Nail the Physician Interview to Land the Job – Preparation is Key to Success


The on-site physician interview is a pivotal moment for physicians seeking a new job opportunity, and it signifies that you’re one step closer to receiving a job offer. If it’s a coveted role – one that you’ve worked your entire career for – you would be wise to prepare as though you’re going to have to edge out some serious competition. Let’s review the steps you can take to make a great first impression and to put yourself in the best position to land the job.

Have a Game Plan and Conduct a Background Check

To use a sports analogy, prior to each game or match, the team prepares and studies its game plan. Interviewing for a job opportunity is similar in that while a potential employer is evaluating your candidacy, you should also be doing the same of them. This ensures mutual fit, and it assures the hiring organization that you’re serious about the opportunity.

Start by researching the facility online and reaching out to colleagues who may have worked for the hospital or medical group to see what you can learn about the leadership team, management style and workplace culture.

You can glean quite a bit of information about the leadership’s management style and your potential colleagues by reviewing what they post on LinkedIn, whether they’re well-published in industry publications or journals, or if they are frequently invited to speak at association events.

Jackson Physician Search learned last year in a physician survey that there are three attributes in an organization’s culture that physicians most value. They include: a patient-focused environment, autonomy within their roles, and true teamwork. Your research should give you some insight on how well the organization aligns with this.

Additionally, it is important to research the community and its unique amenities but do keep an open mind to opportunities that are outside your desired location. Sometimes boots on the ground can change your perspective.

Prepare Your Own Questions

Conducting your “background check” should bring up some questions you’ll want to ask during the interview. Here are a few examples:

About the Organization

  • How often is the medical staff asked about or surveyed on staff satisfaction?
  • How would you describe the culture of the organization?
  • What is the board’s plan for navigating this era of change and uncertainty?
  • How are physician and administration disagreements handled?

About the Job Opportunity

  • What skills and abilities are needed to succeed in this position?
  • Can you explain how patient scheduling is typically handled?
  • How often are formal and informal reviews given to new employees?
  • What supports are in place for physician career planning?

About Compensation and Benefits

  • Can you walk me through your compensation structure?
  • Do you incorporate productivity formulas? If so, can you explain?
  • Are there any plans to change the compensation structure in the near future?
  • How would my practice be marketed, and what role would I play in that?

By coming prepared with a list of thoughtful questions, you’re setting yourself up to be able to quickly make an informed decision to accept or turn down a potential job offer – ideally after the first interview.

Making the Best Impression

Up until now, all of your efforts have been on preparing your game plan and doing the pre-work necessary to make the most of this in-person opportunity. Now, it all comes down to execution.

First impressions are essential. You are a competent, skilled physician, and that should be the persona you portray as you walk into the interview process. Dress the part, come prepared with copies of your CV, and bring a notepad to write down your thoughts.

Culture and fit are increasingly important for most physicians, and not surprisingly, it has become a vital component of hiring decisions. During the interview, be genuine. There are many traits that make a successful physician, but typically, administrators will break them down into eight qualities.

  • Communication – Arguably, one of the most important qualities in a physician is the ability to clearly communicate. During the interview, it is critical to listen and to respond concisely.
  • Empathy – How predisposed you are to understanding and relating to your patients is a key quality that administrators look for in candidates. Being able to express how you accomplish that through your patient interactions is an essential aspect of the interview process.
  • Passion for the Work – The fire and drive you had when choosing to become a doctor is imperative to maintain over the course of your career. In the interview, be prepared to describe what drove you to enter the field of medicine and how that passion can set you apart from others.
  • Honest/Forthright – Being fast and loose with the facts is not the way to make a great impression in an interview, just as it would be a disaster in your patient relationships. Demonstrating that you are upfront with your patients and provide them with the information to help them make decisions about their treatment plans is vital.
  • Professionalism – Your actions and demeanor in an interview is an indicator of how you will be with your patients. Having appropriate body language, maintaining eye contact, and appearing engaged are all winning traits in both interviews and patient settings.
  • Being Respectful – When you walk into an interview, it is important to check your ego at the door. Being genuine and approachable are traits that come across during an interview. Job candidates who talk down to others or try too hard to demonstrate superiority are going to put off the interview team.
  • Knowledgeable – Everyone wants a doctor who is skilled and has mastery in the chosen specialty. Instead of relying on what you have learned and earned, talk about what you have done. Have examples of situations or cases when you relied on your skills and abilities to overcome or solve a perplexing condition. Another piece of advice is to be prepared to talk about a situation where you didn’t have the answer and the steps you took to reach a positive outcome.
  • Attention to Detail – Carpenters measure twice and cut once. Physicians don’t have that luxury when it comes to making a proper diagnosis. In your interview, demonstrate your process for managing the thoroughness required to reach a proper diagnosis. Obviously, a major part of that is your ability to listen to the patient, but also to ask the right questions. Your level of engagement and interaction throughout the interview process can be a good indicator of your attention to detail about the job, the organization, and where you see yourself fitting into the environment.

A Final Note About Compensation

Compensation is always going to play a major role in your decision to accept or reject a job offer, but it usually isn’t the number one factor in deciding if it’s the right fit. Resist the urge to spend too much time in your interview on this topic, as it can be effectively addressed during negotiations. Also, it could inadvertently give the interview team the impression that you value compensation more than long-term fit.

When it does come up, be prepared to discuss what best meets your present needs. If you’re early in your career, student loan forgiveness may be most desirable, while mid-careerists may be more interested in a partnership track.

When it’s all said and done, the goal of the on-site interview is information gathering and putting yourself in the best position to receive a job offer for you and your family to consider. Taking the time to thoroughly prepare for the interview increases your odds of achieving both.

If you are planning on entering the physician job market, it may be the right time to discuss your options with an experienced physician recruitment professional. Contact our team today and learn how we can make a difference in your career search. We also invite you to try our physician salary calculator. You can see compensation information based on the specialty, state, and rural versus urban location.

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The Physician Recruitment Process Under Transformation: Will Video Interviews Become the Norm Post-COVID-19?


