We recently wrote an article for the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association about how community health centers can overcome primary care physician recruitment challenges. Below is an excerpt from the article.
Considering that more than 70% of our nation’s Community Health Centers (CHCs) report having at least one physician vacancy, already underserved populations may soon be facing a crisis. As you well know, CHCs provide much more than just primary care services – they have become integral to providing comprehensive care services for millions of residents in America’s smaller communities and rural towns. Today’s ongoing primary care physician shortage is threatening this care, requiring CHC administrators to find more creative ways of attracting and retaining physicians.
In years past, CHCs were able to offer physicians quality of life benefits that were exclusive to community health systems, such as no call, no weekends, and student loan reimbursements. But today, these same benefits are being touted by larger systems and metropolitan hospitals. Now, CHCs have to compete with larger systems that can offer higher salaries and larger sign-on bonuses. With a shrinking candidate pool and diminishing quality of life differentiators, the key for CHC administrators is to ensure that every physician hire is made with retention in mind. The best way to accomplish that is to focus on hiring physicians who are a cultural fit within the organization. First, let’s examine how CHC administrators can make sure their organizations are recruitment ready to hire for fit.