How to Recruit Physicians to Rural Hospitals and Practices

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Current staffing challenges and the impending physician shortage have made the recruitment of well-trained providers a formidable task at facilities and health systems throughout the country. The issue is most acute in rural and underserved communities.

If you’re a manager or administrator at a rural hospital or practice, you are likely all too familiar with the difficulties in attracting and retaining qualified clinicians. Pipelines are depleted, and you have to compete with your urban and suburban counterparts for top talent. How can you locate the best candidates more efficiently and better ensure their acceptance of a job offer?

Here are a few tips for finding (and keeping!) physicians for your rural healthcare organization:

  • Showcase your strengths. Place your organization in a positive light by accentuating all the great things a candidate can expect if he or she accepts a position at your facility or practice, such as favorable call arrangements, an excellent organizational culture, and attractive compensation.
  • Highlight your community’s best features. Publicize all the wonderful and unique things about your area that make it a great place to live, from opportunities for recreational and leisure pursuits to a good education system and lower cost of living—all of which can make for a better quality of life. If a large city is just a short drive away, mention that, too, as well as some of its attractions. And promote the cultural and historic gems that can be found right in your backyard or within neighboring communities.
  • Enlist the help of your physicians. Clinicians currently practicing within your organization can be a fantastic resource. They are most certainly invested in the success of your business and contributing to a positive, collaborative environment. During interviews, they can answer candidates’ questions about working at your facility or practice and the community. What’s more, involving your doctors in the recruitment process can give candidates a chance to see the opportunity from an experienced—and satisfied—peer’s point of view.

Securing and retaining the services of skilled, quality physicians is essential to the success and future of your rural hospital or health system. Putting the above suggestions into practice can help you attract more candidates and improve your hiring process.

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