Attract Physicians in Today's Competitive Environment

The Doctor's Office, December 4, 2008

Competitive compensation packages and flexible practice structures are essential to attract today's physician. To be successful, leaders must create a practice that appeals to the career goals and practice styles of a changing physician work force.

But bringing in quality physicians is an increasingly difficult and competitive task. With a dwindling pool of physicians to choose from, standing out from competitors is more important than ever.

To be successful, physician practices must research and use strategic marketing data, develop competitive recruitment offers, learn what practice structures attract today's physicians, and have the ability to compare the costs and benefits of various recruitment strategies.

Physician practice leaders also must work with physician and administrative partners to align recruitment with organizational initiatives, culture, and growth strategies.

Although compensation is usually the first thing on administrators' minds when they think about how to attract physicians, money is not everything to the younger generation of physicians. Practice culture is very important as well.

In regard to compensation, practices should consider using nonproductivity-related goals to establish bonus criteria like participation in physician leadership activities and patient satisfaction scores.

Bonuses are a long-established part of many compensation packages as well, but it's important to look at the risks they pose to the organization.

Benefits should go beyond simple compensation issues. Administrators should consider what they are offering compared to competitors as well as look past traditional perks. Paying for additional schooling or offering sabbaticals after a certain length of time spent working for the practice are possibilities.

This article was adapted from one that originally ran in the December 2008 issue of The Doctor's Office, a HealthLeaders Media publication.
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