Recruiter Don Evans knew if he trusted the 100% digital recruitment process and leveraged the many resources available to him, he would find the right Family Medicine physician for a rural South Dakota clinic.
Physician retirement is top of mind for healthcare administrators across the country. According to data from the American Association of Medical Colleges, 49% of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine physicians were 55 or older in 2021, meaning nearly half will likely retire by 2031. Predicting and planning for physician retirements is crucial for healthcare organizations of all types and sizes, but for rural healthcare organizations, it is especially critical. Data suggests older physicians are more likely to practice in rural locations, so the percentage approaching retirement is even greater.
When the leadership of a rural clinic in South Dakota realized they had three physicians approaching retirement, they agreed they would need an external partner to help them find replacements. Though the practice has a lot to offer, rural South Dakota isn’t for everyone, and it would take a physician recruitment partner with national reach and regional expertise to identify a candidate who would fit, succeed, and stay.
With a reputation for success in rural areas, Jackson Physician Search was the obvious choice of partner, and Senior Search Consultant Don Evans was eager for the assignment. He knew it might take some time, but if he trusted our 100% digital physician recruitment process and leveraged the many resources available to him, he would find the correct physician for the job.
An Impressive Site Visit
Upon visiting the practice, Don found an impressive operation. Established more than 80 years ago, the clinic had an on-site pharmacy, labs, and imaging facilities, as well as an efficient process for scribing and medical records that everyone there was incredibly proud of. Don knew that all of this meant the physicians who worked there could spend more time with patients and less on administrative duties. Don was also impressed by the work-life balance reported by the physicians in the practice. Call was shared amongst all the physicians, and the slower pace of life in rural South Dakota meant the physicians could have lives outside of work.
Don set to work marketing all of these positive attributes in a Family Medicine job ad to be distributed via the Jackson Physician Search job board network and in an email campaign to the vast database of physician subscribers. Though he trusted the process, Don wasn’t going to sit back and wait for candidates to come to him. He spent additional time reaching out to physicians in his network who he thought might be a potential match.
A Burned-Out Physician Seeking Change
As it turned out, the ideal candidate would come to him, but not in the traditional way. Another search consultant at Jackson Physician Search knew Don had several searches open in the region, so he forwarded Dr. J’s information to him. Located in the state of Washington, Dr. J had recently sold his family medicine practice of 15 years and wasn’t thrilled with the changes implemented by the large health system that had bought it. He was spending less and less time with patients, and yet, the bureaucracy and inefficiencies in the medical records systems were extending his already long days.
Don learned all of this in his initial conversation with Dr. J, and they talked about what his ideal life might look like in a new setting. Currently, work was consuming all of Dr. J’s life. He barely had time to see his family and never had time for hobbies or personal activities. It was clear to Don that Dr. J needed a job where he could spend more time with patients and have a better work-life balance – and Don had just such a job available.
Dr. J liked the sound of the opportunity but was hesitant about moving his family from Washington to South Dakota. Don didn’t immediately push the matter, and the two continued talking. Over the next few weeks, after Dr. J revealed more about his life to Don, Don asked him when the last time he had sat down with his family and had a meal together was. Dr. J was silent for a while before agreeing to visit South Dakota and hear what the clinic’s leadership had to say.
Recruiting the Whole Family
The clinic administrator was ready to roll out the red carpet for Dr. J. After a tour of the impressive facility, Dr. J met with the other physicians, primarily partners in the practice, and the group took him on a hunting expedition – a hobby that Dr. J never had time for back home. Dr. J liked everyone and everything about the visit. However, he was still unsure if his family would be on board.
Don explained to the clinic leadership that they would have to recruit Dr. J’s family in the same manner they had recruited Dr. J, and everyone was up for the task. After a few weeks, Dr. J brought his family to tour the community and meet his potential colleagues. While everyone at the clinic was ready to turn on the charm, they didn’t have to work very hard. Dr. J’s wife fell in love with the family-friendly community, and when she learned a childhood friend lived in a neighboring community, she was thrilled. But of course, knowing that her husband would have less stress and more time for their family was the best motivation of all.
Secrets of Physician Recruitment Success
From that point on, Mrs. J played an integral role in solidifying to her husband that the move would be the best thing for their entire family. Dr. J’s trust and respect for Don’s expertise also helped him make the decision. Most important, however, was the client’s commitment to creating an environment where physicians can practice patient-centered medicine while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. As a result, Dr. J finally found the job he deserved, and the clinic welcomed an outstanding physician who would serve the community for years to come.
If your practice is seeking a patient-centered physician who will be committed to your community, the recruitment team at Jackson Physician Search is eager to assist. Reach out today to learn more.