Primary Care Slated for Potential Boost in 2021 Physician Compensation

By

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

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

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

Major Issues in Primary Care

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Compensation Trends in 2021

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

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

Other Financial Benefits and Perks are on the Table

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

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

The Only Thing That is Certain is Change

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

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

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

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

The Physician Interview: Looking Beyond the On-Campus Meetings

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

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

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

By

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

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

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

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

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

Take Stock of Your Mental Health Through a Self-assessment

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

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

An Ounce of Prevention May Stave Off Feelings of Depression

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

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

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

Resources for Anonymous Help

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

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

physicians doing yoga

Now More Than Ever, Physicians Should Practice Self-Care

Recently, Tony Stajduhar, President of Jackson Physician Search interviewed Dr. Russell Livingston, a psychiatric physician, to discuss ways that physicians can mitigate and overcome the trauma they are experiencing due to the current healthcare crisis…

The Physician Interview: Looking Beyond the On-Campus Meetings

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

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

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

By

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

 

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

5 Do’s:

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

5 Don’ts:

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

The Physician Interview: Looking Beyond the On-Campus Meetings

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

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

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

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

The Physician Interview: Looking Beyond the On-Campus Meetings

By

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

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

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

Family Matters

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

Housing Market

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

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

School Systems

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

Fun and Games

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

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

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

Employer-sponsored Activity

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

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

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

Spend Time in the Community

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

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

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

Establish a Strong Relationship with a Recruiter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

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

By

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

Have a Game Plan and Conduct a Background Check

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

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

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

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

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

Prepare Your Own Questions

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

About the Organization

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

About the Job Opportunity

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

About Compensation and Benefits

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

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

Making the Best Impression

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

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

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

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

A Final Note About Compensation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

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

By

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boost Your Digital Footprint

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

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

Seek Publication in a Medical Journal

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

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

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

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

 

AAPPR Physician Recruitment Search Success Survey

How Physicians Can Successfully Navigate a Job Search During the Pandemic

The industry sees 50,000 +/- physicians on the move every year, and the pandemic is having little to no effect on changing that for several reasons…

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

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

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

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

Rural Practice Opportunities Offer Undeniable Benefits for New Physicians and Those Soon-to-be-Retiring

By

The pandemic has led many physicians to question the next chapter in their lives, and how they’d like to spend it. For some, it appears an early departure towards partial (or even full) retirement is the answer, while others are seeking a better balance between work and life. At Jackson Physician Search, we’re seeing evidence of both – physicians are increasingly exploring new job opportunities.

In a recent MGMA webinar, Jackson Physician Search President Tony Stajduhar spoke about the market dynamics of healthcare recruitment by stating that up to 50,000 physicians were expected to accept new positions in 2020. Considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of this movement is predicted during the second half of the year.

Now, as the country continues to reopen, many hospitals and medical groups are resuming onsite interviews, opening the door for physicians to accept coveted new roles. With physicians reporting feelings of increased stress and burnout from the unrelenting COVID-19 patient volumes found in the hotspots, many doctors who previously would have gravitated for an urban position are considering rural practice opportunities.

Moving to the country – somewhere out in the middle of nowhere – isn’t something that many physicians envision for themselves or their families, but most rural communities aren’t as remote as you’d imagine. According to the census bureau, a rural area is defined as any population, housing, or territory that is not located in an urban center. In reality, that includes most of America.

Residents and Fellows as well as Physicians Transitioning to Partial Retirement May Find Rural Opportunities Particularly Enticing.

While nearly 20 percent of Americans live in rural areas, only about 10 percent of physicians are living and working in the same communities. Historically, rural healthcare facilities have had difficulty competing with their urban counterparts when filling physician vacancies, so they’ve adapted by offering several benefits often not as readily available to newly practicing physicians and those who are nearing the end of their careers. Let’s review, so you can decide if the next chapter of your life includes a relocation.

