When Jackson Physician Search Director of Recruiting Katie Moeller first met with her new client, a 100-bed, rural hospital in Iowa, they needed help recruiting an OB-GYN to support the current (and only) OB-GYN on staff. Katie knew all too well the challenges of recruiting a rural OB-GYN physician, but she was prepared to do whatever it takes to find the right candidate.
Just as the OB-GYN search got underway, the client came back to her with a second request. They also needed to find an Internal Medicine physician. This too, would be especially challenging in a rural setting, but Katie diligently took down all the details and prepared to launch a search for the second opening.
A Market-Driven, Outside-the-Box Idea
When the client came to her with a third request, however, a lightbulb came on in Katie’s head. This third search would be targeting a Family Medicine physician, so Katie asked her client if they would be open to a Family Medicine physician doing Obstetrics. She knew from her recent work with Family Medicine residents that there was a small but notable number of trainees who were eager to incorporate OB into their future practices.
The client considered her question and didn’t see any problems with the idea. They also discussed that hiring a Family Medicine physician who could also do Obstetrics would ease the call burden on the current OB-GYN as well as the new OB-GYN they sought to hire. Katie could highlight the reduced call in her still-open search for a second OB-GYN.
“Family Medicine With On-the-Job Obstetrics Training”
It was all well that the client was open to hiring an FMOB, but would the current OB-GYN on staff be willing to mentor a Family Medicine physician without any formalized training in Obstetrics? When the staff OBGYN, Dr. S, was presented with this question, the answer was a resounding, “Yes!” Not only was he willing to train a Family Medicine physician, he was excited about the idea.
His enthusiasm, coupled with the influx of strong candidates responding to the revised FMOB job ad, allowed Katie to think even bigger. She had found multiple strong candidates for the Family Medicine position but had very few applicants for the OB-GYN and Internal Medicine openings. She wondered if these Family Medicine candidates, eager to learn Obstetrics, could offer similar services as both the OB-GYN and Internal Medicine physicians.
A True Understanding of the Client’s Needs
Katie spoke to the client regularly so she could understand and adapt to their needs. She knew her client’s patient population skewed older, and the Internal Medicine physician would likely need to have experience with geriatrics and patients with comorbidities–something not all Family Medicine physicians necessarily relish. However, since Katie knew this was an important criteria, she could screen her Family Medicine candidates for it. Many of them had this experience, thanks to attending inpatient medicine-heavy residency programs.
Ultimately, Katie presented three strong Family Medicine candidates who were eager to learn Obstetrics. None were from Iowa, something the client had on their wishlist, but the client was willing to overlook it. The administration recognized the candidates’ talent and appreciated their passion to learn. The client extended three offers in one month.
As for the candidates, they were thrilled to have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of Obstetrics under the tutelage of Dr. S. Each one’s desire to further develop their OB skills was motivated by different things–a lifelong dream, a love of babies, etc.–but all of them understood the magnitude of the opportunity. Finding an employer that needed a Family Medicine physician to “do it all”– and a mentor willing to train them — was truly a gift for these three eager physicians.
Secrets of Rural Physician Recruitment Success
How did Katie do it? Katie credits the client for their flexibility and willingness to leverage her as a consultant and consider her ideas. However, it was Katie’s deep understanding of the market that allowed her to detect the small but still significant trend of Family Medicine residents wanting to incorporate Obstetrics, especially under the eye of a willing mentor. She suspected there would be no shortage of Family Medicine candidates if the client could offer them advanced Obstetrics training–and she was right.
It was also critical that Katie had a full understanding of her client’s needs.
“I was on the phone with the VP every other week for at least half an hour,” Katie says. “I was always asking questions to learn more about how things were going in primary care–patient volumes, who was taking call, how the physicians were feeling about the workload. I needed to really understand what was motivating the search for these three different types of physicians. This allowed me to consider other ways we might meet their needs.”
The client’s needs were certainly met. Instead of waiting the standard 1-2 years to find an OB-GYN, an Internist, and a Family Medicine physician, they have 3 FMOBs starting this summer. These results can be attributed to a creative physician recruiter with market insight and the client’s flexibility and openness to consultation.
If you are struggling to find candidates to fill a current need, contact the Jackson Physician Recruitment team today. Our market expertise and creativity may be just what you need to help you find the best physician for your organization.
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