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President's Corner - Summer 2015
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By Laura Screeney, FASPR, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Manhasset, NY

Greetings ASPR,

It’s that time of year again. Back to school shopping means new shoes, new clothes, maybe a new backpack.

Now that we have finished onboarding all of our 2015 new hires, it’s time to start recruiting for 2016. What? Wait? Hold on. Didn’t we just finish with 2015?

Is it me, or are today’s residents and fellows beginning their job searches earlier every year? I have already heard from a 2018 graduate! Job fair season begins August 2, I have already delivered my annual “Career Search” lecture to our emergency medicine residents, and the internal medicine lecture is right around the corner. It’s time to start conducting needs analysis with my service lines, so I’ll know where to advertise, which conferences to attend, how to answer queries at job fairs, and the list goes on and on.

The physician recruitment season seems to begin earlier every year. So, as I begin my 2016 season, my personal goal is to focus on how to use technology to my advantage to manage the never ending e-mails, phone calls, social media messages and texts.

I was reading a USA Today Tech article recently, titled “The Digital Doctor is in: Next wave in healthcare”. In this article the author, Trisha Theban, explores healthcare delivery in today’s digitally focused world. In some cases, a trip to the doctor has been replaced by technology. Is the medical visit really as easy as downloading an app, or reading a website, to determine one’s own diagnosis?
Theban goes on to describe a recent internet search which revealed 2,000 reported start-ups with the key words “digital healthcare” on their sites.

CVS was one of the first pharmacy chains to integrate urgent care into their stores, now they are looking to lead the way in digital healthcare by running a “Digital Innovation Lab” which is experimenting with new products like the connected otoscope and connected blood pressure. Even the Apple Watch is being used in integration to take care of their customers’ health care needs during the same visit where they can purchase a tube of toothpaste or a bottle of shampoo.

So, how are we, as physician recruitment professionals, adapting our world, which has relied so much on the “personal touch”, to make sure we are meeting the needs of today’s candidates? Are we all using social media to the best of our ability? Are we re-evaluating other modes of communications to our candidates? I am texting my candidates more frequently, and if I need to chat with them, I send a text first, to ask them when they may have the time to speak. I have also learned to cut the length of my written communications so that everything I have to say can be viewed on a handheld screen. These minor adjustments have greatly improved my candidates’ responsiveness.

I may not chat on the phone with my candidates as long as I used to, but I see how important the personal touch is during the site visit. There’s nothing better than the drive time, in between sites, to get to know your candidates, find out what’s important to them and their families. Even the best designed community or facility website cannot deliver the smell of the ocean, or the babbling brook, or the friendliness of your local waitress when she welcomes your candidate to town. These experiences, big or small, are priceless.

If we can find a balance between technology and the personal touch, that’s the magic ticket for today’s successful in-house physician recruitment professional.

Warm regards,
Laura Screeney, FASPR, President, ASPR

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