Top factors internal medicine residents look for in a job

November 19, 2016
Don Weis
Don Weis

Don Weis, senior vice president, Cejka Search

The growing shortage of primary care physicians, which is projected to reach 35,600 by 2025 according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, is creating extraordinary competition among healthcare organizations seeking to hire internal medicine doctors.

The growing shortage of primary care physicians, which is projected to reach 35,600 by 2025 according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, is creating extraordinary competition among healthcare organizations seeking to hire internal medicine doctors.

 

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The recruitment market for internal medicine physicians is so competitive that employers who want to attract the best talent must be creative in the design of their new hire packages and extremely responsive to physicians during the interviewing and hiring process.

To help identify those aspects of an employment offer that are most effective in recruiting, Cejka Search conducted a survey in October 2016 of 102 internal medicine physicians completing residency in 2017. Here’s what we found:

Compensation expectations

·       The median annual compensation expectation among respondents was $236,104.

·       The majority (62%) of residents expected signing bonuses to be between $10,000 and $25,000, with the remainder expecting $26,000 or more.

 

Further reading: Tips for physicians to earn secondary incomes

 

·       When considering an opportunity, “location” and “compensation” (64% and 62% respectively) were more important than “type of practice” and “family needs” (40% and 35% respectively).

Most-desired practice locations

·       The largest portion of internal medicine physicians (53%) selected hospital as their preferred practice location, followed by multi-specialty group (43%), health system (29%), single-specialty group (27%), and integrated delivery system (25%).

·       In terms of community preference, 52% selected suburban, 45% urban and 3% said rural.

·       The U.S. states in which respondents were most interested in practicing are: Colorado (27%), California (25%), Texas (20%), Florida (19%), and New York (19%).

·       “Being close to family” is the primary reason respondents want to practice in a certain location (71%).

Next: Most important benefits and incentives

 

Most important benefits and incentives

·       The single most important benefit to internal medicine physicians when considering a practice opportunity was profit sharing (important or very important among 52% of respondents), followed by life insurance (45%) and relocation assistance (41%).

 

Further reading: Could your family live on $50K a year if you died?

 

·       The five most important incentives were: call pay (80%), signing bonus (68%), production incentive (67%), time to partnership (56%) and a four-day work week (54%). Temporary housing (46%), part-time arrangements (41%), and job sharing (37%) were also attractive incentives to a large portion of respondents.

Benefits or incentives that entice an IM physician to consider a less-desirable location

·       Increased compensation (69%)

·       Shorter work schedule (44%)

·       Better call schedule (36%)

·       Additional signing bonus (34%)

·       Higher production bonus (31%)

The results show that there are several important factors, in addition to compensation, that influence whether an internal medicine physician will accept a position.  A geographic region where physicians have personal ties and opportunities for improved work life balance, such as shorter work schedules and better call schedules play an important role, especially when competing for talent in high demand and short supply. 

Remember, the shortage means that employers are “competing” for talent. Therefore, organizations that put as much emphasis on courting candidates as they do screening them have a higher rate of hiring success.

Providing candidates in the interview process with prompt feedback, personalizing the experience for those invited for a facility visit, and offering honest and clear information regarding the position and expectations are all advisable for employers seeking to secure their top picks for internal medicine physicians.