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Marketing Know-How Revs Physician Recruitment Strategy

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, March 14, 2012

Facing a physician shortage
Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) found itself with a substantial physician shortage in 2007 when the first round of baby-boomer physicians retired, leaving a 25-position deficit—18% of its 140-physician staff.

What's more, 10 of these positions had been open for longer than one year. And over the past few years, just one to two physicians had been recruited each year.

These realizations lead the 99-bed organization to reevaluate its recruitment process. Prior to the shortage, human resources was responsible for recruiting all physicians and staff. But as key positions remained empty month after month, it became clear that SVMC needed a new approach.

First, leadership appointed a medical staff office member to act as a physician liaison and recruiter. This decision was critical, as having a dedicated recruiter on staff is one of the most efficient ways to create a physician recruitment program and it lets applicants know that you take recruitment and retention seriously.

Identifying marketing's role in recruitment
As SVMC's physician recruiter began to get the lay of the land in her new role, it became clear to her that the marketing department should be involved.

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