4 Ways to Keep Physicians From Leaving

Chelsea Rice, February 25, 2013

Under the current, predominant fee-for-service payment structure, physicians are pitted to compete against each other. But as FFS gives way to alternative payment models and more physicians abandon their practices to accept employment agreements, retaining this ambitious workforce is quickly becoming one of HR's biggest challenges.

Hospitals nationwide are competing to recruit the best physician talent. The key to retention is to transform yesterday's Fight Club culture into a more professional environment. Four steps can help HR pros move closer to their physician retainment goals.

1. Remember their training
Human resource departments and hospital C-suite can learn a lot from one of the most disciplined and effective branches of the United States armed forces, the Navy Seals. The Seals have a saying: "Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds."

Like Navy Seals, physicians endure rigorous training in a collaborative, team-based environment. Unlike Seals, physicians have traditionally been evaluated primarily on their skills with highly individualistic attributes—generating patients and revenue. These are efforts that lead physicians to practice territorial and defensive medicine instead of patient-centered, quality care.


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