Letter from the Editor
By Miranda Grace, FASPR, Physician Recruiter, Geisinger Health System
Fall is here, my favorite season of all, and with it comes two constants: change and football! In Pennsylvania, the leaves are turning vibrant shades of red, gold, and orange; the air has changed from hot and humid to crisp and cool; and the harvest season has offered us a wealth of fresh produce to stock our cupboards for months. My job will even be changing! Geisinger Health System and Lewistown Hospital have merged after partnering for years in different areas in and around the community. This new relationship creates an exciting change in my life and offers me the outstanding opportunity to work with Geisinger’s brilliant team of recruiters in Danville, PA. I’ll be writing more about my experience with this job transition in an upcoming issue of JASPR. Meanwhile, let’s talk about the other constant, football!
This year, my husband and I had the opportunity to go to the first Penn State home game of the season. As you can imagine, fans were filled with anticipation, and the energy was high. As an alumnus, seeing the campus again filled me with nostalgia that was exciting, and at the same time, left me longing for college days! As we made our way through the campus, we saw a group of Penn State staff members chauffeuring a potential football recruit. He and his parents were getting a tour of the campus and learning of its rich history. As I watched this, it got me thinking…what can physician recruiters learn from college football recruiters? What are the similarities? What are the differences?
When I returned home, I decided to satisfy my curiosity by visiting with our local high school football coach, George Miskinis. I asked the coach if he could share the ins and outs of college football recruitment with me. I learned a great deal about the recruitment process, its parallels to physician recruitment, and its perks. The most notable lesson I learned from the coach, was that the more rounded the students are, the more flexible they’ll be to go to any location and be successful. I find this to also be true for physicians. The better prepared physicians are from their residency or fellowship training, the more confident they’ll feel working in any setting.
Some of the other similarities I noted involved the interview process, the benefits offered to students, and brand name recognition. Social media even plays a part in college football recruitment! From start to finish, the college recruitment process can take years. Beginning as early as middle school, recruiters identify athletic ability and project a student athlete’s eventual physical stature based on current build and frame. Likewise, physician recruiters begin to reach out to students as early as high school age who are interested in learning about a career in the field of medicine.
Coach Miskinis also shared with me that juniors in high school will sometimes begin to work on a highlight tape that they send out to schools across the country during their senior year. Much like a CV, these tapes feature their strengths and abilities on the field. After coaches and recruiters decide who they want to pursue, interviews are conducted onsite, similar to what physician recruiters do with their onsite hospital visits. During these interviews, students often meet with the head coach, go on tours of the institution, and learn more about the academic programs. On occasion, scholarships are offered, similar to sign-on bonuses, intended to entice students to attend a particular school. Finally, Coach Miskinis explained to me that top ranking schools with a higher job placement rate have an easier time recruiting star athletes. The same could be said for well-known hospitals and health systems. Though it’s difficult to recruit physicians everywhere, prestigious organizations that have a lot to offer sometimes have the advantage.
I know that change and football are here to stay. I appreciate both and have learned to go with the flow, facing each obstacle as if I’m a linebacker chasing down the quarterback. I have come to learn, “there can be change without progress, but not progress without change.” I hope you’re embracing the changes in your life, you never know when a victory is just beyond your sight!