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Strategies for Securing Physician Talent

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, October 4, 2012

Benjamin D. Anderson, MBA
CEO
Ashland (Kan.) Health Center

On finding a strategy that fits:
Our organization has a wonderful physician recruitment and retention plan. Our board progressively approved a plan to give all of our physicians eight weeks of paid time off that many choose to use for international mission work. Coinciding with that, we are building a culture in this organization that focuses on domestic and international service, not just among medical providers but with all of our staff. That has been attractive particularly for the millennial generation of physicians.

On the melding of missions:
Before we could recruit mission-focused physicians we had to be a mission-focused organization. Our board went through a comprehensive strategic planning process where it redefined the organization's mission, its vision, its core values, and its goals. We were able to recruit physicians whose personal mission matched the mission of our organization, which has been effective.

On the return on investment:
We are taking their vacation time, sick time, personal time, and CME time and wrapping it into one eight-week policy. We aren't giving them excess time off. We are just giving them control over the time off they do have. The additional cost is not significant, especially when you compare it with the locums' coverage costs; we were paying to get coverage that was not as consistent. When we took a look at the total cost of coverage we are actually paying less than we were before we had these providers because we were paying locums' rates. We just can't afford not to do this.


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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