When an FQHC in Alabama turned to Jackson Physician Search to replace two much-needed primary care physicians for its underserved, vulnerable patient population, Search Consultant Andre’ Jackson exceeded expectations.
When a growing clinic, once an FQHC, in Alabama lost two primary care physicians early in 2022, the Medical Director knew they couldn’t afford a wait-and-see approach to finding replacements. They needed a national physician recruitment firm with a track record of success in the state, so they enlisted Jackson Physician Search as a physician recruitment partner. Search Consultant Andre’ Jackson was eager to get to know the group and find the right physicians who would be passionate about caring for an underserved community.
Getting to Know the Client
Andre’ began by driving to Alabama to meet with the Medical Director, hospital administrator, and everyone who would work with the new physicians. He wanted to fully understand the culture of the organization and gain a sense of who would be the best fit. As a former Federally Qualified Health Center in an urban market, the center still served a vulnerable patient population that would require a provider sensitive to the needs and challenges of the community. Andre’ enjoyed getting to know the leadership and staff and went away with a clear picture of the type of candidates who would thrive in the setting.
Promoting Work-Life Balance
While the opportunity presented some challenges, the job promised a healthy work-life balance that Andre’ knew would appeal to candidates. It was all outpatient and required no weekends or call. The job also came with a never-ending salary unrelated to productivity. Bonuses were based on quality of care.
Andre’ got to work leveraging the many digital tools in his arsenal. He quickly connected with several potential candidates through various physician networking sites. One stood out as a good fit as he was already working in Alabama with a patient population similar to that of the client. While the client was open to Family Medicine or Internal Medicine physicians, the candidate was not board certified in either. He was a pathologist who had several years of experience working in primary care; however, the client decided to move forward because he was aligned in every other way.
From New York to the Heart of Alabama
With one placement secured, Andre’ shifted his focus to finding a second primary care physician. He continued to present candidates he believed could be a fit, some local but many out of state. When he connected with Dr. R, a resident working in New York City, he wasn’t sure a job in Alabama would be the right fit, but the more he learned about her current situation, he began to recognize how her work in New York would prepare her for the job in Alabama.
As a second-year resident, Dr. R would not be able to start the job until 2023. However, she would need a J-1 waiver in order to stay in the country, so she was hoping to secure her future placement well in advance of completing her training. After several phone interviews, the client invited Dr. R to visit the facility.
“We had worked closely with them on how to conduct the physician site visit for maximum benefit,” says Andre’, “They set the itinerary ahead of time and sent it to Dr. R to review. She had breakfast with the Medical Director before meeting her potential colleagues and then had plenty of free time to explore the city after a tour from a real estate agent.”
Dr. R came away impressed. She hit it off with everyone at the clinic and could really see herself living and working there. She could see the similarities between the Alabama clinic and her clinic in New York and knew professionally, it was what she wanted.
Still, a move from New York City to Alabama is a big one, and she needed time to consider the offer. She continued to interview with other employers but kept coming back to the Alabama opportunity. Eventually, she accepted the offer and signed the contract.
Secrets to Physician Recruitment Success
Andre’ attributes the success, in part, to the client’s ability to react quickly and be flexible when needed. He also credits the broad reach afforded by the Jackson Physician Search digital network. Andre’ was able to identify and connect with candidates who matched the need regardless of their current locations.
Perhaps most importantly, however, despite the obvious differences between New York City and Alabama, Andre’s thorough understanding of the position allowed him to recognize the ways his client’s opportunity was similar to the work Dr. R was doing. He was able to convey to both the candidate and the client how the two were the right fit.
Ultimately, Andre’ made two excellent matches for the client, with more sure to come.