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What to Know When Recruiting Residents – Medscape Takeaways

Jackson Physician Search
September 10, 2018

Life as a resident is challenging for many reasons. Long hours and low pay, it’s a balancing act of simultaneously being learners and medical care providers. If that wasn’t enough, they are also job-seekers. By the beginning of their second year (if not before) they will begin exploring and making decisions about where, when and how they will start practicing.

Recent surveys by Medscape hold important clues about how the competing priorities of time and money will factor into a physician’s career decisions. By better understanding the value they place on time and money, there is a better chance of presenting your practice opportunity with the right balance and fit and appealing to their needs.

Show Your Respect for Their Time

No one has figured out how to add hours to the day. And, the technology intended to make physicians more efficient has been proven to be a source of frustration for many. According to Medscape:

  • Achieving work/life balance, while dealing with the pressures and demands on their time, are the top two challenges they face in residency.
  • Eighty percent report that they don’t consistently have enough time for personal wellness and a satisfying social life.
  • Two-thirds believe that having a manageable work schedule and call hours would relieve stress.

That’s why it’s vital to demonstrate your respect for a physician’s time. Skillfully assess how well an opportunity might fit the interests of the resident and tailor the timing and content of your outreach to the greatest extent possible. The first touch during the recruitment process should be a highly relevant message that reaches them at their preferred time, using their preferred channel.

Once they show interest, don’t waste their time with a prolonged process; but don’t be pushy, either. It’s hard to strike that fine balance, but you can show them how important they are to you by following the three P’s in all communications. Be prompt, precise and personalized to their specific needs.

When phone and onsite interviews are scheduled, be sure everything is well-planned (and everyone is well-prepared) so there is no time lost due to confusion, duplication or unnecessary delays in delivering an offer.

Your candidate’s experience during the recruitment process, including their encounters with your practicing physicians and staff, will show them how well – or poorly – their time will be respected if they decide to join your organization.

Influence of Money on Physician Career Choices

Over half of the residents in Medscape’s survey expect to finish training with at least $200,000 in medical school debt. So, it is no surprise that 92 percent of residents said that potential earnings will influence their choice of specialty. But even with the pressure to pay off debt, “starting salary/compensation” ranks second, right after “work schedule/call hours,” in the list of key factors they will look for in their first job. Residents also see attributes such as “gaining clinical knowledge and experience,” “being very good at what I do” and “gratitude of patients” as the most rewarding aspects of their job, far ahead of “the potential for making good money.”

Every resident has different financial drivers and personal motivations that will influence their career decision. So, it is important to discover what those are and craft a win-win compensation package. Paying top dollar is not necessarily the answer. But being competitive is key. Just be sure you know exactly who, what or where your competition really is.

The important point is to set clear expectations about how a physician can maximize their compensation while living the life they hope for. A pathway out of educational debt or a low cost of living may be more highly valued than a top dollar salary in a high-pressure practice setting.

Explain how work RVUs, collections, quality bonuses, and other components work. Show them benchmarks and allow them to see how others like them have progressed. Provide the practice support that will free them to focus on productivity and increase their earning potential. Help them envision how well the incentives and benefits align with their needs and those of their spouse and family (if they have one).

Surveys can deliver helpful insights, but they need to be placed in the context of your situation. If you are looking for solutions to specific challenges, talk to a Jackson Physician Search recruitment expert today.

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