  • Higher Compensation. Tony Stajduhar said in a NEJM article that recent placement data showed an additional 5 to 10 percent in starting salaries in rural opportunities compared to urban for some specialties. Higher signing bonuses may be available, too. For new physicians who are facing large student loan debts, a higher starting salary can make a big difference in building the life they envision.
  • Lower Cost of Living. Rural locations often feature a lower cost of living, which is attractive for most anyone, but particularly so for young physicians buying their first home or retiring ones moving to their forever home. It also goes without saying that for those physicians seeking part-time employment as they transition to full retirement, the cost of living savings could be put to good use traveling or pursuing other hobbies.
  • Better Work and Life Balance. Flexible schedules, or more control over it, are often a perk available to physicians who choose a rural setting. For younger physicians who are just starting a family, this means you’re able to be more present. Furthermore, some specialties aren’t needed on a full-time basis in every community, so this paves the way for an experienced physician to be paid very well for part-time work. And for those who live in cities like Atlanta, Los Angeles or New York, or any others known for the worst commutes, moving to a smaller community gives you back hours in your day.
  • Open Lines of Communication with the CEO. In a smaller or rural practice setting, there is little to no bureaucracy to navigate. Physicians often have a direct line to the CEO, meaning that decisions get made faster, changes can be made to workflows more quickly, and dialogue is encouraged.
  • Physicians are Key Stakeholders. When was the last time you were directly involved in deciding how your organization was managed? In a smaller community setting, you will find that your ideas are welcome, and you are part of a collaborative team all working with the same goals in mind. In a recent Jackson Physician Search survey, 43% of physician respondents cited more autonomy as an important attribute in their careers.
  • Workplace Culture. In recent years, physicians have placed a greater emphasis on culture, values, and fit when considering new job opportunities. In a rural setting, you have a great deal of influence on the overall workplace culture, which is often appealing to early and late careerists who want to make their mark or leave a legacy, respectively.
  • Community Involvement. While being an active member of the community isn’t for everyone, when you are a physician practicing medicine in a smaller practice setting, you are going to have the opportunity to be as involved as you want. Instantly having the respect of the community may even move you to step out of your comfort zone and act on your newly acquired “pillar of the community” status. Not surprisingly, in the aforementioned survey, physicians who were practicing in rural communities ranked their top reason for choosing to practice there as community culture.

COVID-19 continues to challenge us all, and it’s leading some physicians to look for new ways to manage such a high-stress career. It’s always wise to take time and evaluate career options, but that’s true now more than ever.  If you have always been focused on staying within large, urban, and metropolitan hospitals and health systems, consider if the alternative is best for you. Smaller communities throughout the U.S. are medically underserved, and physicians who choose to practice there are making a difference in countless ways. Now just might be the perfect time for you to join them.

If you are actively considering your career options, or if you just want to see what types of opportunities are out there, contact the professional physician recruiters at Jackson Physician Search. Our team is comprised of experienced healthcare industry professionals who have nationwide contacts and the reach to help you secure your perfect practice setting.

 

AAPPR Physician Recruitment Search Success Survey

How Physicians Can Successfully Navigate a Job Search During the Pandemic

The industry sees 50,000 +/- physicians on the move every year, and the pandemic is having little to no effect on changing that for several reasons…

Telehealth visit with doctor

Telehealth Continues to Grow in Popularity – Is it Time to Add it to Your Skill Set?

There is widespread talk that telehealth is here to stay, and should be made permanently available to Americans coast-to-coast and not just in rural areas where access to care is limited….

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

Match Day 2020: Amid Uncertainty, Still a Time for Celebration

By

Match Day is a time for celebration at the 155 medical schools in the United States, as it marks the day residency and fellowship training positions are announced.  Unfortunately, due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19, some of the planned activities are being canceled or scaled back to reduce the size of gatherings.  Covid-19 concerns aside, nothing should dampen the overall celebratory feelings of the more than 44,000 fourth-year medical students who are anxiously awaiting their match results. After four years of late nights, long days, and hard work, medical students across the nation can finally see the sun rising on their future careers.  In 2019, of the 44,000 registrants, more than 35,000 were matched to one of their choices.

While the majority of Match Day applicants receive a position to continue their medical training, there is a small percentage that does not get placed in one of the residency or training slots.  How does that happen and what can be done?  It’s important to understand the challenges the candidates you’ll be recruiting one day face.  Let’s answer some questions medical students who are about to graduate — and who will eventually become the next generation of physicians — might have about Match Day and beyond.

Why is there a shortage of residency slots?

