By Cecilia Jerome, MBA, Physician Recruiter, MidMichigan Health
I am one of those who are (barely!) old enough to remember when a physician’s practice had two doors: One for medical appointments and one for social visits, i.e., his home. My family later even had a general practitioner who did surgery, too. For many very good reasons, the practice of medicine has become specialized. With this specialization has come a decrease in those physicians to take care of the majority of what ails you.
Both internal medicine and family medicine physicians have so many options available to them: primary care, urgent care, emergency medicine, hospital medicine — not to mention the opportunity to significantly increase their income by adding another year or two to their training and becoming a specialist. This leaves many communities bereft of primary care doctors.
The challenge to recruiters, then, is to not only show great practice opportunities, but to make their communities more attractive to these highly desirable physicians with tremendous options. And, it’s not just the physicians to whom they have to appeal. The family needs to be happy. So, recruiters face the greater challenge of “recruiting” the family and keeping all of them happy along with the provider. We all have heard the adage: “If Momma (or Papa) ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” It does not matter how happy the provider is with his/her practice, if he/she goes home to an unhappy family, the provider will not last long with your organization.
Health systems – and their recruiters — have developed new and creative ways to get and keep providers and their families. In this issue, we feature some of those unique ways rural communities, in particular, have embraced their “rural roots” and are seeing successes in recruitment and retention. Mentoring of providers is taking off within many practices. Now, some of our colleagues have discovered ways to tap into community resources and find mentoring for families to be a great asset to the development of their medical staffs.