What new doctors expect when job-hunting

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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.