Convincing a doctor to move – whether it’s for a locum tenens position or an opportunity for the doctor to settle down – is easier if your candidate has a personal connection or local tie to your community or state. Did the physician candidate (or their spouse or partner) get their undergraduate degree at a local University? Maybe he or she attended medical school or completed their residency training there? Was the candidate – or their spouse – born there? Perhaps they have family or close friends who live nearby. Candidates are often willing, eager even, to go back to their roots.
Past Locations Are the Ties that Bind
It’s not a mystery that physicians who go to medical school and/or do their residency in a single state tend to stay in that state. In fact, 68% percent of doctors who complete all their training in one state end up practicing there, per a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
Of course, states have a vital interest in where doctors work. Many have a shortage of doctors, especially in primary care, and because doctors tend to stay and work where they train, a lot of med schools, hospitals and even state legislators are getting creative with how they lure doctors to work. Some are offering student loan forgiveness programs to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars; others are setting up mentorship programs; and some states, including Arkansas, Texas, and Georgia, have passed laws to increase the number of residency programs at rural hospitals.
The CEO of Kearny County Hospital in Lakin, Kansas, Benjamin Anderson, says attracting doctors is about creating an atmosphere where they feel welcome. It also comes with perks. Since Anderson came on board in 2013 to attract more doctors, physicians there now get six weeks' paid time off to do mission work anywhere around the world.
The Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa is helping to fund a rural physicians program to “enhance the health and well-being of communities across our great state, especially in medically underserved areas,” says Sally Mason, UI president. At a medical school where four of ten students have chosen primary care specialties, it bodes well for communities, where more than half of the state’s practicing doctors have a connection to the university. The Iowa Medical Society is also building a database of residents and doctors all over the country who have local ties to Iowa, in the hope that in the future it could aid in recruitment.
It’s a key relationship-building tactic that’s working.
Relocation candidates go hand-in-hand with relationship recruiting
Connecting with the right physicians at the wrong time is not a lost opportunity. Relationship recruiting is a strategy that capitalizes on capturing ideal candidates for your positions, whether they are employed or unemployed, and continually engaging them until the right position opens up. Make sure you keep a list of candidates that would be interested in moving home in the future and engage them regularly.
Remember: Recruiting a physician candidate is also about wooing the family
A new opportunity isn’t just about a great job for a candidate, it’s about their family – and they are their top priority. If your candidate has children, how are the schools in the area? What work opportunities are there for the candidate’s spouse or partner? Recruiting for location is all about finding common ground that gives your candidates sense of familiarity – with your region, the community and its residents – which can give your recruiting a huge boost.
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Is your community or state one of those that’s discounted or overlooked too frequently by physician candidates? We created a round-up of tips for recruiting out of area candidates once you’ve connected with them. To get it, simply click the button and download it now.