Psychiatry is a very tough specialty to recruit. Just prior to the pandemic, U.S. News reported that more than 115 million Americans live in areas where there is a shortage of mental health providers. Undoubtedly, with the stress of COVID-19, the number of people seeking mental health services is rising. Yet, access has been dwindling since the 1980s. While primary care physicians have helped to bridge the gap, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects that the country will face a deficit of 3,400 psychiatrists by 2032.
Overcoming the Psychiatrist Shortage to Fill a Vacancy
An established behavioral health private practice with multiple locations throughout the mid-Atlantic region and a team of 45 therapists and 6 psychiatrists had just lost one of its psychiatrists. Eager to find a replacement as soon as possible, the group’s Vice President of Business Development did what most of us would do – she went online. Early in the search results, she saw a physician job description posted by Jackson Physician Search Senior Search Consultant Emily Franty and reached out to talk about her practice’s vacancy. After a brief conversation, Emily arranged for her to meet with Trevor Strauss, Regional Vice President of Business Development.
Trevor explained to the practice’s senior leadership team how Jackson Physician Search differentiates from other physician search firms with a vast digital footprint and nationwide reach. This technology-driven approach was extremely appealing to the group’s CEO and founder, who reiterated the need to quickly recruit a psychiatrist in order to meet patient demand. Typically, placing a psychiatrist can take 8 months or more, but Trevor assured the group that he and Emily would use every tool at their disposal to source the right candidates, fast.
Set for Success: Finding a Psychiatrist Who Would Thrive in the Role
Emily immediately dove in. She knew that the position would be attractive because it contained a blend of adult, outpatient clinical work, and telepsychiatry. Plus, the 20-year history and reputation of the practice would be a nice drawing card. Emily began utilizing the tools, technology, and comprehensive digital footprint at her disposal. A Forbes article notes that only 30% of candidates are actively seeking a new position, the remaining 70% are passively looking. Emily was confident that by casting a wide net, she would reach both active and passive physician candidates.
At the same time, Dr. K., a psychiatrist based on the East Coast, found himself questioning his desire to stay at his current job. The organization he was working for had undergone an ownership change, and Dr. K found that his practice philosophy was no longer aligned with the new corporate direction. He wasn’t aggressively seeking opportunities because of his family roots in the region, but Dr. K was keeping his eyes open for potential psychiatric job openings.
Dr. K saw the job description on a physician job board and was immediately intrigued. Because the vacancy’s clinical location was exactly what he was looking for, he got in touch with Emily.
“Excellence without effort is as futile as progress without preparation.” – William Arthur Warde
The group’s leadership team was extremely motivated. So, when Emily presented three well-qualified candidates, they acted with a sense of urgency. Within 48 hours, they had contacted the candidates and set up virtual meetings with each of them.
Dr. K. ultimately rose to the top of the list. Likewise, he was very impressed with the organization and support levels within the system for psychiatry referrals. Knowing they had an opportunity to land an esteemed psychiatrist, the practice kept the momentum moving forward. They were very flexible in their approach to coordinating virtual meetings, making sure to include key leadership and clinical staff members in the interview process. Once they had decided Dr. K was the right fit, they quickly presented a physician contract.
“It is so rewarding to help a client fill a need, especially a psychiatry position, knowing the difference that physician can have in a patient’s life. I am excited for the group and their future with Dr. K!”
– Emily Franty, Senior Search Consultant
Keys to a 54-day Psychiatry Placement:
Clearly, it is not realistic to expect every hard-to-fill physician vacancy, like Psychiatry, to go from search initiation to hire within 54 days, but many factors contributed to this success story. Here are just a few:
- The private practice knew that Jackson Physician Search’s digital physician recruitment strategy worked – in fact, they found us through one of our physician job posts.
- These digital physician recruitment strategies allow for sourcing a wide range of physicians including both active and passive candidates.
- The private practice moved with a sense of urgency and kept communication flowing.
- As it became clear that Dr. K was the right fit, the group had a contract prepared and ready to go. This ensured their ability to close the deal as quickly as possible.
If your organization has been struggling to find the right balance in your approach to filling physician vacancies, contact Jackson Physician Search to learn about the difference our digital recruitment strategies can make. Our recruitment professionals use a nationwide network of contacts and a digital reach that is unmatched in the industry.
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