The Physician Shortage: 5 Ways Recruiters Can Help

Posted by Doximity TF Team

The_Physician_Shortage_5_Ways_Recruiters_Can_HelpAccording to MGMA, the number one challenge for medical practices in 2023 continues to be staffing. Turnover and burnout have added to the physician shortage issue, and experts predict both will significantly affect health care access over the next decade (according to Forbes). 

Today, numerous organizations are competing for a limited pool of qualified and often very busy physicians. Open positions need to be filled to advance patient care, and physicians want and need to spend quality time with their patients. Here are five ways recruiters can help optimize and enhance recruitment efforts while respecting physicians' needs.

#1 - Prioritize relevance, specificity, and brevity. Effective communication is about personalizing your outreach, being informed about your candidates, paying attention to details, and ensuring your messaging is relevant to individual physicians. Our client success managers recommend recruiters focus on three core pillars in all communications: relevance, specificity, and brevity. Ask yourself: Who am I writing for? What makes this opportunity stand out from others? What essential information does this particular candidate need to know? 

There has been a tremendous shift to digital in the last few years, and we believe online interviews and meetings are here to stay. Nearly three in four physicians surveyed (74%) in Doximity’s Physician Learning Report say they prefer to engage with sales representatives outside of the traditional in-person model (i.e., virtually; a hybrid of in-person and virtually; or as-needed via phone, email, or text). Applying a hybrid or digital-focused approach to recruiting can also help ensure that your outreach is more convenient to physicians and complements their busy clinical schedules.

#2 - Enhance employee benefits.
Organizations should create an environment where physicians feel valued and respected. Improved benefits can help retain existing staff, attract new talent, and help you stay competitive in a tight labor market. An MGMA Stat poll found that almost half (45%) of medical groups added or increased employee benefits in the past year, up from 24% the previous year. Some of the top benefit enhancements include:

    • Improvements to paid leave: Paid parental leave, floating holidays, birthday PTO, and flex days.
    • Adding new coverage options to the benefits package: Some unique coverage options include short- and long-term disability plans, life insurance, other supplemental health coverage, and even pet insurance.
    • Wellness and employee assistance program (EAP) benefits: Access to paid counseling services or discounts for wellness retreats.
    • Increased employer contribution toward health insurance costs: Adding to physicians’ health savings accounts (HSAs) can help hold premium costs at bay.
    • Improvements to retirement and 401(k) plan offerings: Increasing the physician’s matching amount to 401(k) plans or updating plan qualification requirements to allow early entry to programs.

Many of these added benefits can go a long way toward addressing stress and burnout among our health care workers. Adding or simply enhancing benefits also demonstrates your dedication to physician health, safety, work-life balance, retirement planning, and long-term career satisfaction.   

#3 - Add incentives that help physicians grow professionally. Offering opportunities like training, educational programs, and tuition assistance for advanced educational opportunities can show physicians you’re committed to supporting their professional growth. It’s also an actionable way recruiters can help retain physicians. Here are two examples:

    • Intermountain Healthcare’s Advanced Training Program teaches caregivers worldwide how to improve the quality of care in their local communities. IHC has also helped establish 50 sister training programs designed to help doctors and hospitals worldwide and in the Intermountain West provide the best care possible.
    • NYC Health + Hospitals believes a positive patient experience is only possible with a positive employee experience. To achieve this, they offer Career Development and Training opportunities, which provide employees access to training programs to refresh, enhance, or learn new skills, including management and leadership skills.

#4 - Lean into telemedicine. While many people thought telemedicine was born out of necessity during the pandemic, its ability to improve health equity has become evident and virtual care is now a significant modality for delivering care to a broad and diverse patient population. Between July 2022 and September 2022 alone, over 370,000 unique clinicians used Doximity’s telehealth tools (per Doximity Hospital Solutions). Patients are also fans of telemedicine: over 73% of patients plan to continue using telemedicine platforms post-pandemic, according to Doximity’s second edition of its State of Telemedicine Report. In addition to improving continuity of care, telemedicine can also help promote more efficient use of health care staff while reducing costs – fundamental goals of value-based care.

#5 - Use a platform like Doximity Talent Finder to streamline the candidate sourcing and recruiting process. Doximity is the leading digital platform for U.S. medical professionals, with over 2 million registered users. Why do so many physicians use Doximity? It’s relevant and specific to physicians. According to Doximity’s Physician Learning Report, 63% of physicians surveyed prefer online platforms specifically for doctors when learning about research, clinical trials, treatments, and procedures.

It’s a primary reason
Doximity Talent Finder is a valued tool for recruiting physicians. Recruiters using Doximity Talent Finder can communicate directly with physicians and candidates via DocMail, Doximity’s HIPAA-secure messaging. Smart Job Posts also harness the power of Doximity data to deliver opportunities to the right physicians. Plus, it offers numerous other benefits. If you’re not using Doximity Talent Finder, request a demo now.

Health care recruitment and retention in 2023 will continue to require innovative strategies that focus on the needs of physicians. How do you approach and draft thoughtful and inviting recruitment messages? We just held our first webinar of the new year, which covered the do’s and don’ts of successful online recruitment. If you missed it, we invite you to watch the recording now. 

Watch the Recording

Topics: Growing U.S. physician shortage, tips for physician recruitment

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