for physicians to strengthen their leadership skills and learn more about the business of healthcare. It requires intensive physician executive training and development to produce a strong physician executive, and healthcare organizations will benefit from investing in the physicians they already employ to prepare them for future leadership roles.    

We recently spoke with Jackson Physician Search’s Director of Physician Executive Recruitment, Dirk Jansson, on this topic to find out what he thinks organizations should do to develop physician leaders. Keep reading for ideas on how to approach physician leadership training at your organization. 

Recognize Every Physician as a Potential Leader

Dirk observes that the corporatization of medicine has created a new generation of business-minded physicians. Gone are the days when physicians serve only to diagnose and deliver care. Now, physicians in every type of practice setting are well aware of the importance of growing the patient base, obtaining referrals and positive online reviews, and of course, the challenges of working within the parameters of what is and is not covered by a patient’s insurance. Because of this, every physician receives an education in the business of healthcare from day one.

Of course, what a physician takes away from this trial by fire will vary, and organizations will do well to get involved in shaping how the physician manages and responds to the opportunities and challenges presented. 

While not every physician will be suited for (or interested in) executive roles, most will benefit from expanding their knowledge of the business of healthcare, so as you develop a leadership training program, aim to make it accessible to everyone.  

Make Transparency a Part of Culture

According to Dirk, it’s critical that potential physician leaders have a clear view of how decisions are made at the organization. The best way to provide this understanding is to be transparent about the decision-making process. 

“Invite physicians to observe and participate in the meetings and conversations that lead to potential policy changes,” says Dirk. “Physicians need to see and hear what goes into decision-making at the organizational level so they understand how and why policies are formed and can give feedback on how their daily jobs and/or the patient experience might be impacted by those changes.”

Most physicians recognize that leadership’s decisions are never completely one-dimensional, but in witnessing the process firsthand, they broaden their understanding of the many considerations involved. The best way to train future leaders is to invite them into the conversation and let them see and hear for themselves how leadership grapples with complicated issues alongside ambitious goals.   

Leverage Formal Leadership Training and Mentor Programs

As the industry increasingly recognizes the value of physician leaders, some organizations have developed internal leadership academies and/or robust mentorship programs for interested physicians. In an article for the Jan/Feb 2020 Physician Leadership Journal (published by the American Association of Physician Leadership), Quint Studer, healthcare consultant and founder of the Studer Group, noted that most of the nation’s leading healthcare systems develop their leaders internally: “All of them have a wide, aggressive, robust leadership development [program] that creates a wider pipe-line than others. That’s really the key.”

Of course, a leadership academy will look different in every organization, but it should cover topics such as communication, conflict resolution, finance, negotiation, change management, and more. Smaller organizations aren’t likely to have in-house training programs at this scale, but they may offer tuition reimbursement for physicians who take relevant courses offered by universities or through associations such as the Association for Physician Leaders.  

One-on-one learning opportunities are also important. In a joint MGMA and Jackson Physician Search survey, only 43% of the administrators who reported having a succession plan said their plan included a mentor program. This often-missing element is critical for developing physician leaders. 

When it comes to formal training and mentor programs, it’s okay to start small. Focus on gaps in skills and offer training and mentorship to develop those specific areas. 

Developing Physician Leaders

Promoting physicians to leadership positions is admirable — and an excellent way to shrink the physician executive recruitment timeline — but giving a physician an executive title won’t magically transform him or her into a strong leader. If administrators hope to hire physician leaders from within, they must be prepared to invest in leadership training and development for physicians. This means treating every physician as a potential leader and offering them access to a committed mentor and formal training in an environment of transparency. 

“As the role of physician executive continues to evolve and expand, it becomes even more important for organizations to create an environment where physicians can learn the business and leadership skills they’ll need,” says Dirk. “Each organization will approach it differently, but providing a level of transparency that encourages physicians to observe and participate in the decision-making process is a strong first step.”

If you are seeking to hire physician leaders, the Physicians Executive Search team at Jackson Physician Search has the expertise to guide and accelerate your efforts. Reach out today to learn more.

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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.

Recruiter Helps Rural Client Fill Nurse Practitioner Job in Under 60 Days


As organizations begin to feel the impact of the physician shortage, many organizations look to Advanced Practice Providers to support physicians and ensure patients have access to care. In the recent Jackson Physician Search Physician Recruitment Trends report, we shared that our number of Nurse Practitioner job placements quadrupled from 2020 to 2022. Organizations are increasingly leveraging APPs to fill in the gaps, so it was no surprise when a critical access hospital in rural west Texas came to Recruiter Sonya Cathey with a need for a Nurse Practitioner to bolster patient care at the facility. 

Understanding the Client’s Recruitment Needs

Based in Dallas, Sonya visited the client to meet with the CEO and familiarize herself with the organization and the town. Sonya was immediately impressed with the facility and got to tour the new, state-of-the-art building that would open in just a few months. Profiling the organization and the position is a critical step in the recruitment process; it allows the recruiter to develop a clear picture of the opportunity and better understand what kind of candidate will be a good fit.  

