Overcoming COVID-19 Recruitment Challenges Through Collaboration and Creativity

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It’s human nature to look for positive outcomes in even the most challenging of situations, and in spite of our current reality, these times are no different. So, when a healthcare facility in Alabama came to us in the middle of COVID-19 after losing two Ear, Nose, and Throat physicians to retirement and relocation, Helen Falkner, a Senior Director of Recruiting at Jackson Physician Search, knew she had her work cut out for her.

Recruiting an ENT physician in Alabama can be a challenge under the best of circumstances for two reasons. First, Alabama falls in the top 10 states experiencing the worst physician shortages. Second, ENTs fall in the top 20 specialties in the highest demand.

Fortunately, the facility’s Director of Physician Relations/Recruitment & Service Line Development was undeterred by the less-than-ideal circumstances and well aware that delaying the search would only extend the costly vacancy. Working hand-in-hand with Helen, they immediately launched the search.

As with every new search, Helen wrote a compelling job overview and posted it on multiple job boards, launched a targeted email campaign to an extensive database of opted-in ENTs, and began contacting physicians directly within 48 hours. Excited about the opportunity, she knew the right physician would be open to a virtual interview process.

When One Door Closes, Another Opens

Dr. R was working on his fellowship and would complete his training at the end of June. He had already secured a position with a private practice and was scheduled to start at the end of the summer. Unfortunately, his contract with his soon-to-be employer was canceled as a result of financial hardships the practice faced due to COVID-19. Born, raised and educated in the South – specifically Louisiana – he was ready to return to his southern roots. So, when Helen contacted him about this new opportunity in Alabama, travel bans and virtual interviews were simply hurdles for both of them to overcome.

Helen and Hannah worked quickly to keep the momentum alive with Dr. R. They worked to quickly schedule a virtual interview that included several members of the physician and support staff, as well as a Facetime call where Dr. R. virtually “walked” around the facility so he could see the clinic with his own eyes.

Dr. R was then introduced to a local realtor who sent him information about the schools, neighborhoods and restaurants. She also sent him links to online videos with community information. Between Dr. R’s conversations with Helen, Hannah, and the Realtor he was able to gain a clear picture of the family oriented and vibrancy of the community. With a wife and two young children, finding a community where they felt comfortable and were close to other physicians was important.

In spite of the pandemic, recruitment was moving full speed ahead.

Recognizing that Dr. R was a great fit culturally, the facility didn’t want to lose him to another opportunity. Within a week of the virtual interview, they received a signed offer of employment from the candidate. And shortly afterwards, Dr. R even put in an offer on a new home!

With a typical ENT search taking six months or longer, this story is a testament to how effective a digital sourcing process combined with a virtual interview can be. Just imagine how long it would have taken to find suitable physician candidates if a direct mail piece had to be designed, printed and mailed.

While every successful recruitment story is unique, there is always a common thread between them. And, that’s the strong relationship a recruiter develops with a healthcare administrator. When it’s built on trust and everyone agrees on what it will take to fill the physician vacancy, there are few outside circumstances that can derail the search.

If your facility is looking to find a trusted recruitment partner, Jackson Physician Search has a team of experienced healthcare industry professionals who are ready to help you. Contact our team today.

Ross Hegenwald Placement Success Story

Teamwork Makes the Placement Work

Not much about life in the United States at the present moment resembles our usual definition of normal, but still life goes on and so does physician recruitment.

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Teamwork Makes the Placement Work

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Not much about life in the United States at the present moment resembles our usual definition of normal, but still life goes on and so does physician recruitment.  A hospital in Western Kentucky needed to hire a Cardiologist and reached out to Jackson Physician Search for help with the search in early February.  Fortunately, at that time, the devastating impact of Covid-19 was not yet taken hold, and JPS Senior Search Consultant Ross Hegenwald jumped on the opportunity with his usual energy.  He immediately traveled to meet with the hospital system executives and interviewed several of the other physicians on staff to formulate an idea of what personality traits would be a good cultural fit for them.

Shortly after the site visit, the pandemic had become serious within the United States.  Ross and his recruitment counterpart with the hospital system knew they needed a completely different game plan for this critical placement.  With the hospital campus shut down for on-site interviews or site visits, they collaborated on a video and virtual approach to recruiting candidates.

First, the hospital created a video to display the their campus, both inside and out, to ensure that potential candidates had an opportunity to see the facility and surrounding areas.

