[White Paper] Back from Burnout: Confronting the Post-Pandemic Physician Turnover Crisis Survey Results

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While the world saw tremendous gains in the fight against COVID-19 in the past year, challenges faced by the physician workforce — amid continuing staffing shortages — remain just as intense, pushing their levels of stress and burnout to new highs and worsening a turnover epidemic.

Before the pandemic and its myriad changes to healthcare, it was commonplace to see 6% to 7% of the physician workforce — approximately 50,000 doctors — change jobs or location. But with the rising toll of stress during the pandemic and staffing shortages, burnout is fueling physician turnover. MGMA Stat polling from August 2022 finds that four in 10 medical practices (40%) had a physician resign or retire early in the past year due to burnout.

To continue the connections we’ve forged with patients and communities, healthcare administrators must recognize the extent of this crisis, its sources, and proven strategies for remediation. “In this new normal, the demand for a shrinking supply of physicians will persist, making it crucial for practices to limit the damage via concerted efforts to reduce burnout and to strive for a positive work-life balance,” said Tony Stajduhar, president of Jackson Physician Search.

The results of the Physician Burnout, Engagement, and Retention Survey, commissioned by Jackson Physician Search in partnership with Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), point to an immediate need for healthcare leaders to redouble their efforts to address physician burnout after nearly three years of pandemic pressure compounded by staffing shortages and other challenges.

 

Introduction

Jackson Physician Search and MGMA surveyed physicians and administrators to understand their unique views on physician issues following the COVID-19 pandemic and recent staffing challenges. This survey sought to understand how healthcare organizations are trying to influence better physician recruitment, engagement, retention and mitigation of burnout, and how the clinical and administrative sides perceive these efforts.

This survey follows the 2021 Jackson Physician Search whitepaper, Getting Ahead of Physician Turnover in Medical Practices, with questions for physicians and administrators, such as:

  • What is the current level of physician burnout?
  • What is causing physician burnout?
  • What is the current level of physician engagement?
  • What is the current level of physician satisfaction with employers?
  • What matters most in physician retention?
  • What drives physician satisfaction with employers?

The survey was fielded in August 2022. Physicians and healthcare administrators were invited to complete an approximately five-minute survey. After qualitative interviews with administrators and physicians, key themes emerged:

  • Administrators acknowledge worsening levels of burnout in physicians, but physicians often don’t perceive enough is being done to mitigate that burnout or engage them.
  • Genuine, two-way communication between management/administration and physicians remains a top desire among physicians.
  • Administrators vary their approaches to retention and engagement, often with informal efforts rather than structured, strategic programs.
  • Organizations with physician retention programs found them effective in engaging doctors and preventing turnover.

This report presents the full findings from hundreds of healthcare leaders, shared in the hopes of amplifying the understanding between physicians and administrative leaders of the burnout crisis, the need for better engagement, and effective retention strategies that resuscitate the spirit and energy that brought so many hardworking clinicians into the field of healthcare.

Download the White Paper to Get More Insight Into Physician Burnout, Engagement, and Retention

 

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.

[White Paper] Getting Ahead of Physician Turnover in Medical Practices Survey Results

In 2021, Jackson Physician Search and MGMA surveyed physicians and administrators to gain insight into physician recruitment, engagement, retention, and succession planning within medical practices…

[White Paper] Rural Physician Recruitment and Staffing Survey Results

A 2022 survey from Jackson Physician Search and LocumTenens.com – both part of the Jackson Healthcare family of companies – shows hope for rural healthcare organizations to make progress in resolving their physician staffing challenges…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

[White Paper] Rural Physician Recruitment and Staffing Survey Results

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A new survey from Jackson Physician Search and LocumTenens.com – both part of the Jackson Healthcare family of companies – shows hope for rural healthcare organizations to make progress in resolving their physician staffing challenges.

We surveyed physicians currently working in urban, suburban, and rural settings to better understand their specific needs and wants in regard to choosing to practice in a rural location. When those in urban and suburban locations were asked what factors might influence their choice to practice in a rural location, only 10% said they would not consider a rural location at all. The reality that 90% would consider rural practice if the conditions are well-aligned is welcomed news. Interestingly, 72% of urban and suburban physicians reported they would be open to considering ‘trying out’ rural medicine via a locum tenens assignment. Not only does this strategy fill gaps in coverage in the short run, but it could present another path towards permanent recruitment.

This report includes:

  • Physicians’ sentiments on what they want in a permanent rural opportunity
  • Physicians’ views on rural locum tenens and recommendations for its strategic use
  • A snapshot of how COVID is impacting physician retirements and rural recruitment
  • Tips to more efficiently and effectively recruit physicians to rural healthcare by addressing key generational differences when marketing job opportunities

 

State of Rural Healthcare

The U.S. continues to face a severe physician shortage, and unfortunately, the impact of this is often multiplied in rural communities. Around the country, “healthcare deserts” exist, meaning that people who live in rural locations – a disproportionate number of whom live under the poverty level and in poorer health – often must travel long distances to seek anything from routine care to treatment for chronic conditions.

According to the National Conference of State Legislators, “Approximately one-fifth of the nation’s population lives in a rural area, but only about 10 percent of the nation’s physicians are located there. This is considered to be one reason rural Americans have higher rates of death, disability and chronic disease than their urban counterparts.” And, of the 7,200 federally designated health professional shortage areas, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reports that 60% are in rural areas. A few trends are converging to make the challenge of recruiting and retaining physicians for rural healthcare positions even more challenging:

  • Physician retirements are imminent, with 40% of active physicians across the nation reaching age 65 within the next decade. Compounding this anticipated exit is the reality that the percentage is even higher in rural areas.
  • The Great Resignation is likely to hit rural areas hard. According to Jackson Physician Search’s own research in mid- 2021, 43% of the physicians surveyed said they were considering early retirement and 46% said they were considering leaving for a new healthcare employer. This particular study addressed physicians working in all geographic areas, rural included.
  • Rural-raised medical students have sharply declined, while overall medical school enrollment has increased. A 2019 study found that fewer than 5% of incoming medical school students came from rural areas. This is significant because we know that these are the ones most likely to practice in rural areas.

