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Why what we do matters – Winter 2015

By Tom Lathen, DASPR, Physician / APP Recruiter, Baylor Scott & White Health

Originally published on LinkedIn; shared with permission.

When I consider why working in healthcare recruitment is so important, I come to two events in my past that reassure me that what I do matters. OK, I can think of many more reasons, but for the sake of brevity, I will leave it at two.

When I worked in Washington State, a good surgeon was pretty hard to find. General and orthopedic surgeries were about as specialized as we got in this hospital. The hospital, staff and physicians did (and continue to do) great work; there was just not a lot of room, or patient volume, for many sub-specialists. After a search that lasted several months, we finally found a general surgeon who was willing to move from – believe it or not – Nova Scotia.

A few months had passed, and occasionally I would meet with this new surgeon in the hospital. He never talked much about his patients, but one day in the supermarket a woman came up to me and asked, “Did you recruit Dr. X to our town?” Defensive as I was, I expected to hear a complaint; however, what I got was a hug and a thank you - Dr. X had saved her life. Apparently, she had suffered a ruptured appendix and, under the care of Dr. X, underwent emergency surgery a few weeks earlier. To think that I, a liberal arts major, had a small hand in actions that led to saving someone’s life was one of the most gratifying moments of my career.

Sometime later, I recruited a young family doctor to our town. She came as a single lady, and a couple of years later married a local fellow. The couple proceeded to have two lively, little boys. Two lives were changed, and two lives were born.

Don’t ever think recruitment is not important. It is. What recruiters do really can matter in ways that save lives, change lives and have an impact many years down the road. My wife and I have always prayed for God to bring the right doctors to town, at just the right time. It is wonderful to see those prayers answered time and time again.

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