Then, Ross began screening candidates and quickly connected with Dr. A., a Cardiologist that was practicing in Wisconsin. Dr. A. explained to Ross that he had previously practiced in Kentucky, in a town about two hours away from the current opportunity.  He went on to say that he and his family were interested in moving on from the colder winters in Wisconsin.  Ross sent him the newly created video of the facility, and quickly arranged for Dr. A to participate in virtual interviews.

Before Covid-19, a well-planned site visit would have been organized with Dr. A. and his family to allow them to have an opportunity to visit the campus and meet with administrators and other physicians and staff.  Instead, to keep the recruitment process moving quickly, many of the staff members participated in video conference calls, where it was established that Dr. A would be a good fit culturally and professionally.

However, the challenge remained that Dr. A. wasn’t going to have an opportunity to experience a typical site visit.  To put his and his family’s minds at ease, they decided to hop in the car and make the eight-hour drive from their Wisconsin home to visit the community.

Upon arrival, everyone “masked up” and met with a real estate professional that worked with the hospital system. She showed Dr. A. and his family around town – driving through several local neighborhoods which allowed them to get a good sense of the area.  While certainly not a typical site visit, Dr. A. was sufficiently impressed, and after spending a couple of days, he decided to negotiate an employment offer.

One of the most amazing aspects of this particular placement is that the typical time needed to fill a cardiologist vacancy can be anywhere from six to eight months.  In this case, even in the middle of a pandemic, and with so many challenges to overcome, Dr. A. accepted the offer within 30 days.

It is no coincidence that this vacancy was filled so quickly and under such challenging circumstances.  This placement culminated because of the excellent teamwork between Ross and his hospital system recruitment counterpart.  Fortunately, Ross didn’t delay his visit to the hospital to see the facility and meet with the staff at the beginning of the search. This allowed him to have first-hand knowledge of the hospital, its people, and the community, which in turn allowed him to share that with the candidate. The creative use of video to showcase the campus and community and several of the hospital’s physicians on staff getting involved in the virtual interview process also played a huge role in this successful placement.

Every recruitment experience is inherently unique, but this one in particular inspires all of us. The hospital administrators forged ahead during a pandemic knowing the need for a cardiologist was still going to be there whenever life returned to normal. Their willingness to adapt in real-time to create a candidate experience that would attract a top-notch physician is a testament to their culture of excellence. Equally moving, for a physician to take a leap of faith and accept a position after a two-day road trip is more proof that healthcare providers can overcome just about any obstacles and challenges placed in their path.

The Jackson Physician Search team is comprised of healthcare industry professionals who have the skills, experience, and relationships to be your trusted physician search partner. Our recruitment professionals have access to industry-best technology to streamline your recruitment process and find quality candidates under even the most difficult circumstances.  Contact our recruitment team today and learn how we can make a difference for you.

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Serving the Under-served

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Dr. A. had received a Doctorate of Dental Surgery in Damascus, Syria, and then again at the University of Southern California.  He enjoyed his work, but the long commute and time away from home had been wearing on him.  It was time to start looking for an opportunity located close to his home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

There are community health centers all over the country struggling to find and retain medical care providers for under-served populations. Such was the case with a small community health center in South Dakota that had been unsuccessfully searching for a dentist to add to their staff.  The clinic, an FQHC, also provides dental clinic services in three area schools to help serve a large rural population that can’t make it to the main location.  Because the FQHC was on an extremely tight budget and had already spent money the past two years trying to recruit a dentist, they were hesitant to contract with a search partner.

Eventually, the administrators at the clinic agreed to a call with Tara Osseck, Director of Recruiting for Jackson Physician Search.  During the call, Tara was able to share specific data, available resources, and highlight recent successes.  The clinic agreed to partner with JPS in late July, and Rebecca Larsen, a Jackson Physician Search Recruitment Consultant got started right away.

Rebecca traveled to the clinic to learn more about the community.  She found a growing community with many new developments, but also a large rural population in surrounding areas.  Armed with this information, she dove into the search to find the right candidate.  Dr. A. was practicing about three hours south of the FQHC that Rebecca was busy recruiting for and was completely unaware of the clinic’s need, despite their 2-year search to find someone.