Every signal we’re receiving from both physicians and administrators tells us that it’s time to shake up the status quo in how rural healthcare organizations approach physician recruitment. If we’re going to realize the goal of creating better access to healthcare and improved health outcomes for rural Americans, then healthcare leaders need to reimagine how they source, recruit and retain physicians.

With that in mind, Jackson Physician Search and LocumTenens.com fielded this new research in October 2021, asking 1,311 physicians, 169 administrators, as well as 158 advanced practice providers, a series of questions to better understand the specific dynamics of working in rural, urban and suburban healthcare settings and what could be done to entice more providers to go rural. Of particular interest is sentiment broken down by the needs and desires of physicians by each generation, and our recommendations for recruitment and retention that take these differences into account.

With a focus on learning what it would take to increase the success of physician recruiting and physician retention practices in rural settings, we asked questions such as:

  • What would prompt you to work in a rural setting?
  • Would you be open to a locum tenens assignment that would enable you to “try out” practicing in a rural location?
  • What are the top attributes of your organization’s culture that appeal to you?
  • What factors would motivate you to stay at your current organization for at least five more years?

Additionally, COVID continues to influence the decisions physicians are making about their careers. Questions we asked included:

  • Has the experience of working in healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated your plans for retirement?
  • For those working in rural healthcare, was COVID-19 the reason you chose it?

Download the White Paper to Get More Insight Into Rural Physician Recruitment and Staffing

 

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.

And for more information about locum tenens staffing, please contact LocumTenens.com. Since 1995, LocumTenens.com has been a full-service locum tenens agency. The need has never been greater to connect great clinicians and great healthcare facilities. LocumTenens.com recruiters work on specialty teams and focus only on one specialty. This way, LocumTenens.com medical recruiters learn the ins-and-outs and become recruiting specialists in each area.

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.

About LocumTenens.com

LocumTenens.com specializes in the temporary placement of physicians, advanced practitioners and psychologists at healthcare facilities across the U.S. through onsite and telehealth services. As the industry’s most-visited job board, LocumTenens.com helps healthcare organizations connect with the medical professionals they need to ensure patients have access to quality care. Founded in 1995, LocumTenens.com is a leader in the healthcare staffing industry, helping place clinicians who deliver care to more than seven million patients in over 2,400 healthcare facilities in the U.S. LocumTenens.com is a Jackson Healthcare company. Learn more at http://www.locumtenens.com/about.

[White Paper] Getting Ahead of Physician Turnover in Medical Practices Survey Results

Jackson Physician Search and MGMA recently surveyed physicians and administrators to gain insight into physician recruitment, engagement, retention, and succession planning within medical practices…

[White Paper] On the Verge of a Physician Turnover Epidemic: Physician Retention Survey Results

Review the results of our recent Physician Retention Survey, which also provides insight into physician engagement, physician burnout, as well as how COVID-19 is affecting physicians’ career plans now and into the future…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

[White Paper] Getting Ahead of Physician Turnover in Medical Practices Survey Results

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Jackson Physician Search and MGMA recently surveyed physicians and administrators to gain insight into physician recruitment, engagement, retention, and succession planning within medical practices.

A physician workforce pushed like never before in 2020 is still feeling intense strain as the COVID-19 pandemic continues through 2021, and the effects in turnover can be severe for healthcare organizations still on the road to recovery.

The results of the Physician Recruitment, Engagement, Retention and Succession Planning Survey, commissioned by Jackson Physician Search in partnership with Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), point to a need for a healthy relationship between administrative leaders and physicians to strengthen their bonds within the organization to survive pandemic pressures, burnout and other evolving challenges.

Sustainable, high-quality care delivery requires the clinical commitment to excellence that physicians strive for each day, as well as the business savvy of healthcare administrators to ensure financial resilience in pursuit of those clinical goals. The current epidemic of physician turnover largely can be attributed to a growing chasm between these two sides of the equation, but the quantitative and qualitative research done earlier this year points to key areas in which clinical and administrative leaders in healthcare can share a common vision and foster long-lasting professional relationships in service of patients and the community.

 

Introduction

Jackson Physician Search surveyed physicians and administrators to understand their unique views on physician issues. This survey sought to understand what efforts exist within healthcare organizations to influence better physician recruitment, engagement, retention and succession planning, and how the clinical and administrative sides perceive these efforts.

This survey follows an earlier Jackson Physician Search whitepaper, On the Verge of a Physician Turnover Epidemic: Physician Retention Survey Results.

Physician Engagement and Retention

  • What is the current level of physician burnout?
  • What is causing physician burnout?
  • What is the current level of physician engagement?
  • What is the current level of physician satisfaction with employers?
  • What matters most in physician retention?
  • What drives physician satisfaction with employers?

Succession Planning

  • What is the current approach to physician succession planning?
  • What matters most in physician succession planning?

Physician Recruitment

  • How do physicians and administrators rate physician recruitment efforts?
  • Where do organizations excel and/or struggle in physician recruitment?

The survey was fielded in June and July 2021. Physicians and healthcare administrators were invited to complete an approximately six-minute survey. Of more than 600 administrators and 220 physicians who participated, 430 administrators and 181 physicians completed the survey, respectively.

After qualitative interviews with several administrators and physicians, key themes emerged from the quantitative data and interviews:

  • Physicians highly value two-way communication with management/administration.
  • Administrators acknowledge high levels of burnout in physicians, but physicians often don’t perceive enough being done to mitigate that burnout or engage them.
  • Administrators vary their approaches to succession planning, from informal and infrequent talks with physicians all the way to structured strategic planning for the coming years.
  • Programs to mentor younger physicians and contingency plans for sudden physician departures are less likely to be part of a practice’s succession planning.

This whitepaper presents the full findings from hundreds of frontline healthcare leaders and clear takeaways about how administrators can work with physicians to build healthy working relationships that keep physicians engaged and communicative of their professional plans, allowing administrators to have proper time to implement effective succession plans that lead to recruiting the right physicians to sustain their practices for long-term success.

Download the White Paper to Get More Insight Into Physician Recruitment, Engagement, Retention and Succession Planning. 

 

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.

