2. Breed allegiance
"More organizations are recognizing that physicians are in many ways, unique," says Flannery. "They are scientists and researchers and they go into that profession not because they're interested in bureaucracy, but because they're interested in practicing medicine and working with patients. Organizations that miss that ambition are the organizations that aren't great to work in."
The Cleveland Clinic pays physicians a market-based salary, which is not directly tied to clinical revenue. The institution replaces monetary incentives with leadership development opportunities, allowing physicians to look at their practice through wider career lenses.
"If you create an environment where your only relationship is money, in any profession—not just medicine—then that money factor is quite easy to compete with. Someone could simply come in and buy your good people. But if you create an environment that promotes allegiance and collegiality and 'I can see the patients I want, I have a long-term future,' that in and of itself creates retention," says Coulton.
"That single factor of being competitive in the market place allows variability in practice. It allows people to look at their practice over a career, and hopefully move those practices," says Coulton. "They might focus on research or administration, and by nature, because of the salary model, their pay does not go down. We believe a broad-based career, in any profession, allows a person to feel more satisfied in their role."