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How a Rural Hospital Won Over a Physician’s Heart with a Special Delivery

Jackson Physician Search
November 17, 2020

Rural hospital administrators have mastered the art of creativity when recruiting physicians to their communities. They’ve long learned that compensation alone isn’t enough to lure most physicians away from larger towns and cities, so they aren’t afraid to go the extra mile to create a memorable interview experience and community tour for interested candidates.

This was certainly the case for a 25-bed hospital in central Minnesota who needed to recruit a Family Medicine Physician. Katie Moeller, Search Consultant with Jackson Physician Search, had built a strong relationship with the Hospital’s Director of Recruiting over the years, and they shared the belief that successful physician recruitment required a proactive approach. With its patients’ healthcare needs at the center of their recruitment strategy, the hospital was never afraid to hire a physician earlier than needed. Their goal was to build an experienced group of skilled physicians on staff who fit the hospital’s culture and would stay. To accomplish this, the hospital’s leadership worked with a robust long-term staffing forecast.

When Katie initiated this search, she implemented the same strategy that she’d long used with this hospital. By casting a wide net, she could capture the interest of several candidates, even those who may not have previously considered a rural opportunity. Using multiple job boards and a targeted email campaign, Katie highlighted not only the community and the outdoor, family friendly lifestyle it offered, but she also focused on the hospital’s commitment to physician autonomy.

The Promise of Physician Autonomy is Hard to Turn Down

Dr. L quickly stood out as Katie was reaching out to 2020-21 residents. She had strong Minnesota ties and was already familiar with the region and the hospital, but Dr. L was honest in that she hadn’t strongly considered the benefits of practicing medicine in a rural area. After Katie explained that the hospital valued quality over quantity, which would allow her to provide the highest level of quality care without as much emphasis on patient volume, Dr. L agreed to Katie’s request to present her for consideration.

With a strong candidate in hand, the hospital’s leadership quickly set out to demonstrate why they have been so successful in recruiting preferred physicians.

Catering to the Needs of the Physician and the Family

One way a hospital can demonstrate its commitment to a candidate is through a well-planned, customized on-site interview experience. Dr. L’s schedule made an immediate interview tough, so it was scheduled for three months out. With only one chance to make a great first impression, the hospital used this time to ensure every detail in the itinerary would address the needs of Dr. L and her spouse.

Dr. L’s husband had his heart set on finding a place with some land, so the hospital connected him with a vetted real estate agent. It was vital to keep the husband engaged in the months leading up to the community tour and to help him feel invested in the process. Physicians who are considering a rural opportunity often do so with the expectation that it will be extremely family friendly. The hospital went the extra mile to recruit the entire family, not just Dr. L.

Prior to the interview, Dr. L had an itinerary in hand and could see the intense effort the hospital put into planning an interview and community tour that was tailored to her and her husband’s needs. Making a candidate feel special and welcomed is a key practice that the hospital integrates into every candidate visit. In this case, through earlier conversations, Dr. L had expressed her passion for providing addiction health and treatment, and the hospital had prepared ways in which it could support her ongoing efforts.

Welcome Home, Dr. L. Let Us Introduce You to the Doctor Who Made a Very Special Delivery

A social gathering was planned, so Dr. L and her husband could meet her colleagues, leadership, and other staff, and the hospital found the most unique way to demonstrate to Dr. L that it was invested in her past, present, and future. Since she was originally from the region, the leadership team reached out to the now-retired physician who had delivered Dr. L as a baby!

Creative and customized recruitment at its best, Dr. L appreciated the lengths the hospital went to in order to build a relationship with her that was based on more than just employment. Rather, she left the interview and community tour feeling part of a collaborative team, knowing the autonomy the hospital offered would allow her to practice medicine the way she had always envisioned, and assured that her husband’s needs were being met. She accepted the position and will soon take the next step in a very promising career.

If now is the right time for you to consider a new opportunity, the recruitment team at Jackson Physician Search is here to help you every step of the way. Search our open positions today and take the next step in finding a role that meets your career and lifestyle needs.

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