A high-volume Orthopedic Surgery practice in a rural Midwestern community was struggling to recruit a Total Joint/Adult Reconstruction Orthopedic Surgeon. Rural physician recruitment is often a challenge. As one of the most in-demand surgical specialties, orthopedic surgeons typically have a longer time to fill, and a vacancy of any length has a profound impact on the practice’s bottom line and the rest of the surgeons on staff.
When a new CEO was named to the practice, Jackson Physician Search’s Regional Vice President Brent Barnacle saw an opportunity to prove what Jackson Physician Search could do when engaged in a true recruitment partnership. The new CEO committed to being an active partner and eagerly awaited results.
A Digital Strategy Focused on the Details
Brent turned the search over to Katie Moeller, Director of Recruiting, who began researching the practice, the vacancy, and the type of physician who would best fit the opportunity. As a recruiter, Katie is known for her attention to detail and her investigative approach to understanding the physician job opening. She asked enough questions to ensure she had a complete understanding of the client’s needs, and they had very strong opinions about what type of personal and professional background was needed for any potential candidates. She dug deeper to learn exactly what they could offer the right candidate, not only in terms of compensation, but the less tangible benefits of working in rural medicine at this specific practice.
After a thorough vetting, Katie could see that the rural practice had a lot to offer, and she knew exactly how to market the job to attract a quality-driven surgeon who was eager to make a mark. Katie set to work crafting a physician job description that would outline the specific requirements and highlight all the benefits the right candidate could expect including autonomy, a flexible schedule, and a fast track to partnership.
Specialty-Specific Digital Targeting
Katie’s next step was to post the detailed job description to a network of physician job boards. With an extensive collection of digital sourcing tools at her disposal, Katie knew a specialty-specific sourcing approach was her best chance for success. She made sure the job was posted to one of Jackson Physician Search’s corporate partners, Health eCareers, which powers a job board for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).
The formula worked. Katie’s detailed job description, posted on the AAOS job board, soon had multiple applicants. After screening, Katie presented two strong candidates and the new CEO was reassured that the search was in good hands. He was especially interested in Dr. P, a talented surgeon practicing in California. In his current role, he was performing a large number of joint revision surgeries and came to the interview prepared to demonstrate some of his more complicated cases via slide show. The client was impressed. However, Dr. P was uncertain about how much volume and autonomy he could expect in a smaller community.
Selling the Benefits of Rural Medicine
Katie reassured him with everything she had learned about the practice–its profitability and sterling reputation, the proximity to a large university town, as well as the aging patient base in the community. She was persuasive, but she left the heavy-lifting to leaders of the practice, who were invested recruitment partners.
The CEO and the leadership team promoted the organizational culture of teamwork and their practice philosophy. They listened to Dr. P’s concerns about his current role and emphasized how he would fit into their practice. The CEO was transparent about the case volume he could expect and communicated their need for a total joint replacement specialist. They discussed the partnership opportunity and demonstrated how he would benefit financially and professionally within their successful business model.
The Secret to Success: A Consultative Partnership
Dr. P was won over. The practice could offer everything he was lacking in his current role–autonomy, a flexible schedule, growth opportunities, and most importantly, a commitment to quality. At long last, the practice had found the right surgeon to join their team. So, what made the difference?
Katie points to the vital role communication played in the successful search. The CEO and other leaders were extremely open as Katie peeled back the layers on the position and the practice. She needed all the details in order to market the job effectively, and the client worked with her to give her the access she needed. The client was also receptive to Katie’s consultation on what it takes to attract physicians to rural areas. She stressed the importance of treating candidates as a member of the team, offering flexibility, and assuring autonomy.
This successful search and the level of service and competence displayed by Brent and Katie created burgeoning confidence with the new CEO and has already led to several additional physician searches with the group.
If you need assistance with a particularly tough-to-fill physician vacancy, our recruitment team has the digital tools and technology to source qualified candidates and the knowledge and experience needed to screen them on your behalf. Reach out to Jackson Physician Search today and learn how we can make a difference for you.
If your healthcare organization hasn’t felt the impact of the Great Resignation yet, it may be coming. In a July 2021 survey conducted by MGMA and Jackson Physician Search, 48% of physicians said they had considered leaving their employer…