[White Paper] COVID-19 Changed the Physician Job Market: What Happened and What’s Next for Physician Jobs?

Ask how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted physicians and you’ll get as many answers as there are physicians. Each one has and continues to experience the pandemic differently, however some common themes emerge…

[White Paper] On the Verge of a Physician Turnover Epidemic: Physician Retention Survey Results

Review the results of our recent Physician Retention Survey, which also provides insight into physician engagement, physician burnout, as well as how COVID-19 is affecting physicians’ career plans now and into the future…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

[White Paper] COVID-19 Changed the Physician Job Market: What Happened and What’s Next for Physician Jobs?

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Ask how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted physicians and you’ll get as many answers as there are physicians. Each one has and continues to experience the pandemic differently, however some common themes emerge. From the battle-worn emergency medicine physicians and hospitalists who experienced COVID-19 up close in ERs and ICUs, to the primary care physicians and psychiatrists who seamlessly transitioned to telemedicine, to the surgeons who were forced to stop working altogether, physicians’ experiences with the pandemic will certainly influence how they move forward.

As we continue to recover, we asked:

  • Are physicians thinking differently about their careers because of COVID?
  • For those seeking change, what are their job prospects?
  • How did COVID impact the way healthcare organizations will now approach physician recruiting?

Physician Recruitment Continues to be as Dynamic as Ever

As the President of a national physician recruitment firm, I regularly check in with our teams of physician recruiters working all over the country to learn what’s happening in their specific markets. I recently interviewed the Regional Vice Presidents of Recruiting in each division to get their takes on how COVID is changing the physician job market.

These Jackson Physician Search VPs lead impressive teams, but they too are in the trenches, working daily with physicians and healthcare organizations in every imaginable setting—from big urban markets to some of the most rural parts of the country. After speaking with each of them at length, I can share that the news is positive for physicians seeking jobs. Physicians are in high demand, so it’s not surprising to hear that healthcare organizations are rolling out the red carpet to attract the best candidates.

Included within the paper are insights gleaned from speaking with four Regional Vice Presidents of Recruiting at Jackson Physician Search. I’ll not only share observations on the current market, but I’ll also provide actionable takeaways for both physicians seeking new opportunities and the organizations that seek to hire them.

Six Takeaways

  1. After a temporary dip, demand for physicians is once again high as patient volumes begin to return to pre-COVID levels while an increased number of physicians report they plan to retire or change jobs.
  2. More physicians than typical are leaving large metropolitan areas and considering jobs in alternative markets.
  3. Interest in telemedicine continues to increase, but its future is uncertain as post-COVID reimbursement rates are still to be determined.
  4. Heightened physician demand has yet to cause significant changes to base compensation and signing bonuses, but the lingering effects of the pandemic will likely shift other aspects of physician compensation.
  5. Virtual interviews and site visits are here to stay as both parties benefit from the convenience and time saved.
  6. Flexibility and an open mind are still critical in the physician job search for both physicians and those who seek to hire them.

Download the Paper to Get Important Insights about the Current Physician Job Market 

For more information about how your healthcare organization can use this paper to improve your physician recruitment results, 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.

[White Paper] 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey

President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar, reviews the results of our recent Physician Interview Experience survey and provides a best-in-class recruitment and interview process…

New Survey Sheds Light on Physician Retention, Physician Engagement, and Physician Burnout

The great challenge for healthcare administrators is to develop an effective physician retention program that not only reduces physician turnover, but also increases physician engagement, mitigates burnout, and contributes to a positive workplace culture…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

[White Paper] On the Verge of a Physician Turnover Epidemic: Physician Retention Survey Results

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President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar, reviews the results of our recent Physician Retention Survey, which also provides insight into physician engagement, physician burnout, as well as how COVID-19 is affecting physicians’ career plans now and into the future.

The great challenge for healthcare administrators is to develop an effective physician retention program that not only reduces physician turnover, but also increases physician engagement, mitigates burnout, and contributes to a positive workplace culture.

The results of the Physician Retention Survey commissioned by Jackson Physician Search suggest that healthcare administrators are attempting to address these dimensions, but a large percentage of physicians have deemed their efforts as mostly ineffective or poorly communicated.

Additionally, COVID-19’s impact on front-line healthcare staff will unfold for years to come, but it appears to have already had an effect on physicians’ career plans. Responses from 400 practicing physicians indicate that a surprisingly large percentage are considering leaving the practice of medicine entirely, planning to retire early, or leaving to work for another employer.

 

Introduction

Jackson Physician Search surveyed physicians and administrators to understand their views on physician retention. We set out to learn which programs were currently in place, physicians’ opinions about those programs, and how they influence physician turnover, long-term physician retention, physician engagement, and physician burnout.

We also wanted to learn the impact COVID-19 is having on physicians as it relates to their career decisions now and into the future.

Physician Retention

  • Do physicians acknowledge a physician retention program exists? How do they rate its effectiveness?
  • Are there formal orientation programs to help physicians transition into new positions?
  • How prevalent are physician recognition programs?

Physician Engagement

  • How engaged are physicians with their current employer?
  • Is two-way communication between physicians and administrators effective?
  • Do physicians have access to leadership training to advance their careers?

Physician Burnout

  • Are administrators pioneering programs to dial back physician burnout?
  • Will physicians stay with their current employer much longer?

The survey was fielded between October 2020 and November 2020. Physicians and administrators were invited to complete a brief 10 question survey. We received completed surveys from more than 485 healthcare professionals, including 400 actively practicing physicians and 86 administrators.

It comes as no surprise that COVID-19 has taken an extreme toll on physicians who were already reporting symptoms of burnout at alarming rates. After interpreting the results of the survey, a primary theme that emerged is physicians are prepared to make important decisions about their future as they seek a better quality of life and a more fulfilling career. With vaccines now being rolled out, mitigating physician burnout is critical to the long-term health and well-being of physicians, their patients, and the healthcare organizations for which they work.

As you review this white paper, you’ll find the specific questions asked, the responses received, and practical takeaways to guide you in developing or improving your physician retention program. You’ll also uncover where physicians and administrators are well-aligned, as well as key areas where improvement could prove beneficial.