A slow return to a new normal means some of the millions of displaced Americans will begin returning to work, and financially hard-hit medical groups will schedule previously postponed elective procedures. Additionally, hospitals and other healthcare organizations can start hiring more physicians to handle the inevitable rush of patients and to meet 2020 staffing planning goals.

Of course, there’s great concern among the medical community, political officials, and citizens that successfully reopening the country come in tandem with improved diagnostic testing to keep the virus at bay. As history has taught us, a pandemic seemingly under control can return for a second wave with a vengeance. We are right to be cautious, which means some degree of social distancing will remain part of our daily lives for months to come.

Surprisingly, as a physician recruitment firm, we have found that the current shelter-in-place orders, travel restrictions, and banned onsite interviews haven’t halted physician recruitment. We’ve seen an increase in candidate activity, likely because physicians remain future-focused, and summer is an ideal time to make a major move to a new part of the country.

Knowing that 50,000 physicians are expected to relocate before the end of 2020, the majority of healthcare administrators have also kept an eye on the future even while battling the pandemic. We learned from a live poll taken during last week’s MGMA20 | The Operations Conference Online that only 14% of medical groups aren’t currently interviewing due to COVID-19. For those that are, they’ve adapted the interviewing process to continue filling key vacancies and to keep candidate pipelines full.

With the light beginning to appear at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, it’s becoming clear that the initial, in-person physician interview seen as a staple in the recruitment process may not always be necessary.

Video Interviews are Here to Stay – Potentially Reducing Recruitment Costs and Time-to-Fill

Another discovery during last week’s MGMA conference poll is nearly 63% of medical groups are currently interviewing candidates via video and phone, and some have no intention of stopping, as was uncovered during the subsequent Q&A. In the executive search realm where competition for candidates is sometimes less intense, the initial slate of candidates is usually interviewed via video. Only the final contenders are invited onsite for face-to-face interviews, as well as facility and community tours.

Now that tech-savvy healthcare organizations and recruitment firms who were already set up to deliver a digital, yet personalized, candidate recruitment experience have learned that the initial interview can be effectively done via video, it may be difficult to justify going back. Yes, for those physician searches that are ultra-competitive or where the need is immediate, the initial onsite interview may be the best approach. But for others, time and expense can be saved early in the recruitment process. Here are a few tips to provide an outstanding candidate experience:

  • Choose a Professional Location Where You Won’t be Interrupted. Make sure your office is well-lit, avoid having visible clutter, and eliminate the risk of interruption. You want to provide a professional atmosphere just as you would if the candidate was onsite with you in a boardroom.
  • Test Your Setup. Even if you are familiar with video conferencing technology, always do a test run with a colleague. This is to make sure your internet connection is stable, your webcam produces a clear picture, and your audio is working well.
  • Close Unnecessary Tabs and Turn Off Your Cellphone. Before the video call, shut down programs on your computer that aren’t needed and turn off your cell phone. The candidate is your number one priority.
  • Have the Candidate’s CV and Prepare Your Questions. In a typical interview environment, you would have questions ready. Physicians want to know that you are prepared and respect their time just as you want the same.
  • Focus on Connecting with the Candidate. Demonstrate engagement by maintaining eye contact, nodding, and smiling as you normally would. Remember, culture fit plays a huge role in a candidate’s decision to accept a job offer. So, be yourself and connect with the candidate authentically.
  • Follow-up. Provide timely follow-up and next steps, so that candidate interest remains high during any delays.

Create a Virtual Community Site Visit that Increases Enthusiasm

During the MGMA20 | The Operations Conference Online, a medical group administrator asked if the virtual site visit will also be the norm post-COVID-19. Permanent physician recruitment is unique in that it almost always requires relocation. Even the most adventurous prefer to visit the new location before uprooting family. But this doesn’t mean the virtual site visit can’t play a role even when travel resumes.

As recruiters, we’re accustomed to physicians occasionally rejecting a location before visiting. It’s our job to help them consider the total picture, which often includes a professional opportunity that could be a great stepping-stone towards their goals or a culture that is better aligned with their values. When this happens, we use a variety of tools that the travel and tourism industry has been using for decades to create a virtual visit. It’s effective in combatting pre-conceived notions about a region, state, or city.

As we anticipate seeing the initial interview done more often via video, consider adding a virtual site visit as part of your organization’s candidate experience. Here are some tips:

  • Schedule a Video Chat with Fellow Physicians. Typically, the site visit is an opportunity for physicians to get a first-hand look at the facility and to meet potential colleagues. If there’s a mismatch in personalities or culture, it can result in a lost candidate. This is an efficient way to introduce candidates to potential colleagues sooner in the process. Ideally, you would also connect the physician with someone who recently relocated and can relate to what the candidate is facing.
  • Show Off the Best Side of Your Community and Facility. Physicians are concerned with the well-being of their families when considering relocation. While you will still invite a candidate onsite for a final interview, don’t delay building excitement about the community and your facility. If your organization hasn’t already delved into video, hire a film crew to interview key stakeholders and get drone footage of your facility. Then, look to travel and tourism websites to find video footage of the community. Whether you upgrade the careers section of your website or have a standard email you share with candidates, these can go a long way.
  • Introduce Physician Candidates Early to Professional Resources. Candidates facing a relocation will seek out a real estate agent to assess the housing market. Save them time by vetting these professionals. Also, you could include school district information, religious institutions, personal banking advisors, sporting and cultural events, and anything else unique to your community.

For many of us, life feels upside down. We are optimistic that the world is starting to come through to the other side thanks to the tireless and heroic efforts of healthcare providers and other front-line service workers. While many lessons learned will be focused on improving the procurement of testing supplies and personal protective equipment, as well as accurate anti-body testing and vaccine development, there will undoubtedly be other valuable lessons available in all walks of professional and personal life.

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Once you identify there is mutual interest between your organization and a candidate:

  • Set up a phone call or video conference between the candidate and key stakeholders to conduct an initial interview.
  • If interest remains high, stay in touch weekly with the candidate, arrange additional discussions with potential colleagues, and send links to community information.
  • If appropriate, share potential agreements with the candidate.
  • Tentatively schedule the final onsite interview and explain the post-interview process.