Highlighting the Perks of the Nurse Practitioner Job

Sonya crafted the Nurse Practitioner job ad, highlighting the key attributes of the position. In addition to working in a soon-to-open, state-of-the-art facility, the job came with competitive compensation, schedule flexibility, and a family-friendly culture. Sonya leveraged the Jackson Physician Search network of Advanced Practice Provider job boards to get the job in front of a national audience. She also had the marketing team email the nurse practitioner job to relevant candidates in the vast Jackson Physician Search provider database.

A Teammate’s Referral 

The job received some interest, but ultimately, a colleague’s referral stood out to Sonya as the best match. Director of Recruiting Tonya Hamlin had first connected with a Nurse Practitioner about another position in West Texas. He was currently working in Florida and had grown tired of the high cost of living in the state. His wife had family in West Texas, and they both liked the idea of relocating to Texas with their three young children. 

Tonya’s client brought him and his wife on-site, and the couple was excited to move forward. However, the offer did not come. He was disappointed– but not for long.

Though it didn’t work out with her client, Tonya knew the demand was high for Nurse Practitioners in the region. She only had to reference the job board on the Jackson Physician Search website to find another opportunity for him. She saw Sonya’s Nurse Practitioner job posting and reached out to make the introduction. 

An Even Better Nurse Practitioner Job

Sonya was thrilled to connect with the Nurse Practitioner and could immediately tell he would be a good fit for her client. Not only did he meet all of their requirements, but he also had ER experience, which would be a massive bonus in the hospital setting. Sonya told him about the new building and shared her experience in the town. He was eager to learn more. Sonya presented him to her client, who understood the need to act quickly. The CEO called him immediately, and after a successful phone interview, she invited him to come for an interview as soon as possible. He was on-site within a week. 

The Nurse Practitioner was blown away by the hospitality he and his wife received upon arriving in town. Due to a flight delay, he and his family missed the welcome dinner. Knowing they would arrive at the hotel late, the client arranged to deliver food to the hotel for them. This was the first of many thoughtful ways the client made him and his family feel at home. They soon felt this opportunity could be even better than the one he had missed. In addition to the impressive new building, he strongly connected with the other providers. He and his wife also liked the town, and the fact that it was just an hour from his wife’s family made it all the better.  

Nurse Practitioner Recruitment Success

The client was prepared to wait; however, thanks to the teamwork in Jackson Physician Search’s culture, they signed a contract with the Nurse Practitioner in fewer than 60 days. While teamwork certainly played a part, Sonya also attributes the success of the search to the client’s ability to act quickly and keep the momentum going once they were in contact with the Nurse Practitioner. In addition, they went above and beyond on the site visit, making sure he and his wife fell in love with the community. 

In the end, the Nurse Practitioner was relieved the first opportunity did not work out because the job with Sonya’s client was a much better fit. Sonya’s client was thrilled to find an experienced Nurse Practitioner ready to build a life in the area.  

If you are seeking Advanced Practice Providers or physicians to support patient care at your organization, reach out to the team at Jackson Physician Search today. 


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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.

Physician Search Success: Hospital Hires Gastroenterologist to Start GI Program in Rural Ohio


When community need for a Gastroenterologist grew too big to ignore, one small hospital in southwest Ohio launched a physician search to solve the problem. The 30-bed regional hospital, located in a village of two thousand people, did not have a Gastroenterology program. In past years, when there was a need, the organization had always referred patients to one of three Gastroenterologists in the surrounding counties. However, in recent years all three physicians had retired or relocated, leaving patients in the area traveling an hour or more for GI care. 

Of course, hiring a Gastroenterologist to start a GI Program would be no small task. With demand for cancer screenings increasing nationwide and only 500 GI fellows coming out of training each year, Gastroenterologists are one of the most in-demand specialists and, therefore, especially difficult to recruit. The latest projections show a shortage of 1,630 Gastroenterologists by the year 2025. 

The organization knew it wouldn’t be easy, so when Tim Sheley, Executive Vice President of Business Development at Jackson Physician Search, reached out, they were eager to learn more. Tim detailed the 100% digital physician recruitment strategy and explained the benefits of partnering with a firm with national reach and regional expertise. He introduced them to Senior Search Consultant Nathan Collier, a native of Ohio, who was familiar with the region and prepared to help his client establish the much-needed program.

A Challenging Physician Search 

Nathan immediately recognized the challenges of the search. The rural location was one thing, but starting a program from scratch would likely be a turnoff for most candidates. The prospect might be daunting for GIs coming out of training, and more established GIs would be unlikely to want to start over in this way.   

Undeterred, Nathan crafted the physician job description to highlight what he saw as the job’s selling points. The facility’s location was rural but not entirely remote, as it was about an hour’s drive from the nearest international airport. The position would have minimal to no call requirements while the program was in its infancy, and cases would be routine, with more complex cases still referred out. 

Nathan distributed the gastroenterology job ad through the Jackson Physician Search network of physician job boards, and the marketing team sent it by email to relevant candidates in the vast opt-in physician database. The response was minimal, so Nathan knew they would need to get creative.