Download the White Paper to Get More Insight Into Physician Retention, Physician Engagement, and Physician Burnout, as well as How COVID-19 is Affecting Their Future Career Plans. 

 

For more information about how your healthcare organization can use the results of this survey to improve your physician 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.

[White Paper] 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey

President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar, reviews the results of our recent Physician Interview Experience survey and provides a best-in-class recruitment and interview process…

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

One of the major factors of the impending physician shortage is the aging physician workforce. We recently conducted a survey including practicing physicians and health administrators to better understand the situation…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

[White Paper] 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey

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President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar, reviews the results of our recent Physician Interview Experience survey and provides a best-in-class recruitment and interview process that administrators and physician recruiters can follow to recruit more physicians after the first on-site interview.

Mastering the On-site Interview: Results from the 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey

Mastering the on-site interview is the enduring challenge in physician recruitment. The first interview is a make or break moment for both the candidate and the hiring organization. More than 200 physicians responded to the 2020 Physician Interview Experience survey. Keep reading for insight on how to improve your interview process and win more candidates.

 

Introduction

The enduring challenge in the physician recruitment and hiring process is to master the on-site interview. The first interview will continue to be the make or break moment in the hiring process for both the candidate and the hiring organization.

To help provide clarity on how today’s physicians feel about the interview process and the elements comprising an exceptional interview experience, Jackson Physician Search received completed survey responses from more than 200 physicians. The survey group represented a mixture of practicing physicians and 2020 and 2021 residents who had interviewed for a position in the previous 18 months. Physicians were asked to answer questions in regards to their interview experience corresponding with their current position.

The survey confirmed many elements of the interview process that have become standard industry practice. But the physicians’ responses also open a window into how they feel about interviewing and the important aspects of the interview that helped them decide whether or not they want to immediately accept a position.

Their insights provide valuable guidance in how to deliver the best-in-class interview experience that results in the physician deciding to accept your position – ideally – on their way home from the first interview with you.

What you may find surprising is that their feelings of excitement and alignment with your organization – and a well-planned community tour – are the factors that tip the scales toward that best-in-class result.

This survey demonstrates the vital role your interview team plays in establishing cultural fit and an overall outstanding interview experience to influence a candidate’s decision. The results will help you fine-tune your interview process and ensure you are landing the candidates who are best suited for your organization.

Executive Summary

Most organizations understand the high costs of conducting multiple interviews with a single candidate. Interviewing expenses and loss of revenue during a prolonged vacancy can add up to over one million dollars per physician. But it appears that few deliver the best-in-class interview experience that will improve their chances that the candidate will decide to accept the offer on the way home from the first interview.

According to our survey:

  • Only 27% of candidates decided to accept the position on the way home after just one on-site interview.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, another 23% never left an interview feeling confident, even though they ultimately may have accepted the job.
  • For the remaining 50%, it took a bit of time after the first interview to accept. Some even required scheduling a second or third interview to win them over to the point where they decided to accept.

Moving that large, undecided group toward accepting your offer after the first interview requires investing in a rigorous recruitment process and effective interview techniques.

The salient aspects of the interview experience for candidates who decided to accept on the way home from the first interview reflects the fulfillment of their needs at many levels: informational, alignment of values and emotional well-being.

Of those who decided to accept on the way home:

  • 89% said all their questions were answered at the interview
  • 61% received a written offer within the week
  • 80% felt excited
  • 82% felt welcomed
  • 2% or fewer felt confused, anxious, or stressed
  • These physicians also ranked their alignment with the organization’s mission and values at 9.2, with 10 being perfectly aligned

By contrast, a good number of those who were undecided after the first interview reported feeling excited (63%) and welcomed (76%). But, a concerning percentage left the interview with negative emotions:

  • 39% felt anxious
  • 23% felt stressed
  • 23% felt confused

Physicians need enough information, as well as positive feelings, to support their decision to accept on the way home from their first interview with you. Even if the candidates reporting negative emotions took the job, it’s easy to imagine that these feelings could linger and create challenges in the future.

Power of the First Impression

The survey results reinforced the power of the first impression. The majority (69%) of all respondents had accepted their most recent job after just one interview. Additional survey data indicates that the second or third interviews are not nearly as impactful as the first interview.

Multiple interviews do not necessarily increase the chances that the candidate will feel confident enough to decide to accept the position. But, multiple interviews do drive up your cost per hire, prolonging your time-to-fill and negatively impacting your interview-to-hire ratio.

As the survey showed, it is far more likely that the candidate will decide on the way home from the first interview (76%) than on the second, “third or more” interviews (12% for each). You will have better outcomes when you invest in a process that creates the first-time WOW experience for the right candidate.

Download the full survey results to get more insight and recommendations to improve your interview and hiring process almost immediately.

 

To speak further about your interview process or for help with your physician and advanced practice provider recruitment needs, contact Jackson Physician Search.

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.

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

One of the major factors of the impending physician shortage is the aging physician workforce. We recently conducted a survey including practicing physicians and health administrators to better understand the situation…

Jackson Physician Search Physician Recruitment ROI White Paper

[White Paper] Physician Recruitment: The Cost to Hire and Return on Investment

If you’re looking to reduce your cost to hire and optimize your return on investment when it comes to physician recruitment, this white paper is for you…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

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

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

By

One of the major factors of the impending physician shortage is the aging physician workforce. We recently conducted a survey including practicing physicians and health administrators to better understand the situation. This whitepaper includes our findings and conclusions. Feel free to download and share.

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

Given that a hospital can easily lose $150,000 per month if a specialist leaves and that a search for a medical or surgical specialist takes five to 10 months, the stakes are high. New research from Jackson Physician Search―that surveyed both practicing physicians and healthcare administrators―highlights the importance of creating the right culture and processes around physician retirement, including effective transition processes and ongoing recruiting efforts, to avoid the negatives of a vacancy or understaffing situation.

Among the key findings:

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

Although there is hesitancy about initiating a conversation about retirement, it is clear that both administrators and physicians feel that it’s a beneficial discussion for both parties. Differences remain on length of notice and whose responsibility it is to bring up retirement, but when handled respectfully and conducted in a non-discriminatory way, both parties can find the ideal way to transition the retirement with proper planning and processes.

