What new doctors expect when job-hunting

August 16, 2012

If you're trying to attract new physicians to your practice, read on to learn what they're looking for.

What’s the best way to attract new physicians to your practice? Higher pay is a start, especially if your office is in an undesirable location.

Cejka Search, a physician and healthcare executive search firm, surveyed 750 residents and fellows who were completing their training this year in an effort to learn their practice and compensation expectations.

Forty-six percent of respondents said they prefer to work in a group practice as opposed to a hospital-based practice (29%) or health/integrated delivery system (19%). Only 2.5% of respondents considered a solo practice their ideal choice.

You’ll have a better chance of attracting top talent if you’re in the suburbs; 95% of survey participants ranked a suburban community as their first or second preference, whereas 84% said a metropolitan community was among their top two choices. Rural communities were the third choice of 48% of respondents, and 32% of those asked said they would not even consider practicing outside of a city or suburban area.

The top reasons respondents gave for choosing a practice location included family ties (72%), lifestyle (52%), and proximity to their medical training (38%). What could convince students and fellows to practice in a community that was not their first choice? Sixty-eight percent said increased compensation would do the trick, whereas 50% cited a better call schedule.

Malpractice insurance (97%) and vacation time (94%) are the most desirable benefits for new physicians when deciding whether to accept an offer from a practice, according to survey results.

Other effective ways to persuade candidates to take jobs, the survey found, include offering attractive production incentives (74%), call pay (73%), time to partnership (69%), and a bonus paid at the time of the contract signing (69%). Of those asked, 75% said they expect to receive a signing bonus.

About half of the fellows and residents said they began interviewing for jobs before December, and 41% said they hoped to have signed contracts in hand 3 months later.

So, where did these new doctors find their ultimate positions? Few respondents cited social media such as LinkedIn (6%) and Facebook (2%) as promising sources for job opportunities. Instead, 63% said they networked with colleagues, 57% said they searched online job boards, and 54% said they found work opportunities through email. The residents and fellows who participated in the survey said online sources associated with medical specialty associations were a good place to find job opportunities.

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