By Scott Manning, FASPR, ASPR President
Like most of you, I am trying to complete an assortment of what seem to be never-ending tasks as the new year is well underway. Regardless of what my plans are, it seems like every year something unexpected comes into play that requires a change in course.
Physician recruitment is an inexact science at best, and a roll of the dice on some days. It is a people business, and thus requires great flexibility for success. There are so many variables that come into play if we are to be successful — and oftentimes planning can become “thinking on our feet.” Some examples might be:
- You can’t predict when a position will become available with no advance notice and your coverage need is immediate… but you can have several locum tenens contracts already in place so that you can secure coverage as quickly as possible.
- You can’t predict when a prime candidate who is a slam-dunk for a position reneges and chooses another practice...but you can always keep your candidate flow open until the new physician has started practice and you have seen “the whites of their eyes.”
- You can’t predict the timing of turnover...but you can have a process in place that can be enacted immediately to ensure the quickest turnaround possible.
- You can’t predict a change in leadership or reporting structure which may not be to your liking… but you can always have reports and data available that will support the results you and your department produce. Objective data are always strong arguments to present to a new boss.
This list could go on and on, but the message is simple. What may appear to be “thinking on your feet” is quite often a reflection of effective planning. In the end, you can never plan for all contingencies — but having something to fall back on can be a life saver. My words of wisdom would be:
- Plan wisely;
- Adjust judiciously;
- Never compromise your ethics.
Following this line of thinking should ensure that you are viewed as a consummate professional and increase your chances of success. Even if you suffer a setback, be it personal or professional, it will put you in the best position to land on your feet.