Survey Methodology and Demographics

To find out how both physicians and hospital administrators approach physician retirement and transition planning, we surveyed both groups on a range of related topics. These included the age of retirement, drivers for making the decision, requirements and timeframe for giving notice, comfort with having the conversation and whose responsibility it was to initiate it. Other questions were related to the retirement transition itself and interest in employer retirement incentives.

A total of 567 physicians and surgeons from a wide range of specialties responded to the survey. Physician respondents were distributed throughout the United States, roughly based on state population. Half of them described their communities as suburban and just 15 percent noted rural. Most respondents (61 percent) were between the ages of 50 and 69, and the majority were male (71 percent).

There were 100 hospital administrator respondents to the survey, many of which were C-level executives, followed by directors and administrators in a variety of recruiting and human resources functions. The administrators were distributed across the country, but a larger proportion (40 percent) were from self-described rural communities. As with the physician respondents, most were between the ages of 50 and 69 (63 percent), although the majority of administrator respondents were female (55 percent).

Drivers for Physician Retirement

In the survey, administrators report the average age for retirement at their healthcare facility as 65, which is in line with the age of 63 as determined by analysis of U.S. Census data. Not surprisingly, physicians named lifestyle (44 percent) and financial stability (23 percent) as top drivers for retirement. Likewise, administrators also perceive lifestyle (48 percent) as a top driver, although they found health reasons (15 percent) the second most prevalent motive, which was close to three times more than what physicians cited. Administrators were also less likely to think that financial stability (14 percent) was the most common reason physicians made a retirement decision.

More than 17 percent of physicians indicated “Other” as the top reason for retirement, compared with just 10 percent of administrators. Many physicians indicated burnout and frustration with the state of medicine in the United States, as noted in the following comments:

  • Managed care, whether private or government, has made the practice of medicine too adversarial to enjoy enough to consider delaying retirement.
  • Medicine has turned into a quagmire of regulatory burdens, collecting data, and the destruction of physician’s autonomy and authority in individual patient care.
  • Doctors are no longer able to practice medicine with the primary objective of patient well-being!!
  • It has become too onerous to practice. The focus is on increasing volume with less and less pay. Also, the practices are running leaner which shifts more and more clerical work onto doctors. Add to these issues the increasing testing and “boutique” results reporting and you have a formula for high stress with diminishing satisfaction and diminished returns.

Having the Retirement Conversation

When it comes to initiating the retirement conversation, survey results show that the topic weighs more heavily on the physician, and that there is room for administrators to make the discussion more comfortable, both for the benefit of the physician and the organization. A large majority of physicians (80 percent) said it’s their responsibility to broach the retirement subject compared with 37 percent of administrators, yet less of physicians (52 percent) are comfortable discussing retirement plans than administrators (74 percent). One physician noted that “succession should always be a part of the hiring discussion and empowerment to plan and mentor over time.”

On the administrator side, almost 30 percent cited “Other” when asked whose responsibility it was to start talking about retirement. The following comments from physicians in this category indicated an acknowledgment that they had difficulty broaching the subject―and that there is a need for a more formal, yet inviting process, especially given the long lead time needed to recruit a physician:

  • MDs usually initiate, but if they are having trouble, the administrator or group president will initiate the conversation.
  • I believe our physicians are not very comfortable with the conversation, so we (HR) have provided them with a script and talking points to assist with these conversations.
  • Ultimately, it should be the physician, but there is a hesitancy to do so. Therefore, we have tried to make it a collaborative discussion between the physician and the physician leader.
  • We periodically send surveys to the physicians, asking that they let us know if they are considering retirement in the next 1 to 3 years, as the recruitment process is lengthy.
  • The organization views it as the physician’s responsibility. However, as a recruiter needing lead time, I’d like a plan to approach the physicians and have administration address succession planning. I’ve been pressing for this almost five years without success.

The Realities of Giving Notice

Physicians and administrators have vastly different perspectives on what the ideal notice period is for providing a retirement timeline, a finding that might partially be explained by the lack of conversation and practices regarding retirement in general. Almost 50 percent of administrators indicated the ideal notice was one to three years, while 40 percent of physicians indicated it was 6 months or less. Also, 34 percent of physicians said they weren’t required to give any notice of retirement at all, while 81 percent of administrators said they were required to give more than three months.

When administrators were asked how much notice they typically receive when a physician plans to retire, their answers ranged from a high of three years to a low of one month, with an average of 10 months. The most common notice period cited was six months, which was in line with what physicians reported as the ideal notice period. Given the timeline for locating a physician and the fact that 40 percent of physicians thought 6 months or less was an ideal notice, administrators should consider the practice of ongoing recruitment of candidates to make sure there are no gaps in care and revenue.

The Retirement Transition

Physicians in the survey indicated some differing ideas about the retirement transition than administrators might assume, which possibly indicates they are looking for greater flexibility in their transition process. Almost 40 percent of administrators named full retirement as a top retirement transition method at their organization, but just 17 percent of physicians were planning to do so and almost 28 percent of doctors say they will work part or full time somewhere else. Some of the doctors listing “Other” planned to pursue locum tenens work or pro re nata (PRN) and telemedicine options that let them dictate their own schedules, while others looked to potentially help with recruiting, mentoring and managerial tasks at their current practice.

Many physicians (47 percent) were interested in retirement information planning services, but only half of administrators indicated those are offered. Comments from physicians indicated the vast majority of them were, not surprisingly, most interested in financial and healthcare planning. Physicians in the survey were also looking for help with the general process of retirement, along with ways to explore part-time or non-clinical options, as noted in these comments:

  • There is a need for an outline and timeline of what needs to be done, as well as the contact people to facilitate the process.
  • I would like to know the steps for the retirement process and how/when to transition to Medicare health coverage. I am also interested in opportunities for part-time work with the same employer, along with pay/benefit information.
  • It would be helpful to know how to manage before full retirement age.
  • I would like to know what part-time work is available once I retire that may or may not include clinical care.