Jackson Physician Search is currently the fastest-growing physician recruitment firm in the nation. A decade ago, we pioneered an all-digital recruitment methodology that helps hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, and medical groups to recruit physicians, physician leaders, and advanced practice providers.

We are recognized for our track record built on trust and transparency of processes and fees. Lean on the Jackson Physician Search team for guidance on how to jumpstart your hiring.

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How the Traditional Physician On-Site Interview is Changing During Covid-19


We’ve reached a point where the coronavirus, or COVID-19, is affecting us all. While this is uncharted territory for many, our healthcare system has successfully responded to pandemics and outbreaks in the past – always coming out stronger and wiser on the other side. We understand that this is an unprecedented time for physicians, nurses, and other care providers, and we are grateful for your dedication to protecting and restoring health in our communities.
As a physician recruitment firm, our mission is to facilitate the perfect match between a physician and a healthcare organization. We serve as an advisor to both throughout the recruitment process, ensuring a positive candidate experience. Currently, many of the healthcare organizations that we work with are making temporary changes to their on-site interview process for the safety and well-being of everyone. But even with these temporary changes, our clients are actively recruiting to fill physician vacancies.
So, as you keep your job search on track, we’re here to prepare you for three possible interview scenarios.

1. Continuing with on-site interviews but implementing additional screening

Understandably, some healthcare organizations have growing concerns about on-site interview visits. Pre-screening candidates is an effective strategy to mitigate exposure to COVID-19 on their campuses. Below is a sampling of screening questions you may be asked prior to scheduling an interview:
  • Are you currently under self-quarantine for COVID-19, because you have been diagnosed or have had direct exposure to an infected individual?
  • Have you traveled internationally in the last 28 days to China, Italy, South Korea, or any other countries with wide community spread?
  • Are you experiencing any flu-like or respiratory symptoms common to COVID-19, such as fever, sore throat, runny nose, and cough?
Furthermore, healthcare organizations that are continuing with on-site interviews may medically screen candidates for fever and other symptoms upon arrival.

2. Moving the interview off-campus

Some healthcare organizations are eliminating the risk of exposure to patients, providers, and other employees by moving interviews to an off-campus location. Any location that offers a distraction-free and private area to focus everyone’s attention on the interview will work – hotel or airport conference rooms are two viable options.
While this means you likely won’t have an opportunity to meet quite as many staff members, take a campus tour, or get an overall “feel” for the environment, many healthcare organizations have professional pictures and recruitment videos that will suffice. Plus, you can still visit the community to better assess your family’s interest in relocating. If you need help with that, check out our blog about preparing for an on-site interview.

3. Using video conferencing to conduct a “virtual” interview

With some areas experiencing more rapid community spread than others, such as New York City, or in states under a stay-home order, travel is not advised. If the organization must temporarily suspend face-to-face interviews, many are inviting candidates to participate in a video interview using Skype, Zoom, or another video conferencing tool. First impressions are still key to recruitment success, so be sure to make eye contact and eliminate potential distractions. Prepare for it as you would an in-person interview. It might help you to make notes about what you want to talk about. Our guide on defining your physician brand can help you refine your talking points and zero in on what you want the conversation to focus on.
Our expert physician recruiters should be viewed as a resource and are happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have. Part of their responsibility is to aid communication between you and the hiring healthcare organization. Keep in mind that finding the perfect opportunity can take some time, so we will continue to share job opportunities with you via email. You can sign up for job alerts to receive those emails or visit our job board to see all our open searches.

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How to Make The Most of Your Physician Job Search

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Why an Experienced Recruiter is Invaluable


A 15-bed, critical access hospital, in remote, rural Colorado contracted Jackson Physician Search to recruit a Family Practitioner who has additional training in Obstetrics (FPOB).  The story behind this search illustrates the advantages of partnering with seasoned physician recruiters.  The combination of years of experience, a good relationship with the hospital, and above all else, the generous hospitality of the community were all factors in successfully finding a physician that is a great fit.

The first challenge of any primary care recruitment undertaking is the limited supply.  Add to this hurdle the very rural and remote nature of this town, coupled with having no local hotel to even accommodate candidates during an onsite interview, and the implications of this challenge were compounded.

Following a search kick-off phone call, we were quickly able to find and contact an FPOB candidate, Dr. M.  One of the keys to a successful placement is to keep the recruitment process moving as quickly as possible. With the demand for physicians so high, physicians, whether actively seeking a new position or not, regularly receive job solicitations.

The next challenge occurred right after the introductory phone call between Dr. M and the hospital’s CEO.  The CEO resigned leaving the process at a standstill.  With his contact at the hospital no longer available, we did some investigating and reached out to the Hospital’s Board President to carry on the recruitment process with Dr. M.

Next steps included an onsite interview.  Dr. M has a family with three young children and had no one with whom she could leave her children to allow her and her husband to make the trip to Colorado alone.  With the closest hotel to the facility 40 minutes away, the Board President graciously offered to have Dr. M, her husband, and their three children stay with him and his wife. Their home was well equipped for littles having grandchildren of their own, and they even prepared home-cooked meals for the weekend.  As if playing host was not enough, they also watched the children throughout the weekend while Dr. and Mr. M explored the community.

As luck would have it, Dr. M’s interview was to take place on the same day the interim-CEO candidate was visiting the hospital. Even the greatest amount of strategery and best laid out plans are sometimes spoiled. Dr. M interviewed under the impression she would be joining a staff that included two other FPOBs; however, one of the FPOBs called out “sick” that day and ended up resigning shortly after Dr. M’s interview.

After the onsite interview, we spent a great deal of time working with the Board Chair, the interim CEO, Dr. M, and both party’s legal representation to keep the recruitment process moving forward. Given the position went from joining two to only one other provider, Dr. M was very concerned about the workload, call requirements and other issues created by being short-staffed. Miraculously, through trust, open communication, and professionalism by all parties, mutual interest continued.  Before making an official offer to Dr. M, the hospital needed to first onboard the interim CEO.