Within two weeks of her visit, Rebecca and Dr. A connected, and both determined that the FQHC opportunity was a perfect fit for Dr. A. and the clinic. That fit was even more evident when Dr. A, learned that the clinic administrator shared his commitment to mission work. Dr. A. has a long history of spending time providing free dental services to military veterans and also impoverished communities. Now, he was beyond excited to have a new job close to his home that would also afford him time to continue his volunteer work.

In all, from starting the search to a signed contract with Dr. A, it took an amazing 39 days.  Obviously, in today’s competitive physician recruitment environment, not every search is completed within that short of a timeframe, but it does illustrate how a trusted, professional recruitment partner can bring together an opportunity and a physician to create a win-win scenario for both parties.

If you are looking for a partner that can help with your job search efforts, contact the professionals at Jackson Physician Search today.

 

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How a Recruiter Can Make a Connection That’s Just Right

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Many physician searches for small, rural hospitals stretch on for months.  The key is finding a doctor who is ready and willing to relocate to a small community, and that sometimes takes time.  Having a successful recruitment to a small West Texas hospital last 42 days is almost unheard of, but that is exactly what happened for Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional, David Isenberg.

David’s client was located in a Western Texas town of about 10,000 people and had been unsuccessfully trying to recruit a family medicine practitioner with Obstetrics experience and credentials.  Ideally, they were hoping to find an experienced physician who could act as a mentor to the other physicians on their staff and provide much-needed leadership during a period of transition for the newly renovated hospital.

David made contact with Dr. K, who was practicing in Central Texas. At the time of her contact with David, it was just the right time for her to make a new move.  Shortly after starting this search for his client, David became aware of Dr. K and immediately pursued her.  She had the OB/GYN experience and had many of the character traits that they were looking for.  He reached out to her and discussed her level of interest in a move to West Texas.

After discussing the opportunity, Dr. K knew that this was an opportunity where she could be successful.  Within weeks, Dr. K made arrangements to clear her schedule for a site visit.  While that was happening, the hospital CEO made plans for a site visit that would seal the deal with Dr. K.

While on her visit, Dr. K met with just about everyone on the hospital staff, she met with the mayor of the town and many others. The locale is known for its wineries, so part of the site visit was at a nice wine tasting event where Dr. K was able to meet with the hospital Board, the head of the school district where her son would be going to school, and even folks from the community who showed up at the event.

Things were progressing rapidly, and David was able to play an intermediary role throughout the process. The hospital CEO communicated directly with Dr. K, which really kept the negotiations moving toward a successful conclusion.  During this time, Dr. K was presented with other offers, but she ultimately chose this one because of how well she was treated during the site visit, the potential of the opportunity and the open dialogue she had with the CEO.

Not every search will last just 42 days, but even with a short time frame, this client did everything right, which ultimately landed them the physician they needed. They prepared a top-notch site visit, maintained open communication throughout the recruitment, and moved quickly through the negotiation process.

This search went so well the client has engaged JPS to identify an additional provider for the hospital.

If you need help looking for new opportunities, contact Jackson Physician Search to learn how our expert recruiters can help you today!

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Why SEARCH is the Key to Your Digital Recruitment Strategy

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This is the final article in our two-part series on why a digital recruitment strategy is the key to a successful physician search. To review part one, click here.

Now that we have described why a digital recruitment strategy is so important, let’s take a deeper dive into what goes into a successful program.  When done effectively, it is your best resource for finding and engaging both passive and active job candidates.  Previously, we discussed using national job boards, targeted emails, specific and engaging social media activity, and Doximity to pinpoint the candidates who have the best chance of being a skill set and cultural match for your organization. A targeted outreach using a variety of sourcing mechanisms is your best opportunity to optimize your time and recruitment dollars.

As you are developing a strategic and effective protocol to successfully drive your digital recruiting activities, there is one word that provides the framework for all of your activities, SEARCH.  Let’s break it down further.

SEGMENT – In order to avoid inefficient and overused messaging, it is important to SEGMENT and skillfully target the physicians who have the best opportunity to both be interested in your messaging, but also be a strong candidate culturally and skill wise.

ENGAGE – The content that you are publishing online should be consistent with your brand and engaging to your network of physicians, their peers, and colleagues.

AUTHENTIC – Your content should convey a voice and a tone for your organization.  Staying true to that tone will serve to develop the authenticity of your communications. When done well, those who read and engage with your content will know who the author is intrinsically.