One of the major contributing factors directly relates to an Act of Congress.  In 1997, as part of a Balanced Budget Act, Congress legislatively capped the number of residency training slots to be funded through Medicare.  At the time, it helped to reduce the Medicare budget.  Still, today’s physician shortage highlights the need for Congress to act with a greater sense of urgency.  In 2016, 2017, and again in 2019, legislation was brought to the floor of both Houses of Congress to address the physician shortage through an expansion of residency slots.  In each case, the bill stalled.

What’s next for those who don’t receive a match?

It doesn’t mean the end of their medical career, residency slots are still available.  The National Resident Matching Program®, in association with the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, offer a joint Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP).  This program allows applicants who didn’t match to a program of their choice to apply to residency positions that went unfilled after Match Day.  To be eligible for SOAP, applicants must be registered for the Main Residency Match.  Then, they must be eligible to enter graduate medical education on July 1, 2020, and be unmatched or partially matched on Monday of Match Week.

Not matching is just a temporary setback. Here’s what else can be done.

Medical school graduates have worked hard to get to this point and should know that not matching is only a temporary setback.  The worst course of action would be to give up.  There are steps that can be taken if match day and SOAP doesn’t work out.  Clinical Work is an option.  Typically, they won’t be able to participate in the direct care of patients, but that doesn’t mean they have to keep their clinical skills on the shelf for a year.  One of the best ways graduates can stay close to the action and be involved is to work as a scribe for a medical practice.  Practicing physicians will be grateful for any opportunity that frees them up to focus more on patient care and less on administrative activities.

Keeping graduates involved in the healthcare industry and on the path to becoming a physician is crucial.  It is also beneficial for healthcare administrators to utilize educated and motivated individuals.  Encourage graduates to focus on improving their skills, gaining clinical experience to enhance their resume, and help them get set up for a successful Match Day 2021.

Residency is a pivotal point on the path to becoming a physician and our best option for catching up with the demand for physicians. At Jackson Physician Search we work to support the hospitals and health systems across the nation that are training the next generation of physicians. If you need help recruiting residents or recruiting physician leaders to train residents, reach out to Jackson Physician Search today.

 

What to Know When Recruiting Residents - Medscape Takeaways

What to Know When Recruiting Residents – Medscape Takeaways

Life as a resident is challenging for many reasons. Long hours and low pay, it’s a balancing act of simultaneously being learners and medical care providers. 

Why Match Day Matters

5 Reasons Why Match Day Matters

Amid the fanfare of balloons, school mascots, cheers and tears, thousands of medical school students and graduates experienced life-changing news on Match Day 2018.

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

How a Recruiter Can Help You Find Your Best Opportunity

By

Dr. E is a young, family medicine practitioner. She did her undergrad in Alabama and her medical degree in Washington, DC.  Dr. E was completing her Family Medicine Residency at a large medical center in North Carolina, but was in the process of starting her search for outpatient primary care openings within driving distance of her family who lived in and around Washington, DC.

Searching for the right position on her own, she had received a few offers from large medical systems but had been hesitant to accept any of them. She was finding that the offers were requiring her to commit to five years, in exchange for a $100,000 in student loan assistance.  Then, Dr. E responded to an opportunity for a Primary Care provider search being promoted by Jackson Physician Search, Director of Recruitment, Sally Ann Patton.  The opportunity was located in Maryland and within driving distance of the nation’s capital.  Dr. E and Sally Ann immediately developed a great rapport. Through their initial conversations, Sally Ann quickly understood Dr. E’s concerns about the type of setting she was looking for, her student loan concerns, and she walked her through what a reasonable compensation package might look like without strings attached. She explained what Dr. E should be looking for to provide quality of life, a manageable caseload, and the ability to pay down her student loans.

The opportunity that was being presented to Dr. E was with a 375-bed community hospital system that was primarily physician-led throughout their seven locations.  Dr. E met with the key leaders and was immediately taken by the physician-first approach and their focus on the doctor-patient relationship.  She found this in contrast to the larger systems that she had been interviewing at, and she appreciated the personable approach that was evident with everyone she met.  Another important relationship that played a role in what ultimately turned into a successful placement was the key role that the client’s recruitment lead played in the process.