Thinking Outside the Box

Leadership at the organization understood the tough reality of the gastroenterology market, so they were willing to be flexible in order to find a physician. They were open to someone right out of training, but Nathan found these candidates were intimidated by the responsibility of launching a program without a mentor to guide them. In response, leadership forged a partnership with a health center in Cincinnati to offer phone support for the new physician. 

Nathan continued to screen candidates who reached out after seeing the ad, but he was also proactively sourcing candidates through the Jackson Physician Search database. He knew the most likely candidates would already have ties to the area, so he searched using specific parameters to find those who had trained or worked in the area at any point. Eventually, he connected with Dr. D, a Gastroenterologist working as a locums provider in a neighboring state. He had a license to practice in Ohio, so Nathan reached out to gauge his interest. 

The Right Opportunity, the Right Time

While Dr. D was not in an active job search, the idea of working in Ohio appealed to him. His daughter was about to move to the state for college, and he liked the idea of being closer to her. As a locum tenens physician, he was used to quickly adapting to unknown situations, so the idea of starting a new program did not phase him. The bread and butter cases, the minimal call, and the work-life balance were all attractive. 

Nathan presented Dr. D to the client, who was immediately interested. They reached out to him right away. After a promising phone interview, Dr. D traveled to Ohio for an interview with the CEO and to tour the facility. He liked what he saw and enjoyed a fun night around a bonfire with the other physicians. The experience made an impact, and when Dr. D received an offer a few days later, he was happy to accept. 

Secrets of Physician Search Success

Nathan credits the success of the search to the client’s willingness to be flexible and ability to act quickly.

“They understood the importance of keeping momentum with an interested candidate,” says Nathan. 

Of course, the part Nathan played in proactively sourcing interested candidates cannot be overstated. Nathan leveraged what he knew about the town, the position, and the organization to zero in on physicians most likely to be interested. Sure enough, he connected with Dr. D, who, while not in an active job search, was happy to learn about the position. 

The client was so satisfied with the results they retained Jackson Physician Search for two more searches. Nathan continues to work closely with the CEO to move the physician search process forward.

If you are seeking a recruitment partner to advance your efforts, reach out to the Recruitment Team at Jackson Physician Search today.  

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3 Qualities of an Attractive Physician Executive Job

Physicians with leadership experience are in high demand, so what makes a physician executive job opportunity attractive enough to lure these leaders away from their current jobs?

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

3 Qualities of an Attractive Physician Executive Job


An increasing number of organizations are realizing the benefits of hiring physician executives. Physician executives are not only ideal liaisons between the administration and staff, but they also have firsthand experience with the needs and wants of patients and can advise on how best to grow the program’s offerings.  

Physicians with leadership experience are in high demand. As a result, many physician executives are contacted regularly about jobs for which they would be a good fit, so the opportunity has to stand out to get their attention. So what makes a physician executive job opportunity attractive enough to lure these leaders away from their current jobs? To learn the answer, we spoke with Dirk Jansson, Director of Physician Executive Search at Jackson Physician Search. Dirk speaks to dozens of physician executives each week, so he understands what it takes to pique the interest of this highly sought-after group.  

1. Opportunity to Make an Impact in a Physician Executive Job

Big titles and compensation are nice, but physician executives tend to be driven mainly by a desire to make an impact. For this reason, it’s important that physician executive jobs provide challenges that appeal to a candidate’s sense of purpose.  

“Most physician executives have followed this path because they want to make a difference,” says Dirk. “The jobs that appeal to them are those with worthy challenges where they can impact healthcare at the population level.” 

Organizations should first have a clear understanding of what they need the physician executive to achieve and be able to articulate short- and long-term goals for the position. If they can connect those goals to the organization’s broader mission — and highlight how success will improve healthcare access or delivery in the community — they are more likely to attract candidates who are up to the challenge.

2. Organization with a Clear Identity and Direction

Just as important as a worthy challenge is the physician executive’s alignment with the organization’s direction and identity. Of course, this requires organizational leaders to accurately assess the direction and identity of their organization, so candidates can better determine whether or not they are aligned. 

“The physician executives I speak to who are leaving positions after just 12 or 18 months are often missing this alignment,” says Dirk. “It’s not that they were intentionally deceived, but when organizations inaccurately evaluate their internal situations and/or external factors, they are more likely to lead candidates into thinking they are more aligned than they actually are.” 

To successfully recruit physician executives, organizations must be critically aware of their own identity and direction and be able to accurately convey that to candidates. 

3. Ongoing Transparency

Physician executives need to know how and why decisions are made in an organization. For a candidate to seriously consider a physician executive job, he or she needs to believe that the administration has put all its cards on the table and represents the organization/position in good faith. 

“Organizational leaders need to be clear about where they are and what they anticipate the challenges to be both internally and externally,” says Dirk. “Good candidates won’t shy away from the challenge, but they do want to know what to expect.”

Ideally, this kind of transparency is not limited to the recruitment stage but is an ongoing corporate value that is felt at all levels of the organization. 

The Ideal Physician Executive Job

Attractive physician executive jobs offer candidates an opportunity to positively impact patient populations on a large scale. For candidates to seriously consider the job, they want to know the organization has a strong identity and clear direction. Administrators should understand the importance of transparency in the recruitment process and beyond and be prepared to have honest conversations about how decisions are made and what challenges the organization is facing.   