When asked if employer-sponsored incentives would induce them to start an early retirement process, 50 percent of physicians agreed it would, with most requesting financial and/or healthcare benefits. Others were looking for part-time employment opportunities. However, nearly all administrators (95 percent) indicated they offered no incentives to initiate an earlier retirement approach so that staff planning was more seamless.

 

 

Conclusion

The survey results indicate that there is a need for more formal processes surrounding physician retirement, especially given the ongoing shortage of doctors in the United States. To help both hospitals and physicians with the retirement transition, administrators should:

  • Develop non-discriminatory ways of approaching the retirement conversation. HR and physician leaders should work together to create a step-by-step process for when and how to approach the conversation, which might even occur as early as during the hiring process. Having such a process makes the physician feel less singled out for the discussion. In addition, routine surveys on retirement plans can open the lines of communication.
  • Offer incentives to initiate an early retirement process. To encourage earlier notice of retirement from physicians, administrator should consider incentives like a percentage of pay for earlier notice, health benefits for a specified time period, and relief from call duties.
  • Create flexible offerings like part-time or non-clinical work. For financial and other reasons, such as benefits, many physicians would like to continue working, which could ease the burden during the onboarding process for a new physician. Having a process for scheduled conversations about retirement can help prepare for a situation where several physicians retire at once, which would include extra scheduling activities and other administrative tasks. However, given the high costs of a full vacancy, these costs could easily be justified.
  • Adopt a continuous recruitment process instead of treating a physician vacancy as a one-off occurrence. This will ensure that the physician candidate pipeline is full in the event that one or more physicians are transitioning to retirement. By maintaining relationships with qualified candidates, the organization is not starting at the ground floor of recruitment and can quickly adjust to unforeseen issues with retirement transitions.

With the proper planning and processes built on more open communications, hospital administrators can avoid understaffing and continue to provide the best possible patient care. Starting early in a physician’s career with these processes can make the transition and succession planning more comfortable for all parties and support more optimal recruiting efforts.

Rural Recruitment Whitepaper

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[White Paper] Rural Recruitment: Results from the 2019 Rural Physician and Administration Survey

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Jackson Physician Search and LocumTenens.com teamed up to release an updated Rural Physician Recruitment and Staffing Survey. Click here to download the report, released February 24, 2022.

President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar, reviews the results of our 2019 rural physician and administrators survey and provides a summary of action items administrators should consider when recruiting physicians to their community.

The number of physicians practicing in America’s rural areas is on the decline. From 2013 to 2015, the overall supply of physicians in the United States grew by 16,000 but the number of rural physicians declined by 1,400. These facts compound the problem that while 20 percent of the U.S. population is rural, only 12 percent of the primary care physicians work in a rural area. This survey reports the results from the perspective of rural hospital administrators and rural physicians. The insights lead to recommendations which may help with this growing disparity.

With all of the data trending in the wrong direction for rural healthcare administrators, the challenges of recruiting and retaining physicians to work in rural communities have reached new levels of urgency. In a perfect world, rural health systems would be able to allow the free market to dictate what they can offer physicians to practice in non-metropolitan areas, but that isn’t the case.

Many rural health administrators have had to address physician recruitment in more creative ways than just offering more compensation. However, a recent survey sponsored by Jackson Physician Search has identified that a gap exists between what administrators think is important to their physicians versus what the physicians claim are important to them.

This paper will review the results of what rural physicians say is essential to them in their practice setting in contrast to what rural health administrators identify as important to their physicians. Lastly, we will provide a summary of action items that rural health system administrators should consider when recruiting physicians to their community and what they need to do to keep them engaged.

Summary of the Jackson Physician Search 2019 Rural Healthcare Survey

Recruitment

The Jackson Physician Search survey presented 23 questions about the advantages and challenges physician providers and healthcare administrators face in rural medicine.  Over 150 physicians provided their responses about a wide range of issues including the top attributes of their organization, whether those attributes were highlighted during the recruitment process, and their own levels of personal and professional fulfillment among other key topics.  Seventy eight percent of the physician respondents stated that they were currently practicing in a community of less than 25,000 people.

“We returned to my husband’s hometown because of the need in the region. We feel that we have made a huge difference in the community.”

105 rural health system administrators responded and shared their views to the same questions asked of the physician providers.  90% of those administrators stated that their organization was in a rural community.

Organization Culture

As shown below, both physicians and administrators are aligned in their beliefs that the organization is truly Patient-focused as that was the number one response on over 50% of all surveys received. However, as we will discuss in more detail shortly, there are clear areas for alignment opportunity with both Autonomy and Participatory Decision Making.

Culture

We see alignment between Physicians and Administration, although with varying degrees of importance, with the attributes related to Teamwork and a Family-friendly Environment. For the physicians, the importance of teamwork and a family-oriented environment showed up in the top three on a third of the surveys, while almost half of the administrators rated it as one of the organizations top attributes. Administrators can utilize this alignment with their physicians by ensuring that the organization is maximizing the opportunities to continually foster the family atmosphere. In rural and small-town settings, the health center is always going to be a focal point in the community, and using that visibility to engage in local sponsorships and activities is a natural way to keep staff and their families involved.

“I was offered the opportunity to choose my practice patterns, and staff. They also assured me that I would be involved in decision making.”

One of the biggest takeaways from this question for administrators in their recruitment efforts is the weight that physicians placed on Autonomy and Participatory Decision Making.  As shown in the results above, administrators may be discounting the importance of those attributes to their physicians.  In smaller hospitals and community health settings, administrators should be highlighting the ways that physicians can be more autonomous when compared to larger urban hospitals and systems. Developing a participatory decision-making culture will not only help attract physicians to the practice, but it will encourage longer-term retention and physician engagement.

Choosing a Rural Practice Location

When the rural-practicing physicians were asked to rank the top factors for choosing to practice in their rural community, the most cited reason was Community Culture which landed in the top three on the most surveys.  Compensation, unsurprisingly, was also in the top three along with Proximity to Family/Friends/Colleagues and Community Culture.