Working together as a team, the greatest contributing factor to this search’s success, the recruiter, the Board Chair, and interim CEO were able to alleviate Dr. M’s concerns.  4 months after the interview date Dr. M signed her employment agreement!

This successful placement story is a strong reminder of how an experienced recruiter can be such a valuable resource throughout the recruitment process. One of the difference makers in this scenario was our recruiter’s wherewithal to seek out and involve the Board Chair after the CEO’s resignation.  It was then the generosity and hospitality of the Board Chair, his wife, and the community that sealed the deal. Dr. M even commented afterwards that she had interviewed with large systems in the past, and to experience the level of community involvement in helping facilitate the site visit, was a breath of fresh air.

It is the genuine partnership between Jackson Physician Search and this hospital, each playing their respective yet collaborative roles, a small community in Colorado got new access to quality healthcare close to home.  If your physician recruitment process could utilize the experienced partnership of recruitment professionals, contact Jackson Physician Search today, and learn more about what our national team of consultants can do for you.

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Take Time to Assess Your Surroundings During Your On-Site Interview


With competition for your services as a physician being fierce, healthcare organizations are increasingly looking for individuals who fit their culture in addition to having the necessary skills to succeed.

While administrators are going out of their way to attract and hire doctors who are a good fit, it is important that you do the same for yourself. If you are being brought in for an on-site interview, it is a good indication that they think your values and skills are a match for the organization.  Don’t pass up the opportunity to do some reconnaissance of your own about the organization as well as the community.  Is it a place you can envision settling into?  A place you might even want to raise a family?  Fortunately, like anyone who is in a high-demand career, you have the opportunity to focus on finding a job that fits your career and life goals.

Think About Your Time Away from the Job

If you are going to avoid burnout, you have to have access to things that you like to do to recharge your batteries.  Do you like to fish and hike? Then check out your proximity to parklands.  Maybe you are a cycler or a runner.  You can search online for local running or bicycling clubs. Another underutilized resource for individuals who are relocating is the local chamber of commerce.  People work for the chamber because they know everybody in town and are connected to everyone who matters.  You can connect with them online, it’s a great place to start your research.

Spend Some Time in the Community

Make your way around the downtown or take a drive in the suburbs, it is important to get a feel for the speed and vibrancy of life there.  Strike up a random conversation with the person who is filling up their gas tank at the pump next to you.  You have made your career by gleaning health information from strangers, it is just as easy to learn about non-health related things in the same way.

Assess the Facility Environment

What are your thoughts as you walk through the front doors? Do the folks at the front desk have a smile on their face?  How about the other clinicians?  What can you read from their body language?  Head over to the coffee shop or the cafeteria and strike up a conversation with any physicians or residents you come across.  You might be surprised what you can learn from a little human intelligence, and it will help you in the interview process.

Now, that you have your own sense of the community, the facility, and the people who work there, there is a frame of reference for you to lean on during the interview.  You may have learned something that you want to confirm or ask about. The members of the interview team will measure you up at the same time you can measure them against your recon experience. While it may feel a bit like a spy novel, we are talking about your career and your happiness and engagement in that career.

Jackson Physician Search recruiters personally visit their client’s location so they can help candidates accurately evaluate fit.

If you want to know more about any of our physician opportunities, please contact us.

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How to Establish a Successful Physician Recruitment Partnership


Physician recruitment is increasingly challenging for hospitals and medical practices. All too often, the demand for a particular specialty far outweighs the supply, meaning recruiters are asked to do the near impossible. Many times, bringing in additional help is the only logical solution, and yet, how can you be certain the help you get will be the help you need?

When establishing a partnership with a physician recruitment firm, it’s critical that you, first, choose a firm with market expertise, a clearly defined strategy and process, and a commitment to transparency. But your role in a successful recruitment partnership doesn’t end with selection. For optimal results, there are specific things both sides of the partnership must bring to the table. 

Keep reading to learn what you should expect from your physician recruitment partner and what you, too, should do to improve physician recruitment results. 

Must-Haves from Physician Recruitment Firms 

Your physician recruitment partner should have a track record of success in your region and with the specialty for which you are recruiting. They should also be able to communicate their candidate sourcing strategy and recruitment process, as well as set realistic expectations for how long a search could take. Beyond these, here are some additional things you should expect of your partner.

1. A Thorough Site Visit 

In order to effectively sell your organization to physician candidates, the recruiter must have firsthand knowledge of it. By spending time in the location and getting to know you, other administrators, and even some of the physicians and staff at the organization, the recruiter will be able to paint a full picture of what it will be like for the candidate to live and work in your community. 

This may be especially true in rural areas, where location can be an obstacle for candidates to overcome. If the recruiter has spent time there, they can experience for themselves the area’s positive attributes and authentically present it to the candidate. This was certainly the case for a JPS client located in a small town on the border of Colorado and New Mexico, where recruiter Misha Fabick’s visit was critical to the success of the search.   

“I think it is crucial for the recruiter to experience the town and the organization for the first time the way a candidate would,” explains Tara Osseck, Regional VP of Recruitment at Jackson Physician Search. “This allows the recruiter to see those surface-level pros and cons and think about what could be highlighted or tweaked to allow a better first impression. The visit should be viewed as a trial run of the physician’s on-site interview. Any rough spots can be smoothed over in this early stage.”

2. Consistent Communication

A good physician recruitment partner will provide clear and consistent communication throughout the process. It is important for the recruiter to check in and provide updates on the efforts being made to find qualified candidates. This ensures all parties know what is going on and can reevaluate the strategy if needed.

Recruiter Angela Desin stresses the importance of keeping the client informed, whether managing a single search or ten searches.

“For one client, where we are contracted for searches in multiple specialties, I meet with them every other week,” Angela says. “I send them a spreadsheet listing every specialty alongside the number of needs in each one, the number of applicants, and interviews. I also make sure they have a continually updated list of active candidates and where they are in the process.

“It benefits everyone to stay in tight communication,” she continues. “It helps to hold both the recruiter and client accountable for their parts of the process. I have made six placements this year with this client, and we have a nice and open relationship. If a certain specialty is not having activity, we can then discuss market trends and feedback and brainstorm on ideas to make the ad–or the job itself–more appealing.”