“What makes a physician executive job attractive is often less about a flashy title or big numbers in the job ad,” says Dirk. “It’s just as much or more about the organization’s integrity and the opportunity to make an impact. This is what I’ve found drives so many physician leaders.”

Organizations seeking physician executives must have a well-defined physician executive recruitment process. The first step in this process should be developing a unified vision of the function and purpose of the role. Keeping in mind the qualities discussed here, organizations can create a physician executive job description that will attract high-caliber, mission-driven candidates who are sure to succeed in the role. 

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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[White Paper] Physician Recruitment Trends: Responding to a Changing Post-Pandemic Market


As the world increasingly attempts to put the pandemic behind us, the healthcare industry continues to feel its impact on staffing. While COVID-19 did not ignite the healthcare staffing crisis, the stress it placed on medical professionals certainly fanned the flames.

According to a joint Jackson Physician Search and MGMA study, 65% of physicians report feelings of burnout (up from 61% in 2021) and 75% say it is worse than it was the year prior. As a result, physicians are retiring in higher-than-expected numbers, switching jobs, or leaving the profession altogether. In an August 2022 MGMA STAT poll, 40% of medical groups said they had seen a physician retire early or leave the practice due to burnout.

Now, in the midst of a healthcare staffing crisis, healthcare organizations find physician recruitment more challenging than ever. This report will highlight key developments happening in the national physician recruitment market based on Jackson Physician Search’s placement data, and as seen by our tenured physician recruitment team. We’ll explore what’s driving those changes, and how organizations in different parts of the country are successfully responding.



Despite the many warning signs of a worsening physician shortage, many healthcare administrators are not prepared for this crisis. In a 2022 study from Jackson Physician Search and MGMA, half of healthcare administrators reported that their organizations have no formal physician retention plan in place, and in a prior joint study, 67% of administrators said they do not have a formal succession plan. When a physician leaves, these organizations are left with a vacancy that can cost them millions in lost revenue and the potential inability to provide care.

This may make the situation seem bleak, and yet, as the President of the largest, privately-owned national physician recruitment firm, I am privy to our physician placement data at both the national and regional levels. Despite the tightening market, each of our regional offices are placing more physicians year after year, and the average number of days it takes to place them has decreased. This tells me that physicians can indeed be found when the recruitment process is strategic and the offer is right.

So, what is the best recruitment strategy? The right offer? What does it take to recruit a physician in the current market?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer, of course. Location, compensation, and specialty are perhaps the biggest factors impacting the time-to-fill of a physician placement. So, to investigate these questions, I spoke to several of our Regional Vice Presidents of both Recruiting and Business Development in our headquarters and regional Jackson Physician Search offices. They discussed their clients’ most pressing challenges and shared the recruitment strategies they find most effective in today’s evolving market.

Some recurring themes came up in my discussions with these Jackson Physician Search leaders – namely supply and demand issues and shifting cultural expectations – but I also noted some unique shifts happening in the market. I looked to our firm’s placement data from recent years to confirm what I was hearing from our leaders. The market is indeed changing, but under the guidance of our recruitment experts, our clients are finding ways to adapt.

Download the White Paper to Get More Insight Into Today’s Evolving World of Physician Recruitment


For more information about how your healthcare organization can use the results of this survey to improve your physician recruitment and retention strategy, contact Jackson Physician Search today. Our team is made up of healthcare industry professionals who have spent decades recruiting physicians, physician leaders, and advanced practice providers for healthcare organizations coast-to-coast.

About Jackson Physician Search

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

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How to Accelerate the Physician Recruitment Process


For several decades, healthcare industry experts have warned of a physician shortage. Fast forward to today, and the physician shortage is no longer a future problem; the shortage is here. And while it will worsen as time goes on, an AAMC report projects a shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by the year 2034, many organizations are already feeling the impact of the current shortage. 

Intensifying the problem is the projected volume of retirements in the coming years. The aforementioned AAMC report states two in five physicians will reach retirement age in the next ten years. And as Baby Boomers continue to reach retirement age and burned out younger physicians choose early retirement or a new career, the number of physicians exiting the profession each year is greater than the number of residents completing training. 

As demand increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to recruit physicians, and retaining the ones you have is more challenging. Recent JPS studies show 65% of physicians are burned out, and 69% are not engaged at work. According to an August 2022 MGMA STAT poll, this year, 40% of medical groups had a physician leave or retire early due to burnout. 

The challenges are significant, and yet, when you have a community of patients in need of care, failure is not an option. For many administrators, the obvious solution is to increase compensation. An April 2022 MGMA STAT poll found more than half of medical practices were raising compensation in response to staffing challenges. A third said they are offering more flexible schedules. In an increasingly challenging recruitment market, both may be necessary to attract and retain talent, but will it be enough? What else can be done to accelerate the recruitment cycle and increase the chances of retaining physicians? 

