By Judy Brown, HealthEast Care System
It is November and our members are well into the heights of the physician recruitment season. Many of you will be entrenched in interviews and offers over the course of the next few months as residents and fellows seek to find the perfect practice opportunity post training. Many residents and fellows want to make those decisions by the end of the year or toward the beginning of the new year. This pushes hospitals and other healthcare organizations to be time sensitive to these critical timeframes set by candidates. Physician recruitment professionals need to be on “their game” along with their leaders and physicians.
This issue, we have dedicated our focus to education and training and what is new in the education and training of our new generation of physicians. As physician recruitment professionals, we need to understand current trends in the training and technology our younger physicians are experiencing. We and our healthcare organizations need to be flexible and adaptable to these new trends in order to be competitive and effective in our recruitment efforts. If we don’t stay in touch with the new trends and are not aware of the expectations of the physicians we are recruiting, it could ultimately impact our ability to effectively recruit and retain the younger generation of physicians to our facilities.
When one looks at the “typical” traditional third year resident (one who graduated from high school and went on straight to college, medical school and post graduate training), they are on average 29-31 years of age. They live in a world surrounded by technology that is advancing faster than the speed of light. The first iPhone came out in 2007, their first year of medical school, and has already advanced to its fifth generation model this year. They have spent their entire training utilizing electronic medical records and most likely have never had to document in a paper chart. They have been trained in medical centers that most likely have the most advanced equipment in their operation and procedure rooms. Their expectations for technology and advancement are extremely high — much more so than the previous generation of physicians. Hospitals and health-care organizations need to be prepared to meet and address these expectations.
As physician recruitment professionals, we need to adapt our recruitment strategies and processes as well. We need to be flexible to different communication styles and expectations. I recently experienced this while recruiting dental students. The majority of my candidates who were dental students preferred to be contacted via text. It was easier for them to respond to a text during a busy clinical day. If I needed to speak with them, usually we confirmed via text. If I sent an email, I usually was asked to follow up with a text to let them know to check email. Life for them seemed to revolve around their smart phones. Several of my candidates preferred to have phone communications occur over Facetime audio. Facetime is based upon data packages versus call/phone packages.
These students tended to have unlimited data packages but had limited call/phone packages. I once asked a candidate to complete an application and his response was, “Is there an app for that?” Their expectations of communication revolve around how conveniently it interfaces with their smart phone. I learned a lot regarding technology from these students, but I fear that I will continue to be behind the times if I don’t stay abreast of the newest technology and trends. I realized that if I didn’t stay “current” with these trends, my ability to be an effective recruiter will be impacted.
The JASPR team is dedicated to helping educate our membership on new trends and topics that impact how our members can effectively recruit physician and other healthcare professionals to their organizations and communities. If you have a story, experience or know of other technology that can benefit our colleagues, please share it with us as a group. We would love to hear from you with story/article ideas that will help.