5 Tips for Recruiting Hard-to-Fill Physician Specialties

Posted by Doximity TF Team

5 Tips for Recruiting Hard-to-Fill Physician Specialties  As health care advances, the types of doctors most needed are evolving. Specialties with high demand include pediatric cardiology, pediatric hematology/oncology and rheumatology. Here’s what these three specialties are, what they entail, and some actionable things you can do if you’re recruiting for these specialties.

Pediatric cardiologists diagnose, treat, and manage heart problems in children. According to the Council of Pediatric Specialties (COPS), pediatric cardiology is often the cornerstone of large academic medical centers,  and there are many high-volume and high-intensity divisions

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology physicians (PHO) specialize in diagnosing, treating, and overseeing the care of children and adolescents with cancer. According to an article from the American Academy of Pediatrics, PHO is one of the oldest recognized Opediatric subspecialties. Some of the most impressive changes in childhood mortality and morbidity in the modern era have resulted from advances in pediatric hematology-oncology. 

Rheumatology physicians diagnose and treat arthritis and other joints, muscles, and bones, including inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The demographics of the rheumatology workforce are shifting. According to the National Organization of Rheumatology Management, baby boomers are hitting the age where they are seeing more arthritis symptoms, and there is more arthritis in general. It has created a demand for more rheumatologists, but the supply isn’t meeting the demand. Baby boomer rheumatologists, who are predominantly male, are gradually retiring. Meanwhile, the new entrants into the field are predominantly female. Due to factors such as part-time work preferences, women tend to have fewer patient appointments per week.

Here are 5 tips for recruiting physicians for these hard-fo-fill specialties:

  1. Know the numbers. According to Doximity’s 2023 Physician Compensation Report, the specialties with the lowest average annual compensation tend to be pediatric and primary care specialties, and rheumatology ranks last for compensation at just under $300k annually. Offering competitive compensation is critical to recruiting these specialties, so it’s essential to know the numbers.
  2. Engage the community. Many healthcare providers prioritize community-focused care. When recruiting new physicians for challenging positions, emphasize inclusivity and active engagement in the community. The prospect of contributing to underserved patient populations can be a compelling recruitment strategy. Working with sick children who have heart disease is incredibly rewarding. Plus, working with children early on in their lives can curb future illness. According to an American Hospital Association blog, pediatricians often serve as role models, whether they realize it or not. Therefore, it stands to reason that your recruitment efforts can influence a physician’s desire to be a role model. 
  3. Create a candidate profile for each role you’re recruiting to fill. What are you looking for in a pediatrician or rheumatologist? Create an exact list for each position that lists what an ideal candidate looks like. The profile can include educational background, specific work experience, personality traits, preferred hard and soft skills, and even long-term career goals.  
  4. Ask the right questions, and then do a background check. You might ask a few questions, including: How do you manage difficult patients? Which age group do you have the most experience working with? How do you define excellence in patient care? As you inquire further about physicians for your new roles, you're bound to narrow down to a handful of candidates who appear to be the most suitable. Before making hiring decisions, input their details into the top background check platforms to ensure you don’t find any red flags.
  5. Contact local professional associations. You might discover an ideal candidate within the specialty community. Reaching out to professional organizations catering to pediatricians and rheumatologists in your vicinity can introduce you to individuals you might have yet to come across otherwise. Here are a few organizations for each specialty:



When recruiting for hard-to-fill positions, you can’t simply post and pray. Doximity Talent Finder gives you
access to over 80% of physicians who are on Doximity, and physician recruiters can search for nearly 60 specialties on the platform, including the three we highlighted here.

Banner Health, a valued Doximity client, actively recruits for hard-to-fill pediatric specialties like cardiology and hematology-oncology. Their team leverages Talent Finder to source candidates for their most challenging positions. Banner Health credits its success to the visibility it gained on Doximity, starting with the first pediatric specialist it hired and continuing with numerous subsequent candidates.

Doximity’s mission is to listen to physicians' needs and then build simple tools to solve complex problems. Doctors enjoy being Doximity members because we’ve introduced new and improved tools year after year that make their lives better. Here, you can learn more about What Doctors Do on Doximity (and Why They Love It). If you’re not using Doximity Talent Finder, we invite you to grab a demo

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Topics: tips for physician recruitment, recruiting hard-to-fill specialties, pediatric cardiology, POH

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