Establish the Need for Physician Recruitment

Before launching a search, healthcare organization leaders must establish the need. This step is easier if recruiting to replace a departing physician, but regardless of the need, it is a good time to assess the market, evaluate patient volume, and gain consensus on the need for a new physician. This is also the time to discuss when the new physician will ideally come on board. Is the need urgent, or are you planning ahead? Either way, what is a realistic timeline? 

Assemble the Physician Recruitment Team

Once you have a consensus on the need and timeline for the search, it’s time to identify the stakeholders who will be involved in the recruitment process, keeping in mind that including too many can slow the process down considerably, but too few allows more room for error with respect to identifying the best candidate. Once the team is established, assign responsibilities to each member. 

If a recruitment partner is involved, make sure you are clear on which pieces they will handle and which pieces fall to the internal team. Decide who will be responsible for contacting interested candidates, and set the expectation that the responsible party should reach out within 24 to 48 hours of the candidate’s inquiry. If the first call goes well, who will schedule the next call and/or interview? Think through the entire process and assign each action item to a team member — either internal or external. The predetermined division of responsibility applies to every candidate and eliminates the need for back and forth about who will own each part of the process.

Commit to Transparency for an Effective Physician Recruitment Process

Be transparent with your recruitment partner, inviting them to spend time with you and answering his or her questions to the best of your ability. Be clear about the reasons for recent turnover and reveal any potential issues upfront. Be prepared to share financial details about patient volumes, productivity targets, and physician earnings. Good recruiters understand that candidates will only accept an offer if they have a complete picture of potential earnings, so the recruiter needs to have all of those details upfront and have permission to share them with serious candidates. Keep in mind that great candidates often will not relocate for median earnings.

Set Realistic Parameters

Your recruitment partner should be able to provide data on the size of the candidate pool for your physician job opportunity. Remember that even in a post-COVID physician job market, turnover remains at around 7%, so the number of physician candidates actively looking for physician jobs is small. With this in mind, don’t limit yourself further by setting unrealistic search parameters with respect to stage of career, immigration status, state licensures, etc. Let your recruitment partner guide you as you establish your must-have versus nice-to-have requirements. 

Know What Physicians Want…and Provide It

A recent recruitment and retention study by MGMA and JPS reinforced what we already know about what impacts physicians’ job satisfaction, namely fair compensation, workload equity, flexibility, two-way communication with management, and reduced administrative burden. With this information in mind, tailor your offer to speak to these needs. Be generous with compensation and flexible with incentive dollars, allowing them to be used for a sign-on bonus, housing assistance, loan repayment, etc. Offer flexible schedules, discretionary PTO, paid sabbaticals, or time off for medical mission work. Demonstrate that your organization has support staff available to reduce the administrative burden. Arrange for candidates to speak to other physicians on staff about the levels of communication and autonomy they experience with the organization. Seek advice from a trusted recruitment partner about changes happening in the market and be willing to make adjustments to stay competitive.

Remember, the things physicians want in a new job are what they expect to find, not just on day one but on an ongoing basis. Make sure the needs addressed in your offer — competitive compensation, flexibility, generous PTO — are also addressed in a formal physician retention plan to ensure the candidate you hire today chooses to stay with you in the years to come. 

Today’s challenging physician recruitment market requires organizations to be strategic and flexible in their efforts. Physician recruitment success is within reach if you follow the guidance here: establish the need for recruitment, assemble the right team, commit to transparency, set realistic search parameters, and tailor your offer to the candidate’s needs. In doing so, your organization will not only accelerate the physician recruitment process; you will find a candidate that fits, succeeds, and stays. 

If you are seeking a trusted physician recruitment partner to help you accelerate the physician recruitment process, reach out to the team at Jackson Physician Search today.

Physician Recruiter Uses Regional Expertise (and Doximity) to Make 3 Placements in 90 Days

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Physician Recruiter Uses Regional Expertise (and Doximity) to Make 3 Primary Care Placements in 90 Days


As the Executive Vice President of Business Development for Jackson Physician Search, Tim Sheley has relationships with healthcare leaders throughout Kentucky. He makes an effort to learn about the challenges impacting healthcare organizations in the region and, when possible, find ways to help. There isn’t always an immediate need for physician recruitment services, but Tim values the relationships and works to maintain them. 

Tim had long-held relationships at a major Kentucky university’s medical center, and through those relationships, he learned the Pediatric department was issuing an RFP for recruitment services. Tim earned the business for Jackson Physician Search, but for reasons on the client’s side, the search was slow to get started. Meanwhile, the university was preparing to open a primary care clinic in September, and as of February, they still needed to hire three primary care physicians. The future clinic’s administrator turned to Tim for help. 

Tim noted that the average length of a primary care search is 7.3 months so the September opening would be cutting it close. However, the Jackson Physician Search recruitment team had a track record of beating the average time-to-fill, so Tim reassured the administrator that if anyone could do it, it was his team. Tim handed off the process to Senior Director of Recruiting Carly Clem.

A Regional Recruiter with the Resources of a National Firm

A native of Kentucky, Carly had once lived in the city in which the university was based and was familiar with its surrounding suburbs. She was confident that her knowledge of the area would be useful in the search. 

