National Network, Local Know-How: Transforming Rural Physician Recruitment in Washington


When choosing a physician recruitment partner, it’s beneficial for a healthcare organization to select a firm with expertise in its specific region that has the resources and reputation to attract candidates from all over the country. As Senior Business Development Manager of the Jackson Physician Search Western Region, Eli Jiles regularly stresses the importance of these two factors with potential clients. Director of Recruitment for the Western Division Misha Fabick’s recent work with a rural critical access hospital in Washington demonstrates the impact of these criteria. It celebrates the culture of teamwork that makes Jackson Physician Search consistently successful with organizations nationwide.    

Eli first connected with the CEO of this Washington hospital in July of 2022. The organization had several needs, including a general surgeon and a physician assistant. The CEO was impressed by Jackson Physician Search’s track record of success with rural placements, and he appreciated that a dedicated recruiter would visit the town and get to know the hospital’s culture, as finding a good, long-term fit was imperative. He was also pleased with the terms in our transparent fee structure for opening multiple searches with us and opted to begin a physician recruitment partnership. 

A Beautiful–and Remote–Location

When Misha was assigned the search, she and Eli visited the client together. Located in a beautiful lake community in central Washington, the town was a popular destination for vacationers during the summer months. The town had approximately four thousand residents, but with surging in the summer, that figure more than doubled. The picturesque community would undoubtedly be attractive to candidates, but because it was located more than three hours from Seattle and Spokane, would they want to stay long-term? Determining this would be a priority for Misha as she evaluated applicants.


A Quick Recruit: General Surgeon Hired in 90 Days

The average time-to-fill for physicians varies by specialty and circumstances. Due to the remote location, Misha and Eli had prepared the client for a longer timeline. So, it was a pleasant surprise when Misha quickly received an inquiry from a general surgeon familiar with the area. His wife was from Washington, and they wanted to relocate to be closer to family. He had seen Misha’s job ad and wanted to learn more.

After thoroughly vetting him by phone, Misha was confident he would be a good fit for the organization. Not only did he meet all of the client’s criteria, but he also spoke Spanish–a qualification they were hoping to find. She presented him to the client, who invited him to interview on-site as soon as possible. Once they arrived, the couple fell in love with the town. The candidate’s wife was also a physician and felt it was the perfect place to set up her own private practice, solidifying they were both ready to build a life in the community. Less than a month later, he had signed a contract–just 90 days after opening the search.

Teamwork: The Ultimate Sourcing Tool

Misha persevered with the physician assistant search, responding to applicants, proactively combing databases, and calling leads; however, a referral from a colleague on the East Coast piqued Misha’s interest the most. The candidate was completing her PA training in Florida. Misha’s colleague had noted that she and her husband wanted a significant change, with the primary requirement being that they wanted to continue to live near a body of water. 

Misha reached out to see if the candidate might be interested. After all, the move from Florida to Washington is about as big of a geographical change as you can make in the lower 48! Sure enough, the candidate was intrigued and excited to be presented for the job. 

Misha’s only hesitation was the fact that the physician assistant did not speak Spanish; however, she was so sure of the cultural fit that she presented her to the client anyway. They agreed to talk to the candidate and immediately felt it, too. They quickly invited her to interview on-site. 

The candidate and her husband loved the community, and the organization instantly knew she was a great fit. Fewer than 30 days later, she was signing a contract into her new position. 

National Reach, Regional Expertise

While Misha continues to work on physician searches for the practice, they are delighted with her results thus far. Her familiarity with the Western region and her time spent visiting the community gave her an unparalleled understanding of the culture. The fact that she is part of a national firm with connections to candidates all over the country has also worked in the hospital’s favor, demonstrating why partnering with a firm with national reach and regional expertise is essential. 

If your healthcare organization is hiring a physician, the team at Jackson Physician Search is eager to help. Our time-tested digital recruitment strategy, executed by a recruiter with regional expertise and national reach, is set to deliver results. Contact us today to begin a dedicated physician recruitment partnership.

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