Posted on June 26, 2014
Gaining a competitive edge in recruiting newly trained physicians has become a critical success factor for health care organizations. With the 2014 implementation of health care reform on the horizon, the challenge will intensify as physicians emerging from training begin their job search earlier than ever.
The newly released Residents and Fellows Survey conducted by Cejka Search reports that 61 percent of 2013 residents and fellows began interviewing prior to January of their graduating year compared with 41 percent of the 2012 class. Among the 2013s, 52 percent signed contracts by March, compared with 31 percent of the 2012s.
A majority of 2014 graduates will be looking at opportunities by late summer 2013 with plans to begin interviewing prior to year-end, based on the behaviors and decision-making factors reported annually in the survey, which provides key insight into the interests, needs and motivations of new physicians.
“The rise of physician employment, integration of medical practices and change in reimbursement structures will continue to pressure health care organizations to find the best talent who fit their organizations,” said Lori Schutte, President of Cejka Search. “Physician recruiters must take strategic action – early – in order to recruit the top physicians emerging from training.”
As the new generation of physicians seeks work/life balance, practice choices will be heavily influenced by family needs and personal ties. Three-quarters (76%) of respondents stated that their proximity to family will be a factor in deciding the location of their next job opportunity, more than two-thirds (67%) said that their choices are dependent on the interests of their spouse, significant other or family member, and 58 percent of new physicians chose their practice opportunity because they were trained in the area (an increase of 20 percent over 2012).
The survey offers compelling evidence for the adoption of recruitment and retention best practices. Almost one-third (29%) of respondents have a spouse or significant other who is also a physician (up 5 percent from 2012). This rise in two-physician couples may impact retention if one spouse accepts a position while the other is completing a training program in the same city. Turnover may occur when the couple decides to relocate to an area where they have personal ties.
To retain physicians during the first years in practice – when turnover rates peak – screen well for motivations with behavioral interviewing techniques, and cultivate candidates with ties to the community. Probing questions can help determine why a physician is considering your practice opportunity, and whether he or she plans to establish roots and stay for a prolonged period of time.
The survey also reveals key job preferences and motivations for residents and fellows: