As the world increasingly attempts to put the pandemic behind us, the healthcare industry continues to feel its impact on staffing. While COVID-19 did not ignite the healthcare staffing crisis, the stress it placed on medical professionals certainly fanned the flames.
According to a joint Jackson Physician Search and MGMA study, 65% of physicians report feelings of burnout (up from 61% in 2021) and 75% say it is worse than it was the year prior. As a result, physicians are retiring in higher-than-expected numbers, switching jobs, or leaving the profession altogether. In an August 2022 MGMA STAT poll, 40% of medical groups said they had seen a physician retire early or leave the practice due to burnout.
Now, in the midst of a healthcare staffing crisis, healthcare organizations find physician recruitment more challenging than ever. This report will highlight key developments happening in the national physician recruitment market based on Jackson Physician Search’s placement data, and as seen by our tenured physician recruitment team. We’ll explore what’s driving those changes, and how organizations in different parts of the country are successfully responding.
Despite the many warning signs of a worsening physician shortage, many healthcare administrators are not prepared for this crisis. In a 2022 study from Jackson Physician Search and MGMA, half of healthcare administrators reported that their organizations have no formal physician retention plan in place, and in a prior joint study, 67% of administrators said they do not have a formal succession plan. When a physician leaves, these organizations are left with a vacancy that can cost them millions in lost revenue and the potential inability to provide care.
This may make the situation seem bleak, and yet, as the President of the largest, privately-owned national physician recruitment firm, I am privy to our physician placement data at both the national and regional levels. Despite the tightening market, each of our regional offices are placing more physicians year after year, and the average number of days it takes to place them has decreased. This tells me that physicians can indeed be found when the recruitment process is strategic and the offer is right.
So, what is the best recruitment strategy? The right offer? What does it take to recruit a physician in the current market?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer, of course. Location, compensation, and specialty are perhaps the biggest factors impacting the time-to-fill of a physician placement. So, to investigate these questions, I spoke to several of our Regional Vice Presidents of both Recruiting and Business Development in our headquarters and regional Jackson Physician Search offices. They discussed their clients’ most pressing challenges and shared the recruitment strategies they find most effective in today’s evolving market.
Some recurring themes came up in my discussions with these Jackson Physician Search leaders – namely supply and demand issues and shifting cultural expectations – but I also noted some unique shifts happening in the market. I looked to our firm’s placement data from recent years to confirm what I was hearing from our leaders. The market is indeed changing, but under the guidance of our recruitment experts, our clients are finding ways to adapt.
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For more information about how your healthcare organization can use the results of this survey to improve your physician recruitment and retention strategy, contact Jackson Physician Search today. Our team is made up of healthcare industry professionals who have spent decades recruiting physicians, physician leaders, and advanced practice providers for healthcare organizations coast-to-coast.
About Jackson Physician Search
Jackson Physician Search is an established industry leader in physician recruitment and pioneered the recruitment methodologies standard in the industry today. The firm specializes in the permanent recruitment of physicians, physician leaders and advanced practice providers for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers and medical groups across the United States. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., the company is recognized for its track record of results built on client trust and transparency of processes and fees. Jackson Physician Search is part of the Jackson Healthcare® family of companies.