Factors for Choosing a Rural Practice

In their own words, physicians overwhelmingly speak about the role culture plays in their decision to accept an offer and also to stay in a position. This critical piece of information cannot be overlooked by rural practice administrators. In a recent Jackson Physician Search presentation, the idea of how culture and fit intersects can be described using “Three C’s”, Connection, Comfort, and Confidence. These traits will inherently draw a physician to be more open to accepting an opportunity in a smaller, rural or community health setting. Making a connection with the administration team, being comfortable in the workplace and interactions with staff during a site visit, and feeling confident that personal values are in alignment with organizational values can all be the factors that tips the decision scale in your favor.

“When I was recruited, I didn’t feel like they were just filling a slot. Throughout the process, I could sense that they were looking for someone who fit in with what they were about as an organization.

To contrast that to the responses provided by administrators when asked to identify the top reasons why physicians choose their organization, overwhelmingly, Compensation was cited as one of the top three reasons.  The second most cited reason was the Preference or Needs of a Spouse or Significant Other. Another financial factor, an Offer of Loan Repayment was the third most significant factor.

While compensation is always going to be a factor in recruitment, the disparity in responses to this question highlights that factors the physician feel are important differ from the assumptions of those recruiting and hiring physician candidates.

Recruitment Incentives for Rural Practice

When asked to identify the single MOST influential incentive that was offered by the practice/organization, Physicians and Administrators agreed upon Compensation, but then diverged.

Incentives for Rural Practice

While physician responses to this question were varied, clearly respondents that are considering rural opportunities want more autonomy than they can get in metropolitan settings.  As demonstrated by their written responses, physicians want to be included in decision making and want to have the freedom to nurture their desired practice philosophy. These may not be concepts that can be enacted in larger settings, but are uniquely possible in rural and community health settings.  Administrators should be taking every opportunity to cultivate a participatory culture that fuels physician engagement.

Without having to rely solely on outbidding a competitor for the physician’s services, let’s look at the results of a survey question that asked respondents to identify the primary reason they declined other offers they were considering before choosing the rural practice offer.

Reasons for Declining Other Offers

Of the physicians that responded to this question, most indicated that they weren’t interested in the Geographic Location or that they were concerned about the Work Schedule Demands of the offer they declined.  Other responses from physicians worth noting, were Compensation Level, Organizational Culture, and not having Flexibility to Use Telemedicine.

“I had genuine concerns about the practice philosophy of the organization I turned down.”

Recruiting physicians to work in rural settings will always require administrators to do more homework on the physicians they are recruiting and then to be more creative when developing an offer. Unless a physician was born in or near a similar rural community, administrators will have to rely on selling the location to those they are recruiting. Understanding the physicians background enables you to make the connection of what will be appealing to the doctor and their family if they choose to practice there.  Plus, having a participatory culture and organizational values that are evident throughout the recruiting process gives the administrator a selling point that can help smooth over any initial objections to practicing in a rural setting.

Retention

Turning our attention away from the reasons physicians accept or decline offers to work in a rural practice or health system, let’s examine what they say will keep them in that setting. The first retention question asked respondents to identify the most compelling incentive that could be offered to ensure that the physician would stay for at least the next five years.  Not surprisingly, both physicians and administrators identified Increased Compensation and a More Flexible Schedule as compelling reasons to remain in the practice.  Administrators also indicated that they felt a Retention Bonus would be a factor for physicians to compel them to stay, yet, from the physician survey, the Retention Bonuses barely registered as a response.

“I didn’t feel like they were just filling a slot. Throughout the process, I could sense that they were looking for someone who fit in with what they were about as an organization.”

Most Compelling Incentive to Stay

Job Satisfaction and Engagement

Respondents from both the physician side of the equation and the administrative side answered similarly when asked to describe “What they love most about their job.”  Both groups expressed a deep passion for providing care to the members of the local community.

“I felt a personal obligation to give back to my hometown community. I love caring for people who truly appreciate what I do.”

Almost exclusively, the physicians expressed their enjoyment at being regarded as a valuable Member of the Community, and how they have the ability to develop Relationships with their patients that they wouldn’t find in a metropolitan practice.

Administrators responded with gratitude for being able to provide healthcare to an Underserved Community as one of the biggest joys they found in their work. Many responded that it is the Personal Relationships they have developed with the staff and community that keep them in their position.

Interestingly, when physicians were asked to identify things that “kept them up at night” many of their responses centered on three main themes. Many cited needing help in keeping up with Electronic Health Records.  Others stated that because they are predominantly alone or part of a small group, they fear missing something with a diagnosis, while many more simply cited a general Lack of Resources.

On the administration side, challenges that interfere with their work include Reimbursements and other Financial Issues, and a significant amount of the responses included a statement about Physician Vacancies and Recruitment.

With that, let’s summarize the things administrators should be considering for the successful recruitment and retention of their physician staff.

Considerations for More Successful Rural Recruitment and Retention

As demonstrated through the results of both surveys, physicians and administrators agree that Compensation will be at or near the top of the list when it comes to recruiting to a rural practiceCompensation will always be important, but administrators should be mindful of the other reasons physicians consider a rural practice to allow them to find physicians who will fit, succeed, and stay with their rural practice setting. Consider the following employment incentives in mind when recruiting.

Recruitment

  1. Doctors want assurances of autonomy.

“I am frequently consulted with to help make important decisions for the organization. We have a plan in place where I will become a true medical director in time.”

In their own responses, physicians gave much more weight to being autonomous as an appealing factor in a job offer. Not in the sense of executive fiat, but more in how they practice medicine without being dictated to by executives.  This is one advantage that larger metropolitan settings typically cannot provide to their physicians and should be a point of emphasis for rural administrators.  Armed with the knowledge that 43% of physicians consider having more autonomy as an important attribute to their career, administrators should demonstrate that they are prepared to offer the autonomy that a physician needs throughout the recruiting process.

  1. Demonstrate a team-based culture.

Physicians also appreciate an organization focused on teamwork and collaborative decision-making. Culture and fit are widely discussed as important factors for physicians in feeling engaged in the workplace. Throughout the recruitment process, the organization should be putting their best brand ambassadors front and center to provide candidates with a glimpse of who your organization is and what you are about.

“I met with all of the providers and everyone expressed how collaborative the environment was. Community involvement was also evident throughout the process.”

