Physician Recruiters Share Alternative Strategies

Anna Webster, for HealthLeaders Media , June 15, 2011

Newsflash: the physician shortage is growing and so is its effect on marketers. The Association of American Colleges predicts that Americans will need an estimated 45,000 primary care physicians and 46,000 surgeons and medical specialists by 2020. As a result, marketers will need to shift priorities to focus on physician recruitment and retention.

Last week, HealthLeaders covered 6 Physician Retention Strategies, so this week I will discuss some recruitment strategies marketers can keep in their back pockets, using Springfield, MA-based Baystate Health, a 783-bed integrated health system, as an example.

When Emerson Moses, projects & operations manager, first began work at the Office of Physician & Advanced Practitioner Recruitment at Baystate Health six years ago, there were only two internal staff, including herself. Today, the staff has expanded to six internal employees and three recruiters, the largest it has been in 15 years, Moses estimates.

The expansion mirrors Baystate Health's increasing attention on physician recruitment. Upon expansion, cost per hire decreased by 22% (from FY2006 to FY2010) as internal recruitment staff continued to increase.

"We were able to grow because we were able to demonstrate that it was easier and more cost efficient to have a full in-house staff rather than rely on outside agencies," Moses says. "It was a lot of heavy documenting and educating physician leadership on the value we provide to physicians on how we have the knowledge of our organization and its needs compared to an outside agency."

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3 comments on "Physician Recruiters Share Alternative Strategies"

Daren (6/17/2011 at 3:48 PM)
Baystate seems to be using the right resources. Well written, but scary in terms of the physician gap we are going to face in the future. It used to be a family tradition to follow your father/mother into medicine, most providers are now sending their kids down a different career path!

Aninda (6/16/2011 at 2:27 PM)
I don't disagree with the increased demand for primary care physicians in the future; the only exception would be pediatrics. I can vouch for that as a pediatrician myself.

John Luginbill (6/15/2011 at 3:15 PM)
Loved your perspective, Anna, on health care marketing as it relates to physician retention. This is a topic that is becoming increasingly more important and something not discussed much in the industry. Hope you will check out my website,, and keep the discussion going on how to continuously improve health care for patients and providers.




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