Carly scheduled time to meet with the Clinical Administrator in person and learn more about the new clinic and the qualities the ideal candidate would possess. Carly understood the urgency of the need and was committed to using every tool in her toolbelt to find the right candidates quickly. She crafted the family medicine job ad highlighting the university benefits package and the fact that it was outpatient-only and minimal call. She leveraged Jackson Physician Search’s extensive physician job board network to distribute the job ad to a national audience of family medicine physicians. 

Focusing the Search Close to Home

While the organization was open to hiring candidates from outside the state, Carly suspected the best candidates may already be living in the area — but not necessarily searching for a new job. How could she reach family medicine physicians in the area who might be interested in a university position? Of course, Carly knew the answer was Doximity, the largest online network for physicians. Fortunately, Jackson Physician Search is the only firm to invest in a Doximity license for every single recruiter. Carly leveraged her familiarity with the area to set up detailed search parameters on Doximity and send individual DocMails to family medicine physicians in the area.

“I wanted to reach anyone who might be working in the surrounding suburbs and wanting to cut down their commute,” says Carly. “I knew the benefits that come with working for a university might be enough to attract some physicians who wouldn’t otherwise be in the job market. So I reached out individually to see if they might be interested.” 

Strong Interest From Candidates with Ties to the Area

Sure enough, Carly’s first strong candidate was already working in one of the surrounding suburbs, and she was drawn to the idea of working for the university. The job was ideal for someone who wanted academic affiliation without the demands of a teaching position, which was true of Dr. M. Carly presented Dr. M to the client in May, and the process moved quickly. She signed a contract in June. 

Carly found the next candidate on Doximity by reaching out to physicians who had trained at the university and might want to come back to the area. This described Dr. W precisely. Though she was not actively looking for a new position, when Carly reached out via Doximity to tell her about the opportunity, Dr. W’s interest was piqued. She signed a contract in August.

Carly’s next placement was already living in the state, and she would complete her residency in the summer of 2023. She wanted to remain in the city and saw Carly’s client as an ideal employer. Of course, Dr. L’s timeline wasn’t ideal with respect to the clinic’s September opening, but the client didn’t want to miss out on such a strong candidate and knew they could use her in another department. They extended an offer for her to start upon the completion of her training, and Dr. L was happy to accept. 

Come September, Carly was still on the hunt for a third family medicine physician for the clinic, but she knew she was close. She connected with Dr. B after the physician responded to one of our customized email blasts, and after speaking to him at length over the phone, Carly was eager to present him. The client arranged an interview within 14 days, and 30 days later, the candidate signed a contract. 

Secrets to Physician Recruitment Success

Carly attributes the success of the family medicine searches to her keen knowledge of the area and her access to powerful tools such as the national job board network and, of course, Doximity. While compensation was fair, she knew the draw of working for a university in the heart of the city would be enough to attract physicians who already lived there and were tired of commuting to the suburbs.  

Of course, Carly also credits the client for their excellent communication and responsiveness. They were committed to working with Carly as a partner and ready to respond immediately to the candidates Carly presented.  

“It’s been a very successful partnership so far,” says Carly. “The client has been extremely happy, even referring me to several other departments within the organization.”

The client certainly recognizes the benefit of working with a recruiter who lives in the region and knows the local market intrinsically. After placing three primary care physicians within 90 days and a fourth just 90 days later, Carly continues to work with the organization to fill other needs in the area. 

If you are seeking a strong physician recruitment partner who knows your local market, reach out to Jackson Physician Search today. With regional offices around the country, Jackson Physician Search gives you both national reach and local expertise. Find out how we can be of service to you when you contact us today.

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Hire Physician Executives With These 5 Skills


The pandemic may have driven some physician executives into early retirement, but for others, a sense of duty caused them to delay instead. Now, with the worst of the pandemic behind us, we may be seeing an increase in turnover among healthcare and physician executives. As administrators seek to replace departing leaders and hire physician executives, they should look both internally and externally for physicians who possess the skills and traits of an effective physician executive. So, what exactly should they look for? 

What are the Must-Have Skills for Physician Executives? 

Great physician executives need many of the same skills and traits that any strong leader possesses, regardless of industry. They should be solid decision-makers, have excellent communication skills, and know how to delegate. Certainly, the nature of being a physician requires some skills in these areas, but not all leadership skills are inherent to physicians. After all, medical school is almost solely focused on teaching future physicians how to care for patients. Leadership skills must be learned on the job — if they are learned at all. 

According to a September MGMA Stat poll, only 53% of medical groups provide any type of management training to staff. This means that many physicians seeking physician executive jobs must be trained externally. Those with foresight may have simultaneously pursued MD and MBA degrees in one of the many increasingly popular MD/MBA programs. For others, this may mean pursuing an MBA in the evening after a full day of seeing patients. 

Does every physician executive need an MBA? Not necessarily. Physician executives do need a strong understanding of the business of medicine, but this can be learned on the job from a strong mentor or in a management training program. It’s the soft skills of leadership that may be more difficult, but not impossible, to teach. 