  1. Recruit the family as a whole unit.

Both physicians and administrators identified having a family friendly environment as an appealing attribute of the organization. Highlighting the best aspects of the community, and involving community leaders in the process will go a long way in demonstrating the community’s value to the physician. Specifically, taking time to ensure that spouses and significant others are engaged in the process can be a deciding factor once an offer is being considered.

  1. Get administrators involved.

One of the lost arts of physician recruitment is the involvement of Hospital CEO’s and Administrators.  Physicians rank the impact of culture on their job consideration as number 3, according to the survey.  Culture is typically established from the top, so there is no better representation of culture than from the Hospital administrator taking the time to share his or her vision and philosophy to the candidate. This demonstrates to the candidate that the administration truly wants their family to join the organization – and the community – and cares enough to show it. A close friend, retired CEO of a major metropolitan healthcare system, employed his best practice to attend every dinner with physician candidates to show his support and desire for them to move there. My obvious question was “how did you find the time?”. He believed it was the best investment of time he could make and was often told that his interest in them helped them with their employment decision.

We find that fewer administrators take the time to do this simple, yet impactful, task and show their appreciation for the candidate’s time in interviewing. I say this tongue in cheek, but “Doc Hollywood” was a great example of pulling out all the stops to acquire the talents of a physician in rural America. You might not have a squash festival in your community, but you do have the community leaders who should realize how important it is to recruit medical talent to your town.

Retention Factors

As with recruitment, compensation will always play a role in keeping individuals from seeking new opportunities.  The best strategy for retention is two-fold. First, hire individuals who are a fit for your organization and community.  A good hire is easier to retain than someone who just fills a vacancy. The second strategy is to keep your staff engaged to ensure that they are achieving fulfillment in their career and performing at a high level.

  1. Provide leadership opportunities.

As identified in their responses regarding what compelled them to accept an offer, many physicians cited leadership opportunities.  Obviously, additional responsibilities will typically drive higher compensation.  It is also important to find ways to allow physicians to challenge themselves, whether it is through leadership or research opportunities, or even teaching. The key is to make an effort to better understand your staff to stay equipped to help them stay engaged and give them the latitude to challenge themselves.

  1. Flexible Schedule.

Your physicians want more control over their schedule.  In most cases, that is a big ask, but it can be an opportunity to engage with your provider staff collaboratively and determine reasonable solutions.  Some respondents identified that if they had assistance with electronic health records or in some cases a better workflow to manage administrative tasks, they would be better positioned to control their clinical hours. As noted earlier, when asked to identify a compelling reason to stay another five years, physicians cited a reduced or more manageable work schedule. Identifying and then mitigating the factors that are contributing to excessive work hours is critical to your retention success.

Summary

Nearly 68% of the physician respondents to the survey had roots in a rural community during their lifetime. In many cases, it was they, their spouse or partner, or extended family that were raised in a rural community.  What our survey has shown is that while compensation and other financial incentives matter, other factors swing the decision to accept an offer to practice in a rural community.  Rural health system administrators must develop a culture that is attractive to physicians and more importantly demonstrate that unique environment throughout the recruitment process.

Here at Jackson Physician Search, we are truly appreciative of all our partnerships across the country and thank all of our rural clients and participants of this study for helping us drive alignment between rural administrators and physicians, while working towards increasing medical access for rural communities across the country.

To speak further about specific questions regarding your rural physician and advanced practice provider recruitment, feel free to reach out to a JPS Consultant here.

About Jackson Physician Search

Jackson Physician Search specializes in permanent recruitment of physicians and advanced practice providers to hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers and medical groups across the United States. The company is recognized for its track record of results built on their clients’ trust in the skills of their team and the transparency of their process.

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[White Paper] Issues Affecting FQHCs: What will it take for Federally Qualified Health Centers to survive in today’s healthcare physician recruiting climate?

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Physician vacancies are affecting the majority of health centers across the country. This paper examines some of the recruitment and retention challenges that Federally Qualified Health Centers are facing and how to overcome them. Feel free to download and share.

Issues Affecting FQHCs

What will it take for Federally Qualified Health Centers to survive in today’s healthcare physician recruiting climate?

Jackson Physician Search in Partnership with CommonWealth Purchasing Group

A vast majority of all health centers are reporting a clinical and physician vacancy. Over the years, health centers have evolved to provide much more than primary care services in their community, but we are entering a critical time, and the shortage of physicians and clinicians overall is set to make a massive impact in the world of Community Health.

This paper examines some of the challenges that centers are facing today regarding recruitment and retention. Staffing shortages and difficulty in attracting physicians are overcome through a proactive and strategic approach to recruitment. Today, two of the top challenges are the shrinking candidate supply and changing compensation trends.

Neither of these issues are insurmountable, but they are a driving force in changing the community and rural health center model.

You can save and read the rest of this white paper by clicking the download button below.

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[White Paper] Physician Recruitment: The Cost to Hire and Return on Investment

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President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar, gives insight into how vacancies and recruiting can quickly become costly. If you’re looking to reduce your cost to hire and optimize your return on investment when it comes to physician recruitment, this white paper is for you.

Physician Recruitment: The Cost to Hire and Return on Investment

by Tony Stajduhar, President, Jackson Physician Search

Healthcare organizations depend on recruiting and retaining physicians and advanced practice providers to support their mission to offer quality patient care. A critically important vacancy can be costly to the organization, patients and community as a whole, impacting healthcare delivery, quality of life and the local economy.

Maintaining continuity of quality care is of chief importance. Yet, a sense of urgency to fill a costly vacancy must be combined with a clear understanding of how investing in a strategic recruitment process can accelerate the fill and reduce the risk of making a poor hire.

Return on Investment is a straightforward concept that is familiar to leaders in healthcare’s outcomes-driven environment. Yet, in the area of recruitment, many organizations lack a structured method and accountability for measuring recruitment success, efficiency and return on investment. Too frequently, recruiters do not know if their definition of recruitment success is the same as their boss’s or the board’s. As a result, there is no formalized process to measure efficiency and maximize results.

Click the download button below to read the rest of the whitepaper.

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