Physician Recruitment: Tips and Strategies

Top Characteristics in Long Term Physician Hires

Retaining great Physician talent is a tough game. Effective recruitment involves not only getting a great candidate in the door but having them stay. It is imperative to utilize effective screening tools when hiring a Physician to ensure that you are getting the best candidate for the opportunity. These Physician characteristics are associated with increased long term retention and should be kept in mind when evaluating your next hire.

Hiring an Advanced Practitioner
  1. They Love the Community

    Practice location is a huge player in the retention game. A great community whether it be small or large can greatly impact a Physician's decision on whether to stay or go. Physicians that feel the most satisfaction with their practice communities are the ones that are mostly likely to stay(2). So when you are recruiting, look out for the candidate that seems enthusiastic about not only the organization but also the community.
  2. They Are Achieving Their Goals

    Satisfaction isn't always tied to money. Sometimes it is about achieving the goals that we set for ourselves and this is also true for many satisfied Physicians. Higher retention rates are found in Physicians that feel like their jobs are fulfilling their envisioned professional goals(2). Ask prospective candidates what their long term professional vision is and whether they think the job will fulfill those needs. If not, what can you do to meet their needs to increase the likelihood that they will want to stay?
  3. They Aren't In It Just For The Loan Repayment

    It's not breaking news that going to medical school comes with a remarkable amount of student loan debt. Many Physicians end up carrying this debt for years and seek alternative ways to pay it off. The National Health Service Corp provides Physicians an alternate way to help reduce their debt by serving in an underserved healthcare market. In exchange for a contracted amount of work time, generally a few years, they have a specified amount of their loans repaid by the government. These financial benefits can greatly effect job motivation. Physicians receiving these benefits were twice as likely to have left a job at the 5 year mark as compared to Physicians not receiving these benefits(1).
  4. They Are Happy With The Pay

    Compensation is a key player in long term Physician retention. If a Physician isn't happy with the pay they are more likely to seek a job that does meet their financial requirements. Although this point seems pretty evident, it is frequently the motivation that drives Physicians to seek alternative employment so keep it in mind.


(1) Singer, J., Davidson, S., Graham, S., & Davidson, H. (1998). Physician Retention in Community and Migrant Health Centers: Who Stays and for How Long? Medical Care, 36(8), 1198-1213. (2) Pathman, D.,et al (1996)..Rural physician satisfaction: its sources and relationship to retention. J Rural Health. Fall;12(5):366-77.

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