Evaluating Soft Skills in Physician Executive Candidates

According to Dirk Jansson, Director of Physician Executive Search at Jackson Physician Search, the most effective physician executives lead by example and have the respect of their peers. While he acknowledges that the role of physician executive is different for each organization, ideal candidates have certain soft skills in common. They have high emotional intelligence and are active listeners, good communicators, and excel at developing relationships. 

Dirk’s list certainly seems like a good place to start, but how do you evaluate these traits in your physicians, or in physician executive candidates, for that matter? 

Hire Physician Executives Who…

…Lead By Example

When observing internal candidates, look for a physician who sets the tone for the whole group. He or she has the ability to energize the group simply by being energetic. Others may or may not seek his or her advice directly, but they watch his or her actions closely and follow suit. 

This quality may be difficult to evaluate in external candidates. Use behavioral interview questions and ask them to tell you about a time they led by example, or more specifically, a time they were tasked with implementing a new process and how they went about getting buy-in from the group. 

…Have High Emotional Intelligence

Look for physicians who are in tune with their own emotions and can recognize and adapt to the emotions of others. Put simply; they know how to “read the room.” Of course, in practice, it’s more complicated. A good physician executive knows that one’s words don’t always tell the whole story. He or she can perceive what lies behind a person’s words or even his or her countenance. An effective physician executive can adapt his or her style accordingly. 

Watch how physicians interact with each other and with staff, and you can often guess who has high emotional intelligence simply by their sense of ease as they adapt to different conversation partners. 

…Who are Active Listeners

Ideal physician executives listen more than they talk. They ask thought-provoking questions to learn more about the given topic. They don’t assume they are the authority on all subjects but rather exist in a constant state of learning. They seek out the opinions of others and make an effort to understand what is being said, even if they ultimately disagree. 

…Who are Good Communicators

Physician executives must be able to clearly convey ideas and information in a way that resonates with the listener. Clarity is critical — he or she doesn’t hide behind the message or use vagueness to ease the impact of unwelcome news. Rather, an impactful physician executive is transparent with information and welcomes feedback and discussion. 

…Who Know How to Develop Relationships

Perhaps above all else, physician executives must excel at building and maintaining relationships. Much of a physician executive’s value is in the respect they garner from other physicians and staff, so an effective leader will maintain those relationships and continue to act in ways that earn respect and esteem of physicians and staff.  

If you can identify a physician executive candidate with these five skills, you are certainly well on your way to hiring the ideal physician executive candidate. On the other hand, if you are struggling to find physician executive candidates who check all these boxes, it may be time to partner with a national physician recruitment firm with expertise in this area. Reach out today to learn more.

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Boost Physician Retention by Becoming a Best Place to Work in Healthcare


Staffing and recruitment challenges continue to weigh on the minds of healthcare leaders. In a recent MGMA Stat poll, 58% of medical practices said staffing was their top challenge going into 2023. In the midst of increased retirements, heightened turnover, and skyrocketing costs, attention is generally focused on recruiting — filling the gaps left behind when employees leave. But just as important, if not more so, is physician retention. How will you keep the employees you have engaged and satisfied with the work they are doing for your organization? 

Modern Healthcare’s “Best Places to Work” List Recognizes Retention

Organizations that can effectively answer that question are the ones you’ll find on Modern Healthcare’s annual lists of the Best Places to Work in Healthcare. They have other things in common as well. The companies — which include providers, insurers, and suppliers — have leaders striving to create nurturing, supportive workplaces for their employees, who they see as their most valuable assets.

Modern Healthcare identifies the top companies through an extensive survey completed by the employees of every nominee. While the assessment process has evolved over the years, the mission of the program remains the same: recognizing workplaces that empower employees to provide patients and customers with the best possible care, products, and services.

Practicing What We Preach

As a national physician recruitment firm, Jackson Physician Search spends a lot of time with clients consulting on the ways they might leverage culture to attract and ultimately retain physicians. We highlight the need for communication, engagement, flexibility, and work-life balance. We stress the importance of creating a positive culture that embodies the organization’s mission and then hiring physicians who are a good cultural fit. 

Of course, it’s not just physicians who value a positive workplace culture. Jackson Physician Search exemplifies the attributes of a positive workplace culture, and our associates in each of our offices across the country enjoy a nurturing and supportive atmosphere. So, when we advise clients in this area, we speak from firsthand experience. 

Modern Healthcare recognizes our strong culture by consistently naming Jackson Physician Search to its list. Most recently, Jackson Physician Search earned the #3 spot on the supplier list (for the second year in a row). It is the seventh consecutive year Jackson Physician Search has held a spot on the list. 

What Does it Take to Be a Best Place to Work?

There’s no shortage of advice on creating a positive workplace culture. In fact, Shane Jackson, the president of Jackson Physician Search’s parent company, Jackson Healthcare, wrote a book on the topic. However, a positive workplace culture is not built overnight, and rather, it begins with aligning the organization’s decisions, policies, and actions with its values. This will serve to attract and retain employees who share those same values. 

Provide transparency and open communication.

Specifically for physicians and likely all types of staff, open communication and transparency are key values. A recent joint Jackson Physician Search and MGMA study found that today’s physicians prioritize open, two-way communication with management above all else, even compensation. Communication fuels engagement, which has an inverse correlation with burnout. Improve communication and engagement, and you will see other critical areas improve as well. 

