6 Physician Retention Strategies

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media , June 6, 2011
  1. Leadership Development: "We began to recognize that when physicians are engaged in leadership, they develop a loyalty and a sense of ownership that contributes to retention," says Stovall.

    To that end, Trinity Mother Frances Hospital created a leadership development program, investing approximately $65,000. The money is used to send their physicians to large national conventions as well as for their own, onsite, bi-annual leadership development courses.
  1. Family and Future: Just as physicians need to treat the whole patient and not just the individual ailment, retention needs to consider the whole employee—including their career goals and the physician's family, says Schutte. Moreover the process of retention, both Schutte and Stovall agree, actually begins with your recruitment process.

    "Sometimes a physician moves and adjusts, but the family never makes the adjustment to the community. It can be very hard to move to a new neighborhood and school," adds Schutte. "When you have a whole family involved, everyone needs to make the adjustment. Essentially, you're not just recruiting the person but the whole unit."

    Schutte says organizations should always recommend that the family come to the interview with the candidate so everyone can decide if this is a good fit. "What do you know about this physician other than where he trained and worked? What are his or her life goals and what does his or her family look like?" she adds.

    To that end, Stovall says his organization set aside $25,000 to host networking events and an awards dinner as well as family events.
  1. Employee Satisfaction Surveys: Ten years ago Trinity Mother Frances Hospital began using the AMGA employee satisfaction survey to get a pulse on how their employees felt about the organization. However, the results were not always acted on. Now, Stovall explains, when the results come back from the survey they are prioritized and addressed.
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1 comments on "6 Physician Retention Strategies"

Francine Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE (6/10/2011 at 6:48 PM)
I appreciate the comprehensive approach organizations are taking to retaining physicians. As an executive coach for physicians I especially relate to the impact physician leadership and related collegiality-building programs have on physician engagement. Recently I led a workshop for physicians, introducing them to coaching skills to use with each other. For many it was the first time they'd had an opportunity to truly listen and get to know their colleagues[INVALID]after years of working together. Empowering, high touch, low tech, and[INVALID]as noted in the article[INVALID]-much lower cost than losing a good doctor.




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