There were clear lines of communication from the beginning, and the client was very responsive to any questions or concerns raised by Dr. E.  When the offer was presented to Dr. E, she had received a couple of other solid offers.  Because of the trust and rapport she had built with Sally Ann, she felt confident in her understanding of everything being presented to her and ultimately chose the community setting.

This scenario is not uncommon for young physicians who might be overwhelmed by the frenzied nature of searching for the right opportunity. In this case, the recruitment professional was able to establish a trust-based relationship with the physician, provide guidance about the industry and the inner workings of the contractual offer process, and even help facilitate the open communication between the client and the candidate.

If you are a physician who is ready to start exploring new opportunities to take the next step in your career, or if you are a new physician and want to better understand the industry through the guidance of an experienced physician recruitment professional, contact Jackson Physician Search today.

residents need to know

JPS Recruiters Live: 3 Things Residents Need to Know to Land a Great First Job

You can watch the recording of JPS Recruiters Live: 3 Things Residents Need to Know to Land a Great First Job on our Facebook page. (10 mins.)

Avoid the Resident’s First Job Curse

As a resident entering your final year of training, logic may lead you to believe that the high demand and limited supply of physicians will make it easier for you…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

Physician’s Choice: Employed vs. Self-employed

By

Today’s physicians are in the enviable position of being in such high demand that they have any number and variety of career options to choose from. Some, in recent years, have left their private practice for hospital or large health system employment, while others have reconsidered and returned to a private setting.  Let’s take a look at the main differences between being an employed physician vs. self-employed.

Employed

  1. Financial Stability – Physicians working in a hospital or hospital-owned group do not have to worry about over-head, billing, administrative, or other private practice concerns. They know what their salary is going to be and any types of financial incentives they need to meet.
  2. Focus on Medicine – Like financial stability, employed physicians don’t have as many distractions or the responsibilities of running the practice, in addition to treating their patients. This allows their focus to remain on doing what they love to do most, practice medicine.
  3. Benefits/Insurance Coverage – Like most careers, when you are working for a larger organization, you tend to have better insurance and other benefits. Employed physicians typically have better malpractice insurance as another added benefit over private practice.
  4. Regular Schedule – In an employment setting, physicians tend to negotiate a stable work schedule, limited call duties, and paid vacation time.
  5. Academic Opportunities – In an employed setting, physicians who have the desire to pursue research and other academic opportunities can do so without losing billable hours at a private practice.

Self-employed

  1. Autonomy – As much as employed physicians have guaranteed financial security, self-employed physicians have the autonomy to practice medicine the way they deem is best. Self-employed physicians do not have administrators or other executives dictating various processes or rules that may be contrary to the physician’s practice methods.
  2. Workplace Culture – Physicians in a self-employed setting have the ability to develop the culture and values of their workplace. Whereas in an employed setting, there is little control of the culture. When you are the one making the decisions, everything that happens within the workplace is within your purview.
  3. Unlimited Income Potential – While an employed setting may provide a stable financial opportunity, there is no limit to how successful your private setting can become. As in any business, you can grow the practice into whatever you envision and with greater success comes greater reward, financial and otherwise.
  4. Work/Life Balance – When you run your own practice, you can control your work schedule. It may take time, but eventually, you can be in a position to work as many or as few hours as suits your lifestyle.
  5. Patient Relationships – In a self-employed setting, physicians have opportunities to develop relationships with their patients. Research has shown that when a doctor gets to know their patient, the result is that both are more satisfied with the level of care and overall experience.

The results of physician job satisfaction surveys show that employed physicians and self-employed physicians have similar levels of job satisfaction, with self-employed physicians just slightly more satisfied.  With that, it is safe to infer that physicians should choose the practice setting that is best aligned with their individual career goals and workplace preferences.  The employment outlook for physicians is continuing to grow at a rapid pace which means that there will continue to be plenty of opportunities to choose from regardless of the practice setting.

If you want to explore the many opportunities that are available for your physician career, contact a Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional today.

Benefits for Physicians Who Choose a Small Practice

The job market for physicians is roaring across all practice settings, and if you are tired of working in a large system, maybe it is time to think about a small practice.

What To Consider When Choosing a Practice Setting

You have worked extremely hard to get where you are, so it is important to choose a practice setting that fits your personality and gives you the best…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.