Implement policies that encourage work-life balance.

Beyond communication, physicians want autonomy and a fair workload that promotes a healthy work-life balance. The circumstances of 2020 caused professionals in every industry to reevaluate the role of work in their lives, and many physicians began to question the assumption that physicians must sacrifice a personal life in order to practice medicine. As a result, physicians of every specialty are seeking reduced administrative burdens, flexible hours, increased PTO, and a better work-life balance. Organizations must treat physicians, and all employees, as whole people with responsibilities outside of the workplace and provide them with the flexibility to give adequate attention to all aspects of their lives. 

Commit to competitive compensation.

As important as culture is, fair compensation remains integral to becoming a Best Place to Work. Not only is an attractive compensation package critical to attract physicians, but a commitment to regularly reviewing and adjusting compensation when the market and performance demand is a key element of an effective physician retention plan. If you hope to build trust with physicians, they need to know that you value the work they do and are committed to compensating them fairly for it.  

Becoming a Best Place to Work is not out of reach if healthcare leaders are driven to support their associates. Leaders must listen to what is most important to employees and commit to providing the nurturing and supportive environment required for them to serve their patients and the broader community best.

If your organization is seeking a recruitment partner to help attract and retain physicians who fit with your culture, the team at Jackson Physician Search is eager to learn more and help you reach your recruitment goals. Reach out today to learn more.

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Recruiter Finds 2 Physicians in Under 6 Months to Care for Underserved Alabama Community


When a growing clinic, once an FQHC, in Alabama lost two primary care physicians early in 2022, the Medical Director knew they couldn’t afford a wait-and-see approach to finding replacements. They needed a national physician recruitment firm with a track record of success in the state, so they enlisted Jackson Physician Search as a physician recruitment partner. Search Consultant Andre’ Jackson was eager to get to know the group and find the right physicians who would be passionate about caring for an underserved community.   

Getting to Know the Client

Andre’ began by driving to Alabama to meet with the Medical Director, hospital administrator, and everyone who would work with the new physicians. He wanted to fully understand the culture of the organization and gain a sense of who would be the best fit. As a former Federally Qualified Health Center in an urban market, the center still served a vulnerable patient population that would require a provider sensitive to the needs and challenges of the community. Andre’ enjoyed getting to know the leadership and staff and went away with a clear picture of the type of candidates who would thrive in the setting. 

Promoting Work-Life Balance

While the opportunity presented some challenges, the job promised a healthy work-life balance that Andre’ knew would appeal to candidates. It was all outpatient and required no weekends or call. The job also came with a never-ending salary unrelated to productivity. Bonuses were based on quality of care. 

Andre’ got to work leveraging the many digital tools in his arsenal. He quickly connected with several potential candidates through various physician networking sites. One stood out as a good fit as he was already working in Alabama with a patient population similar to that of the client. While the client was open to Family Medicine or Internal Medicine physicians, the candidate was not board certified in either. He was a pathologist who had several years of experience working in primary care; however, the client decided to move forward because he was aligned in every other way.

From New York to the Heart of Alabama

With one placement secured, Andre’ shifted his focus to finding a second primary care physician. He continued to present candidates he believed could be a fit, some local but many out of state. When he connected with Dr. R, a resident working in New York City, he wasn’t sure a job in Alabama would be the right fit, but the more he learned about her current situation, he began to recognize how her work in New York would prepare her for the job in Alabama.  

As a second-year resident, Dr. R would not be able to start the job until 2023. However, she would need a J-1 waiver in order to stay in the country, so she was hoping to secure her future placement well in advance of completing her training. After several phone interviews, the client invited Dr. R to visit the facility. 

“We had worked closely with them on how to conduct the physician site visit for maximum benefit,” says Andre’, “They set the itinerary ahead of time and sent it to Dr. R to review. She had breakfast with the Medical Director before meeting her potential colleagues and then had plenty of free time to explore the city after a tour from a real estate agent.”

Dr. R came away impressed. She hit it off with everyone at the clinic and could really see herself living and working there. She could see the similarities between the Alabama clinic and her clinic in New York and knew professionally, it was what she wanted.

Still, a move from New York City to Alabama is a big one, and she needed time to consider the offer. She continued to interview with other employers but kept coming back to the Alabama opportunity. Eventually, she accepted the offer and signed the contract.   

Secrets to Physician Recruitment Success

Andre’ attributes the success, in part, to the client’s ability to react quickly and be flexible when needed. He also credits the broad reach afforded by the Jackson Physician Search digital network. Andre’ was able to identify and connect with candidates who matched the need regardless of their current locations.

Perhaps most importantly, however, despite the obvious differences between New York City and Alabama, Andre’s thorough understanding of the position allowed him to recognize the ways his client’s opportunity was similar to the work Dr. R was doing. He was able to convey to both the candidate and the client how the two were the right fit. 

Ultimately, Andre’ made two excellent matches for the client, with more sure to come.

If your organization would benefit from reaching physicians across the nation, Jackson Physician Search has the network to extend your reach and the team equipped to identify the best candidates for the job. Reach out today to learn more.

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