The Questionnaire Results That May Change The Way You Recruit Physicians
Physician recruiting is always a challenge. Whether you are trying to fill an Attending vacancy at a well-known hospital or a small town Doc, finding a good candidate can be difficult. These challenges are even more pronounced for those seeking to place Family Medicine Physicians in rural settings. A study published in Family Medicine found that some of these recruiting challenges may be solved by evaluating the results of a simple questionnaire(1).
Researchers evaluated factors related to recruiting and retaining rural Family Medicine Physician's through the administration of the Community Apgar Questionnaire. This questionnaire asked about factors associated with rural communities and how important they were to medical students interested in pursuing Family Medicine careers. The results help create a clearer picture of what young, rural Family Physicians may be looking for in a prospective community.
Showcase a Community's Medical Capabilities
Female study respondents were most interested in the ability to provide their patients with gynecologic procedures and found this to be an important factor when evaluating a rural community(1). Male respondents noted that it was important to be able to provide their patients with endoscopic or surgical procedures(1). If your organization has these capabilities or other programs, highlight them when you are addressing prospective recruits. Also, be sure to address the medical community's capabilities related to providing coverage backup and taking call. Call and coverage were rated as important to Physicians considering rural practice. The more support the better.
Show the Love
Community and collegial support for rural Physicians was another factor that many respondents rated as important. Be sure to discuss a community's need for Family Physicians and how local doctors are received by the residents and other Physicians at large. A reward of small town practice is often derived from the close ties forged by a Physician within the community.
Discuss the Financial Landscape
The bottom line is important to prospective rural Physicians. Be sure to discuss the medical economic landscape in your area (i.e. the competition, your organization's financial track record, projected needs). It is also important to play up any loan repayment or educational incentives that you may be able to provide.
Don't forget about the Spouse
An important factor for many Physicians is their spouses' happiness. A spouses' satisfaction with the choice of community is essential and it is important to include them in the process and accentuate any features of the community that may also speak to them (i.e. Childcare, schools, employment opportunities, recreational activities).
Reed, A, et al. Assessment of Factors for Recruiting and Retaining Medical Students to Rural Communities Using the Community Apgar Questionnaire. Family Medicine. February 2017, Vol. 49 No.2.
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