RELEVANT – Producing content just to have something out there is not an effective way of engaging with physician candidates.  Your content should be planned out and produced to be relevant to your audience’s interests and motivations.

CREDIBLE – As you and others in the organization work toward developing a network and building your organization’s digital presence, credibility is extremely important. Your organization should be relied upon as a trusted resource with messaging that exudes your commitment, values, and expertise.

HABIT – Keeping your content fresh, relevant, and engaging is not a once in a while proposition.  It is extremely important to build upon the gains you make by staying in the newsfeed of those you are interacting with. As your network grows, you are generating traffic and engagements that will pay off in the future.

Developing a successful digital recruitment strategy can be a daunting organizational undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be done alone.  There is never a reason to “reinvent the wheel” when you can rely on a trusted partner and resource that has a team of experts who already have a mastery of the digital recruitment landscape.  Contact Jackson Physician Search today to find out how we can help you take your recruitment efforts to the next level.

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Focus On Culture To Build the Perfect Team

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Are you having staffing issues and problems with turnover?  Does the cost of constantly recruiting physicians get brought up at every meeting?  If either of these situations sound familiar, your organization might have a culture problem. There is a growing amount of discussion regarding culture and fit, and how physicians today are placing more emphasis on finding a workplace that is aligned with their values.  The working professional’s website, LinkedIn, sponsored research into the role culture and fit play in workplace satisfaction and retention.

Do you know what is most important to your physician team?  If you are operating under dated assumptions, you would probably say it’s all about the money.  In today’s healthcare environment, physicians who are unhappy with their current situation have ample opportunities to move on and find a position with more control over their work/life balance and an environment that is consistent with their values. According to LinkedIn, 70% of professionals today would not work at a leading organization if it meant tolerating a bad workplace culture. If you think you can buy their happiness and loyalty, think again. An impressive 65% of survey respondents are willing to put up with lower pay if it means they can work in a better environment.

As you already know, physicians are suffering from burnout in record numbers. To stem the churn, administrators need to gain a better understanding of what type of culture exists currently, and what they envision for the future.  A good place to start is by reviewing a study conducted by Jackson Physician Search, The Engagement Gap. The results indicate a vast difference between what physicians believe about the workplace and what the executives believe. For example, less than 50% of physicians believe they are being treated fairly, while almost 70% of executives believe that their doctors are treated fairly.  In that same vein, only 48% of physicians feel they are always treated with respect, while 78% of executives feel that physicians are treated respectfully.  One area where doctors and administrators agree is that the majority of both groups admit that communication needs to be improved.

Once the culture and types of behaviors needed to support and foster a better work environment are understood, leadership must clearly communicate the message throughout the organization via words AND actions. None of this happens overnight in any workplace, but over time, tangible results are visible through improved performance, stronger physician engagement, and more successful recruitment and retention.

For more information about how Jackson Physician Search can help you find and retain qualified physicians and advanced practice professionals that fit within your culture and values, contact one of our experienced healthcare recruitment professionals today.

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Significance of Doctor’s Day

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The significance of Doctor’s Day is a chance to bring much-deserved attention to some of the wonderful physicians that we have had the pleasure of getting to know. We are proud to work with doctors every day knowing they’ll go on to make such a meaningful impact on the lives of the people around them. Join us in recognizing some of the incredible doctors we’ve worked with this year. From all of us at Jackson Physician Search, thank you for your dedication and care.

Dr. Henrique Fernandez has been practicing Gastroenterology for a decade. When asked what he finds most rewarding about his profession, he said, “When my patients come back for a follow-up visit, and they say that they feel much better, and they express that they were treated with dignity, respect, and professionalism.”

 

 

Doctors help us with our health and well-being. They can cure us, give us advice on how to prevent disease, and help us manage our health. They are our best resource for living long and healthy lives. We are grateful for physicians around the world that labor diligently to heal our bodies, and very grateful for those that heal our minds.

 

Dr. George Melnyk has been a psychiatrist for 33 years and currently helps those suffering from addiction. He says, “The most rewarding aspect of being a physician is the expression of joy on a patient’s face after recovering from a very complicated illness. It is a very powerful and wonderful feeling, and at the same time, very humbling and moving.”

 

 

 

 

Dr. Vinay Sanghi has been practicing Cardiology with empathy and enthusiasm for close to two decades. He was asked what the best aspect of being a doctor is, and replied, “I love that I get to make people’s quality of life better.”

