Focus on engagement, loyalty to improve doc retention

Physician Compensation & Recruitment, April 24, 2008

Because the No. 1 reason for physician turnover is poor cultural fit with the practice, engaging physicians and ensuring compatibility should be a primary goal any practice's retention plan. This isn't always easy, since cultural fit can be intangible and can vary depending on the physician.

However, there are some universal challenges to ensuring a proper fit. Physicians desire a sense of belonging and value both autonomy and accountability, says Kevin Donovan, FACHE, FACMPE, vice president of physician and ambulatory services at Elliot Health System in Manchester, NH. He has implemented mentoring and networking programs--both networkwide and within a physician's specific specialty--to help physicians assimilate within Elliot Health System. To develop advanced strategies for engaging physicians and instilling a sense of loyalty, he recommends asking the following questions from the physician's perspective:

  • Do I have what I need to be successful?
  • Do I receive recognition for my contribution?
  • Is there someone encouraging my professional development?
  • Do my opinions count?
  • Have I been asked to help solve a problem in the group?
  • Has someone talked with me recently about my progress?
  • Am I presented with opportunities to learn and grow?
  • Do I feel proud to be a member of this group?
  • Would I encourage others to work here?

"We try to get people involved in our quality committee or physician management council or even on smaller projects just so they feel like they've got some skin in the game or some ownership in the practice even if they are an employee," Donovan says.

This story was adapted from one that first appeared in the April edition of Physician Compensation & Recruitment a publication by HealthLeaders Media.
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