JPS recruiters can share story after story to demonstrate the importance of clear and consistent communication in successful recruitment outcomes. Bottom line–a physician recruiter must provide transparency into the process by providing regular updates, whether those be written or verbal.

3. Creativity

The mounting challenges of physician recruitment demand people who can think outside of the box. Whether it’s a new sourcing method, a unique way of framing the job, or a proposal to consider a different kind of hire than you planned. This type of creative consultation is increasingly valuable when recruiting physicians.  

This was certainly the case for a JPS client planning to hire an OB/GYN, an Internist, and a Family Medicine physician. When these specialties proved especially hard to find, recruiter Katie Moeller used her market expertise and creativity to propose they consider hiring from the relatively large pool of FM-OBs coming out of residency. The client was thrilled to make three hires so quickly, and the physicians felt lucky to find the opportunity. 

Must-Dos for Hiring Healthcare Organizations

Once you have vetted and hired a reputable physician recruitment firm, you may be tempted to step back from the process–at least until presented with a candidate. While it’s true that a good physician recruitment firm will alleviate many of the burdensome tasks of physician recruitment, it’s also true that success is more likely when the hiring organization is involved. This doesn’t mean micromanaging every step your recruiter takes, but it does mean doing the following three things. 

1. Let the Recruiter Behind the Curtain 

A good physician recruiter will want to learn everything he or she can about the position, the organization, and the location. Welcome the recruiter to spend time with you and answer questions to the best of your ability. Be prepared to share financial details about patient volumes, productivity targets, and physician earnings. Good recruiters understand that candidates will only accept an offer if they have a complete picture of potential earnings, so the recruiter needs to have all of those details upfront.

Director of Recruiting Katie Moeller has seen firsthand how this can make or break a physician search. When a group retained her to help them find a new partner, they provided her with a base salary, but even when she pushed for more information, the partners were very vague about their patient volumes and the projected earnings for the new partner.

“In total, we had five very strong candidates interview,” Katie says. “The practice extended offers to each, but one by one the candidates turned them down because the practice was hesitant to share details about compensation, volumes, and overall long-term earning potential.” 

When they finally analyzed patient volumes to make the projections Katie had requested from the start, they discovered they weren’t quite ready to take on a new partner–a realization that could have occurred much earlier had the group given Katie the information she needed. 

On the other hand, another recent client of Katie’s was totally transparent about the patient volumes, productivity, and even the earnings of individual (anonymous) physicians within the group. Armed with this information, Katie was able to clearly show candidates how they could work at 40-50th percentile productivity and still earn 70-80th percentile compensation.  

“Because of the client’s transparency, our best candidate turned down two other competing offers–with higher base salaries–because she could see the details laid out in front of her and knew my client could provide the highest earning potential and the best work-life balance,” Katie explains.

The best recruiters will take an investigative approach as they learn about the job opening, peeling back the layers until they get a complete understanding. The more familiar they are with what the opportunity has to offer, the better equipped they will be to market the job effectively. This was also true for JPS recruiter Kristin Dunbar. As she got to know the unique details of a surgical-focused OB/GYN job at a Texas hospital, she knew it would appeal to only a small segment of OB/GYNs. However, because she had a complete understanding of how the job would fit into the broader organization and community, she knew just how to target, and ultimately find, a “unicorn” candidate.

2. Respond to Communication Quickly

When your recruiter presents an interested candidate, it’s critical that you are ready to respond quickly. 

“Time kills deals.” Tara Osseck states it frankly. “Physicians are contacted about jobs multiple times per week, so if you can’t move quickly, they will lose interest.”

Of course, Tara understands how difficult it can be for the internal team to keep the process moving. Before moving to JPS, she spent ten years working in recruitment for a Midwestern hospital. 

“The reality is, our clients wear so many hats and are pulled in multiple directions,” she explains. “And it can be really difficult to align the schedules of executives and busy physician partners with candidates for calls and then interviews. Part of my job is to convey the sense of urgency and keep them on a timeline.”

In almost every JPS success story, the client’s ability to react quickly is noted as a critical element of success. Recruiter Sydney Johnson recalls one search for a client in a major Southeastern metro where this was especially true. The client first reached out to JPS the day before Thanksgiving–the beginning of a season in which both clients and physicians tend to react slowly, if they react at all. However, thanks to the client’s speed of response, Sydney was able to market the job and present a candidate quickly. The client jumped at the first opportunity to interview and was soon extending an offer. Negotiations also moved quickly, and Sydney ultimately filled the Family Medicine job in just 42 days. 

3. Be Open to Consultation 

You’ve hired a recruitment firm for their expertise, so be open to receiving it. Whether they suggest improvements to your interview process, ways to make a physician job opportunity more attractive, or even creative alternatives to your initial job specifications, commit to considering the ideas. 

For one Northeastern practice in a major metro, applying a JPS recruiter’s feedback about broadening the search parameters was essential to eventually finding the physician they needed. Good recruiters find creative solutions that don’t always fit your original expectations, but with an open mind, you may just discover that the unexpected answer leads to the right physician. 

The worsening physician shortage, increased physician burnout, and a spike in physician retirements will only escalate the difficulty of physician recruiting. Now more than ever, you need a trusted physician recruitment to help carry the burden. Selecting the right partner is a must, but the success of the partnership depends on both parties bringing some specific things to the table. For recruiters, they must do whatever it takes to fully understand the job, the organization, and the location. They must also provide clear, consistent communication and creative solutions.  For the hiring organization, give the recruiter the information they need in order to better understand the job, the organization, and the community. They should also commit to responding quickly and being open to feedback. If both sides can deliver in these areas, there is greater opportunity for physician recruitment success.  

Are you seeking a trusted physician recruitment partner to provide transparency and creative solutions? Our team of recruitment experts are here to learn more about your needs. Contact us today.


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Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

Click the Get Started button if you’re ready to speak with one of our physician recruitment experts.

