Healthcare reform, the unsteady economy, and an increased value on lifestyle balance are factors driving more and more physicians to favor employment over running an independent practice. Strategically this is good news for hospitals, but marketers and physician recruiters need to hone their tactics to appeal to this growing group of in-house providers.
"As an industry, we are seeing an increasing number of physicians pursuing employment opportunities for a variety of reasons, including the expertise required to navigate practice operations in preparation for health reform," says Todd Wiltsie, senior director of physician recruitment at LifePoint Hospitals in Brentwood, TN. "We are managing this by offering employment when it strategically fits the physician's and hospital's objectives."
Employment helps physicians mitigate financial risk and guarantee access to hospital resources, says Allison McCarthy, principal at physician-hospital relations consulting firm Barlow McCarthy.
"Healthcare reform—along with the economy—has caused more seasoned physicians to want to give up their private practices and become hospital employees," she says. "They just have determined that the business of practicing medicine has become so complicated and they want to focus their energies primarily on patient care, so they are coming to hospitals asking if they can be a part of their employed physician group."
Catching the physician's eye
With a growing number of physicians seeking employment, it's crucial to communicate the specific benefits your organization can offer.
When writing a job listing or other recruitment material, focus on points of differentiation to avoid getting lost among the clutter of other recruitment posts.
"The messaging is the critical part," McCarthy says. "And then getting the messages out to the right targeted group in as succinct a way as possible."