Rural physician recruitment is no easy task. When you factor in marketing and interview expenses, sign-on bonus, and relocation stipend, it can cost up to $250K to hire one physician. So, when a small critical access hospital in rural South Carolina learned that one of its Family Medicine physicians was leaving, its CEO called Gary Holden, Regional Vice President of Jackson Physician Search. Several years ago, Jackson Physician Search placed a Family Medicine physician with this very hospital. Even back then, the CEO was impressed with our 100% digital sourcing strategy and fast time-to-fill and he trusted that he could count on Gary and the Jackson Physician Search team again.
Crafting an Agile and Strategic Digital Recruiting Footprint
Wasting no time, Gary quickly transitioned the search to Senior Search Consultant Emily Franty. She met with the CEO, and they immediately hit it off, establishing a solid foundation of trust and a collaborative spirit. Emily presented critical data about recent searches in rural South Carolina and Georgia, including the length of the recruitment and the costs to find suitable candidates.
Together, Emily and the CEO tweaked the job description to highlight the most desirable aspects of the position, and then she went to work utilizing the many tools Jackson Physician Search has available to cast the widest net. The physician job description was sent via a targeted email to our large database of physicians, posted on several physician job boards, and published on the largest community of healthcare professionals in the country, Doximity.
Having gone through the process with us before, the CEO felt confident and relied on Emily, as you would a consultant, to maximize the job’s exposure.
Physicians Want Autonomy and Rural Hospitals Have a Unique Opportunity to Provide It
Family Medicine physician, Dr. J, was working in a large health system near Augusta, Georgia but had grown frustrated at the levels of bureaucracy that were ultimately impacting his ability to practice medicine. He had 15-20 years of experience, saw Emily’s job post, and was intrigued by the possibility of practicing in a smaller setting with more autonomy, focusing on the quality of care provided. When Emily spoke with Dr. J, he mentioned that his fondest memories were from when he previously worked at a small critical access hospital.
Again, Emily took on more of a consultant role and began to coach Dr. J on his messaging. She helped him focus on this opportunity which included practicing in a more autonomous setting where the quality of care held as much importance as the total number of patients and referrals.
Preparing the Physician Contract Ahead of the On-site Interview Helped Solidify Dr. J
Due to the restrictions in place from the pandemic, when it came time to interview candidates, the CEO and the rest of his interview team had to remain supremely flexible in accommodating the candidates’ schedules. Dr. J’s experience stood out, and the CEO was motivated to offer him the position. Knowing how competitive the market is for physicians, Emily suggested that the team prepare the physician contract before Dr. J’s on-site interview. By being proactive with the agreement, the CEO and Dr. J were able to work out the details in person, further allowing them to establish a working relationship from the start.
The two even met at a local coffee shop to go through the contract together. This small gesture had an incredible impact on Dr. J and showed him not only how much he meant to the hospital, but it demonstrated the level of direct access that he would have to the leadership team.
From Search Initiation to Signed Contract in Just 90 Days
A rural Family Medicine vacancy typically takes from 7 months to one year to fill. Here are a few keys of Gary and Emily’s success in placing one in a fraction of the time:
- The client trusted Gary, Emily, and Jackson Physician Search and had a track record of success using our 100% digital sourcing strategy
- Preparing the physician contract before the on-site interview allowed the hospital to move quickly and secure Dr. J
- A small act of kindness like walking through the physician contract together at a coffee shop proved to the candidate how much the hospital valued him and gave him a glimpse of how working for the CEO would be a true partnership
The Jackson Physician Search team is comprised of healthcare industry professionals who have the skills, experience, and relationships to be your trusted physician search partner. Our recruitment professionals have access to industry-best technology to streamline your recruitment process and find quality candidates under even the most difficult circumstances. Contact our recruitment team today and learn how we can make a difference for you.
Six months is the average amount of time it takes to fill a Family Medicine vacancy, and for a rural hospital with limited resources, the search often takes even longer. Meanwhile, other physicians are picking up the slack to care for patients, risking an increase in burnout…
President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar, reviews the results of our recent rural physician and administrators survey and provides a summary of action items administrators should consider when recruiting physicians to their community…