 

 

 

 

Doctors are an asset to any community. By contributing to the health and well-being of so many individuals within the community, they improve the entire community. They are the first to welcome new members. They are there in times of emergency. They help all generations thrive which generates strong, supportive communities.

Dr. Victoria Passov has been practicing Psychiatry for 13 years. To her, “The most rewarding thing about being a psychiatrist is to have the opportunity to hear people’s stories. The experience of being a part of their journey to better understand themselves is priceless!”

 

 

 

 

Dr. Inderjeet Kaur is a psychiatrist at a counseling and wellness center. When asked about her work, she said, “The most rewarding aspect of being a psychiatrist, for me, is the impact of seeing a patient arrive at the clinic, crying and emotionally labile, and then seeing them leave, smiling and feeling hopeful. Simply hearing a patient say, ‘Thank you for listening to me,’ is the greatest reward.”

 

 

 

 

Being a doctor is a monumental task. Getting through the education requirements alone is an achievement. A doctor’s lifelong dedication to knowledge and excellence is commendable. Many clinical settings, especially hospitals, are unlike a typical workplace. There is constant activity, and usually very high stakes.

Dr. Josephine Glaser has been practicing for 22 years a Family Medicine Physician. When asked about her career, she responded, “I love being a doctor. I love working with my medical team to promote life honoring patient-centered care in a crazy, hectic medical system.”

 

 

 

 

Each year, on March 30th, the nation recognizes the contribution of doctors to individual lives and the communities they are a part of. That day has special significance in medicine because it marks the anniversary of the first use of general anesthesia. Over 170 years ago, about 50 miles east of the Jackson Physician Search headquarters, in Jefferson, GA, Dr. Crawford Long successfully used ether to anesthetize his patient.

Dr. Dave Purcell is an anesthesiologist that has been practicing for 25 years. He says, “The most rewarding thing to me is knowing that someone, whether they are aware of it or not, has made a change for the better, in a lifesaving way, under my care and that of my team and, that they trusted me to do that!”

 

 

 

 

As Doctor’s Day approaches, take a moment to reflect on how doctors have made an impact on your life and reach out to let them know how much you appreciate them.

Admiring the Rockstars of Medicine on National Doctor’s Day

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“I get to be a doctor!” That was the first, celebratory thought to enter Skyler Dahlseng’s mind when he recently learned the good news of his residency match. A fourth-year medical student at A.T. Still University, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri, Skyler joined some 30,000 other aspiring doctors who celebrated their match and the opportunity to contribute to the delivery of healthcare in communities across the United States.

Celebrating the contributions of doctors at every stage of their medical careers has been the goal of National Doctor’s Day, observed annually on March 30th. Doctor’s Day originated in 1933 and became an officially designated national day of observance through an act of by Congress signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. Today, the significance of Doctor’s Day is greater than ever. Meeting the needs of patients is the bedrock of a healthy community, and it depends on the motivation, enthusiasm and tireless dedication of both upcoming doctors and practicing physicians.

Doctor’s Day reminds everyone of the importance of intangible motivators for physicians, as reflected in Skylar’s experience in matching with a residency. The attitudes of the physicians and “general vibe” of a program ranked in his top three criteria for choosing a residency, along with tangibles, such as proximity to family and the reputation of program.

“If the people who were going to be my colleagues were still excited about learning the practice of medicine, and had a smile on their face when I introduced myself, I left with a much better impression of the program,” Sklyer said.

Making a Difference Motivates Physicians

Seneca Healthcare, a very small hospital in the rural national forests of northern California was in desperate need of another physician for a clinical practice and to cover the emergency department. “Dr. Suarez – an amazing, bright and kind gentleman who was running a family medicine residency in Miami – was ready to leave the city and academia to make a difference in a community and have a better lifestyle for his family,” according to Peter Cebulka, Director of Recruiting.

After a cross-country move, Dr. Suarez is now living in a beautiful new lake home and loves the people he works with. He has already helped more than a handful of local patients with pain and chronic narcotics issues to get off of opioids and to make meaningful changes in their lives!

As Peter notes, “He will be a rock for that hospital and community.”

Who are Your Rockstars?

Physicians form the foundation of our communities around the nation. So, take a moment today to thank a practicing physician for all they do or to encourage a young person to consider a career in medicine.

To see more amazing doctors and why they chose their positions, click here.

Significance of Doctor's Day

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