How to Leverage Physicians’ Job Search Motivations to Improve Physician Recruitment Results


Physicians search for jobs for a variety of reasons. Some hope to earn more money with a new employer. Others may want a physician job with better work-life balance or more collaborative leadership. Then, there are those who are looking for new jobs because their families want or need to relocate. Whatever the reason, each year, approximately 7% of active physicians look for new jobs. This, of course, is in addition to physicians coming out of residencies and fellowships who are seeking employment for the first time. All of these physicians have different motivations, priorities, and expectations for their physician job searches. 

For those tasked with recruiting physicians, it’s critical to understand the variety of reasons that may be driving a physician’s job search. The most effective recruitment strategy will tailor the physician job ads, the interview experience, and the offer to speak directly to those reasons. Keep reading to find out how to leverage physicians’ job search motivations to improve recruitment results.

Target the Potential “Whys” in Your Digital Recruitment Marketing 

Before you begin marketing the physician job, think about the potential motivations your ideal candidate may have. For example, if you are seeking someone coming out of residency, that physician is likely carrying a lot of student loan debt and would be interested in student loan repayment assistance. When you craft the physician job ad, highlight loan repayment in the headline, and in the details, call out the development opportunities and support provided to help the physician build a successful career.  

Of course, your physician job likely comes with a host of perks, which will appeal to a variety of candidates. Create several versions of your physician job ad that highlight specific benefits. So, in the prior example, you have created one ad that appeals specifically to residents or other physicians early in their careers. But your small town location might be an attractive alternative to burned-out city physicians. These physicians might be drawn to job ads promoting a healthy work-life balance and a slow-paced, family-friendly community. Craft a second version of the ad that highlights these benefits in the headline.   

In the early stages of the physician recruitment process, you don’t know which aspects of the job will be most appealing to your ideal candidate, but you can make an informed guess. Use data on what physicians of each generation want most and test physician job ads that focus on those specific wants and needs. By creating different versions of the job ad, you increase the chances of speaking directly to candidates seeking a specific change–no matter what that change may be. Once you meet the applicants and better understand their job search motivations, you can begin to tailor the process specifically to them.   

Tailoring the Interview and Offer to a Specific “Why”

After speaking to candidates on the phone, you should have a better idea of what is motivating their physician job search and what they are hoping to find in a new physician job. With this knowledge, you can tailor the on-site interview to address their specific wants and needs. For example, if a candidate shares with you that he or she is hoping to find an employer that gives physicians a voice and a role in the decision-making at the organization, you will know to schedule time for the candidate to meet with leaders who can explain the role physicians have in decision making and provide examples of suggestions and ideas that have been implemented as a result of physician feedback. The candidate should also meet with peers who can share their personal experiences with leadership. Be sure to tell the people the candidate will meet with that this is a priority, so they will adequately address the topic in conversations.

When ready to extend an offer to a candidate, be sure to incorporate what you know matters most to the candidate. If work-life balance is a priority, consider offering an option to work a 4-day work week or a work-from-home administrative day and document the option in the offer letter. If the candidate has expressed concerns about finding a house in the area, include a housing stipend to allow the physician and family to rent until they find the right home.  

By the time you are ready to make an offer, you should know what is most important and be able to tailor the offer to provide it. This not only serves to meet the need but also shows the physician that your organization listens and cares about what physicians want. 

Understand the Ongoing “Why” to Improve Physician Retention

Ideally, physicians continue to receive this message throughout the physician onboarding process and beyond. If the organization is successful in making physicians feel heard and responding to those needs, it will not only see better physician recruitment results, but physician retention will improve as well. 

It doesn’t take a mind reader to know what a physician wants from a job, but it does take practice. The recruitment experts at Jackson Physician Search are skilled at discovering what physicians want most in their jobs and tailoring the recruitment process to answer those needs. Contact a recruiter today to learn more. 

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[White Paper] COVID-19 Changed the Physician Job Market: What Happened and What’s Next for Physician Jobs?


Ask how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted physicians and you’ll get as many answers as there are physicians. Each one has and continues to experience the pandemic differently, however some common themes emerge. From the battle-worn emergency medicine physicians and hospitalists who experienced COVID-19 up close in ERs and ICUs, to the primary care physicians and psychiatrists who seamlessly transitioned to telemedicine, to the surgeons who were forced to stop working altogether, physicians’ experiences with the pandemic will certainly influence how they move forward.

As we continue to recover, we asked:

  • Are physicians thinking differently about their careers because of COVID?
  • For those seeking change, what are their job prospects?
  • How did COVID impact the way healthcare organizations will now approach physician recruiting?

Physician Recruitment Continues to be as Dynamic as Ever

As the President of a national physician recruitment firm, I regularly check in with our teams of physician recruiters working all over the country to learn what’s happening in their specific markets. I recently interviewed the Regional Vice Presidents of Recruiting in each division to get their takes on how COVID is changing the physician job market.

These Jackson Physician Search VPs lead impressive teams, but they too are in the trenches, working daily with physicians and healthcare organizations in every imaginable setting—from big urban markets to some of the most rural parts of the country. After speaking with each of them at length, I can share that the news is positive for physicians seeking jobs. Physicians are in high demand, so it’s not surprising to hear that healthcare organizations are rolling out the red carpet to attract the best candidates.

Included within the paper are insights gleaned from speaking with four Regional Vice Presidents of Recruiting at Jackson Physician Search. I’ll not only share observations on the current market, but I’ll also provide actionable takeaways for both physicians seeking new opportunities and the organizations that seek to hire them.

Six Takeaways

  1. After a temporary dip, demand for physicians is once again high as patient volumes begin to return to pre-COVID levels while an increased number of physicians report they plan to retire or change jobs.
  2. More physicians than typical are leaving large metropolitan areas and considering jobs in alternative markets.
  3. Interest in telemedicine continues to increase, but its future is uncertain as post-COVID reimbursement rates are still to be determined.
  4. Heightened physician demand has yet to cause significant changes to base compensation and signing bonuses, but the lingering effects of the pandemic will likely shift other aspects of physician compensation.
  5. Virtual interviews and site visits are here to stay as both parties benefit from the convenience and time saved.
  6. Flexibility and an open mind are still critical in the physician job search for both physicians and those who seek to hire them.

