The physician job search can be intense — especially for the most in-demand specialties. Employers roll out the red carpet for candidates and bend over backward to entice them into taking the job. And while, of course, it feels good to be wanted — especially when that desire is expressed as dollar signs — the full-court press can make it difficult for physicians to step back and objectively evaluate if the opportunity is right for them. Sometimes, they find themselves accepting an offer even when their instincts are telling them to slow down.
This may or may not have been the case for Dr. W, an orthopedic surgeon practicing in the upper Midwest, when he verbally accepted an offer from a large, regional employer. However, as his start date neared and some administration changes were announced, he began to question if he was making the right decision. He knew it was time to move on from his current employer — he wanted a job with more growth opportunities — yet something told him this might not be the best decision.
Help Wanted: Orthopedic Surgeon for Program Growth
Meanwhile, JPS Senior Search Consultant Consultant Dan Morton was asked by an existing client to start a search for an orthopedic surgeon. The Wisconsin hospital had two orthopedic surgeons on staff, but the referral base was increasing and demand was growing consistently. The client was confident they would eventually need a third surgeon, but the urgency was relatively low. Dan decided to gauge the market with a few small, regional campaigns. He crafted the physician job ad and sent email and text campaigns to physicians in the database who already lived in the upper Midwest.
Shortly after the campaigns went out, Dr. W saw the ad and reached out to Dan. Fully transparent about his situation, Dr. W explained that while he had verbally accepted an offer from another organization, he was having second thoughts. He wasn’t sure he would apply for the job, but he wanted to learn more. He knew of the group and had met the surgeons, so he was curious about the opportunity.
Dan was thrilled to have a potentially interested candidate so quickly, but he knew he needed to tread lightly. He was careful not to pressure Dr. W and aimed to serve as a true consultant.
“He was clearly questioning his current offer,” Dan says. “The only way for him to feel certain would be to explore other options, so I encouraged him to have a conversation with my client.”
Discreetly Exploring Other Options
Dr. W did not want to burn any bridges, but he allowed Dan to speak to the client on his behalf and share the details of his current offer. This transparency ensured that if the client was interested in moving forward with Dr. W, they would be able to make a competitive offer.
Dan scheduled an interview with the Director of the clinic, who instantly clicked with Dr. W. Arranging meetings with the two surgeons proved more difficult, but eventually, they met with Dr. W individually and then attended a dinner for the three of them. Dr. W was able to get a better sense of the workplace culture and see how their personalities would mix.
The chemistry was apparent to all three. The two existing surgeons knew right away that Dr. W would fit in seamlessly, and Dr. W finally felt the excitement that was lacking with the other opportunity. With this group, he would be integral to the program’s expansion, and while both options came with higher physician compensation, he knew this type of growth was what he had been seeking all along.
Embracing the Right Fit
The client extended an offer the next day, and Dr. W was eager to accept. While he was sorry to disappoint the other employer, he knew he was choosing the best option and was grateful to Dan for encouraging him to explore an alternative. Dan’s client was, of course, thrilled to find a surgeon who fit so well with the existing team.
The physician job search can be a stressful process, however, a good physician recruiter can help you be aware of red flags and stay focused on your priorities. If you are embarking on a physician job search, reach out to the team at Jackson Physician Search today to learn how we can support your efforts. Get started by browsing the physician job board or downloading the Physician Job Search Playbook.