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Securing Physician Talent

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 21, 2012
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In our annual Industry Survey, only 10% of CEOs described their organization's physician recruitment and retention efforts as very strong and just 38% characterized it as strong. Another 19% rated it as weak or very weak. What trends are you seeing, and what are the actionable strategies to achieving an exceptional physician recruitment and retention program?

William Riley, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Memorial Hermann Sugarland, Texas

My hospital is the smallest of nine acute care hospitals in our system. Each hospital recruits physicians and physician groups based on the dynamics of their individual market. The primary strategy in the system is clinical integration, not individual physician recruitment. We have around 2,600 physicians in our clinical integration model, which brings a lot of leverage to bear in today's healthcare world and unites a lot more doctors in a major urban area than if you were strictly following in a pure recruiting and employing model..

The system has offered a menu of options for doctors. If they want to be employed, they certainly can be. It is fair to say that that is an increasing trend. But once again, it is not as steep a trend in terms of growth in our system as it is in other systems in the country.

When you have the infrastructure that we already have in our system, it plays to the physicians' basic desires to retain a small or solo practice, or even a large group practice, but at the same time have some of the benefits of being aligned with a big hospital system.

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