Download the Paper to Get Important Insights about the Current Physician Job Market 

For more information about how your healthcare organization can use this paper to improve your physician recruitment results, contact Jackson Physician Search today. Our team is made up of healthcare industry professionals who have spent decades recruiting physicians, physician leaders, and advanced practice providers for healthcare organizations coast-to-coast.

About Jackson Physician Search

Jackson Physician Search is an established industry leader in physician recruitment and pioneered the recruitment methodologies standard in the industry today. The firm specializes in the permanent recruitment of physicians, physician leaders and advanced practice providers for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers and medical groups across the United States. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., the company is recognized for its track record of results built on client trust and transparency of processes and fees. Jackson Physician Search is part of the Jackson Healthcare® family of companies.

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Community Pitches in to Charm an Internal Medicine Physician During Recruitment


To be successful in the highly competitive world of physician recruitment, rural healthcare facilities have to go the extra mile to win top talent. When seeking to recruit an Internal Medicine physician who also appeared to be a perfect cultural fit, our client in Texas did just that by getting its community members involved.

The client, a 49-bed community hospital in a very rural community, had been working with another search firm but was having little success. Deciding to change gears, the hospital’s CEO agreed to a meeting with Jackson Physician Search Vice Presidents, Dane Altman and Brent Barnacle. The CEO expressed frustration with an ongoing search for an Internal Medicine physician. None of the presented candidates checked all the boxes. The CEO explained that he had rigid opinions about finding a candidate who had the right blend of skills and experience, and who would also be a cultural fit with the community.

Dane and Brent prescribed the digital physician recruitment strategies pioneered by Jackson Physician Search.

The Importance of Cultural Fit on Physician Retention

The CEO agreed to give the Internal Medicine Search to Jackson Physician Search. Search Consultant Dan Rixon got to work right away to learn as much as possible about the facility, the community, and what the hospital was specifically looking for in a candidate. While his goal was to cast a wide net for physician candidates, he only wanted to submit those who were likely to fit.

Working closely with the CEO and the staff, Dan gained an understanding of why cultural fit was such an essential component for the organization. This part of West Texas is very close-knit, family-oriented, and has strong community values, making it vital to find someone connected with these values.

Dan took it to heart when the CEO told him, “I don’t want to waste my time with candidates who are only going to stay short term.” Identifying physicians who share the same mission and values of your organization and community is the first step to long-term physician retention.

Knowing this, Dan focused on the family-oriented culture of the organization and leadership’s commitment to allow physicians to practice with greater autonomy. He crafted a physician job description to appeal to candidates with Texas ties and to highlight the robust compensation package. Dan’s strategy garnered a strong response, but it was still necessary to hone in on the specific qualities of each candidate to ensure he or she would be a great fit. While screening candidates, Dan wanted to be sure each one understood just how rural the location was in order to eliminate any candidates who wouldn’t be happy long-term in the role. He balanced this by explaining the benefits that would come with working for a strong, well-operated organization.

A Community Committed to Recruiting the Entire Family

Ultimately, Dan presented six candidates for consideration. From there, the CEO narrowed it to two. During the on-site interview, the hospital’s administration went all out to ensure the candidates gained an accurate measure of the community and all it offered. The CEO even likes to host candidates at his home for an informal dinner in order to get a better sense of the person, not just the doctor.

Physicians are invaluable to small towns, and this one sure knows how to make a doctor feel special. The community rallied together to make the chosen candidate and his family feel welcomed and engaged. Some of the women in the community generously spent an entire day showing the physician’s wife around town to be certain she felt at home.

If you can help a physician and his or her’s family to feel entrenched in the community, then you are on the right path to physician recruitment success. In our 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey, 82% of physicians responded that the community tour had a positive influence on their decision to accept the position.

Because of the community’s commitment to recruiting the entire family, the Internal Medicine physician was able to imagine life in this Texas town. The community’s genuine nature and kindness made his experience feel like so much more than a job interview. Rather he felt that he found his forever personal and professional home. For rural healthcare organizations, this all-hands-on-deck approach can often make the difference in landing or losing a quality physician.

If you need a strategic recruitment partner to help you navigate physician recruitment and retention, Jackson Physician Search is ready to help every step of the way. Contact our experienced recruitment professionals today to learn more.

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Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

Click the Get Started button if you’re ready to speak with one of our physician recruitment experts.

Six Physician Recruitment Metrics Every Organization Should Know


In our previous installment, we discussed the costs incurred with physician vacancies. If you missed it, find it here. In today’s ultra-competitive physician recruitment environment, the old axiom “Time is Money” is more relevant than ever. Depending on the specialty, a physician vacancy can result in over $150,000 per month in lost revenue.

In addition to lost revenue, recruitment costs to source, interview, and hire a new physician can also quickly add up. It has been established that from the time a position becomes vacant until a new physician signs a contract, internal costs incurred by a healthcare organization can easily reach $250,000 or more (including sign-on bonuses and relocation expenses). With that amount of money at stake, it is vital to benchmark your recruitment processes to identify weaknesses and inefficiencies and strive for continuous improvement.

Always Track These Physician Recruitment Metrics

At a minimum, every healthcare organization should track the following physician recruitment metrics:

  1. Time to Fill/Time to Hire
  2. Cost per Hire
  3. Physician Sourcing Statistics
  4. Number of Interviews to Hire
  5. Acceptance Rate Percentage
  6. Physician Retention Rates

If any of these data points are not available to your administrative team, it is difficult to gauge the effectiveness of your entire recruitment process. The good news is that the data is readily available in our digital world and easy to collate into actionable reporting.

1. Time to Fill/Time to Hire

It is essential to differentiate time-to-fill rates versus your time-to-hire, as they are often confused or used interchangeably. Both are important indicators of physician recruiting efficiency but tell a different story.

  • Time to Fill – This indicator measures the total number of days it takes from the moment a job vacancy is posted to when an offer is accepted. Clearly, this metric indicates how effective your search was, but with a physician search, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Hence, the need for more data. If you’re curious, you can find Jackson Physician Search’s average time to fill for several specialties by using our physician recruitment ROI calculator.
  • Time to Hire – As you know, the time between a physician accepting an offer until he or she begins seeing patients is measured in months, not days. Your time-to-hire metric should track when a candidate enters your pipeline until the first day on the job. Having this data available provides a better picture of your accumulated costs, which can then be used to track recruitment ROI.

2. Physician Cost Per Hire

Throughout the recruitment process, costs are accumulating. If you’re conducting the physician search in-house, you’re likely advertising the physician job ad across several physician job boards. If you’ve enlisted the support of a physician recruitment firm like Jackson Physician Search, you’re likely incurring recruiter fees. Tracking and keeping all of these costs visible to the team is one way to ensure everyone understands the importance of acting with sense of urgency.

3. Physician Sourcing Statistics

You can make sure the dollars you are spending in a physician search are not misplaced by tracking the effectiveness of the sources you are using. By now, your organization should be fully invested in a digital recruitment strategy. Simply put, physicians are no different than most in that they are digitally connected to their world. As many as 94% of all physicians use their cellphones for professional reasons, and 91% of them prefer to receive job notifications via email or text over direct mail and cold calls. Reliance on direct mail campaigns to source your next physician hire is ineffective. By closely studying which methods are actually bringing in candidates, you can make more informed decisions about the best use of your recruitment dollars.

4. Number of Interviews to Hire

One metric that is often overlooked but paints a very clear picture of recruiting efficiency is the number of interviews to hire. How many interviews does it take with a candidate before you decide to present an offer? Or better yet, how many different people does an individual have to meet with? One of the keys to developing an efficient process is making sure that the key decision-makers are available to participate. You will find a correlation between higher costs per hire and a high number of interviews, which should provide enough motivation to find ways to improve that process. Estimates show that reducing interview-to-hire ratios from 5:1 to 3:1 can save a healthcare organization $18,000. Additionally, in our recent research, we learned that only 27% of physician respondents decided to accept an employment offer after one on-site interview, so it is vital to make that first impression, a powerful one.

5. Acceptance Rate Percentage

In this highly competitive physician search environment, one of your most important indicators will be acceptance rate. Physicians are receiving 20 to 40 job notifications per week, which illustrates the competition for their services. Sometimes a poor offer acceptance rate is an indicator that your compensation data is off. This can be rectified with market research and bringing your salary offers in line with current rates. Or, you may want to supplement the contract dollars by adding in more vacation time or research opportunities. A physician recruitment partner can also supply your hiring team with real-time accurate data by specialty for your area.

In most cases, the best candidates have multiple offers to choose from. The biggest mistake you can make is not having the framework of a contract ready to go as quickly as possible, ideally during the on-site interview. If you are waiting a week or ten days to get executive approval on an offer, you risk losing the candidate.

Improving your acceptance rate by 20%, can save the organization $24,000.

6. Physician Retention Rates

In many ways, tracking physician retention rates can be the most perplexing of all the benchmarking activities. There are so many factors involved in retention that it can be a scary topic to tackle. One way to measure retention is by looking at your early physician turnover rate. This is the percentage of new hires that voluntarily leave the company within a year after starting. If this is happening with any frequency, you are either attracting the wrong type of candidate, or there is an organizational culture issue.

Physicians today place much more emphasis on finding a cultural fit for their services. It is critical to cultivate a work environment that is aligned with your organization’s mission and values. Having a strong identity/culture provides the roadmap for what type of physician is best suited to succeed. Cultural fit and other factors can be found when tracking retention over more extended periods, such as a 3-year and a 5-year rate. These indicators will force you to take a deeper dive into why the staff is leaving, but they are critical exercises to pursue.

Next Steps

The benchmarks we have covered are probably numbers you already have access to, and for most, they are being reported on a regular basis. The question is, “What are we doing with this data?”

Below are a few steps you can take today to start improving your recruitment processes through benchmarking:

  • Establish a small team, and charter them with a benchmarking review. Tip: Empower them to make decisions about what data to use and how to report on it.
  • The benchmarking team should determine if the appropriate data is being collected and what may be missing.
  • Determine who is receiving the benchmarking data and who else needs to be receiving it.
  • Look at the data over the past 12 to 24 months and look for trends and areas of opportunity.
  • Determine where the bottlenecks are. For example, are you losing quality candidates to competing offers? Is it a process issue or a personnel issue?
  • Consider whether a third party could help you improve your process.

The Quantity Over Quality Trap

Because the costs can be so staggering, it is easy to veer towards recruiting quantity over quality. That trap will end up costing you more in the long run because you aren’t placing enough emphasis on finding the right candidate. There is a balance required in attracting and hiring candidates who are best suited to fit and succeed in your organization. The benefits of hiring for fit (and, conversely, the costs of making the wrong hire) serve to reinforce the benefits of having a finely tuned physician recruitment plan. Here are a few tips to help you find the balance between quantity and quality:

  • Start with an objective assessment of your workplace culture.
  • Strive to understand what makes your best physicians successful.
  • Discover how you can highlight your differentiators to attract like-minded physicians.
  • Focus on the candidate whose values match what your team, organization, and community can provide.

The above tips are a starting point. As you learn and understand your organizational culture and the qualities that make up your most successful physicians, you are developing the strategic blueprint for future candidates.


If you have given all of the above serious consideration and still don’t have a clear path toward improvement, it is time to engage reinforcements. Today’s physician recruitment landscape is highly competitive, and finding a trusted physician search firm may be your best opportunity to source and land the quality physician candidates you need. Even if you are only looking for a partner to supplement your in-house staff, that can be the difference in seeing better results. Ideally, you will find a partner with the skills, experience, and resources to take an objective look at your processes and help you implement improvements. The key is to start paying attention to the data and taking whatever actions are necessary.

Our next installment will walk you through how to set up each physician search for a successful outcome. From targeting specific candidate types, to building a robust candidate pipeline, there are strategies available that increase your likelihood of finding the right physician.

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Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

Click the Get Started button if you’re ready to speak with one of our physician recruitment experts.