The Doximity Guide to Recruiting Emergency Medicine Physicians

Posted by Doximity TF Team

ER_sWhether they’ve just finished their training and are searching for the right first job or have years of experience under their belt, EM doctors find the job-hunting process overwhelming. Nearly half of all new physicians switch jobs in their first five years, and 73% of doctors in general are “passive” job seekers (they aren’t looking but are open to new opportunities) – so how do you become the physician recruiter emergency medicine candidates engage with?

Make your basics their basics. When it comes to finding the right opportunity, many docs fail for a few reasons: they often focus too narrowly on a specific geographic locations; they don’t know how to negotiate salary or benefits; and they don’t adequately consider whether they want to work in a hospital or medical practice (per EMRA).

Compensation (obviously) will continue to influence where physicians choose to live: Pay also influences what specialties they invest their years of training in, and where they ultimately decide to practice. Compensation is a top factor that plays into a candidate’s decision to take your job, so give them a specific dollar amount and if you can’t do that, provide a range. Emergency Medicine ranks among the top 20 specialties with the highest average annual compensation – $336K per Doximity’s 2019 Physician Compensation Report – and you can learn more key takeaways from the report here.

Likely emergency encounters: It’s critical to discuss the workplace culture with EM physicians. A Level I Trauma Center isn’t for anyone and a smaller, rural hospital is a dream for some. There’s always a level of unpredictability with emergency medicine, but “likely encounters” is often overlooked in the process. Discuss the kinds of emergencies a candidate is likely to encounter working in a specific ER – that means discussing violent crimes and gunshot wounds, to wild animal encounters, to agricultural accidents. No ER doc knows exactly what they’re getting themselves in for (which is why they went into EM), but the location can give them a lot of clues. Physician recruiters might find it very helpful to talk to other doctors in the ER department about the work environment and culture, too.

Cost of living in a location: It seems really obvious, but a six-figure salary isn’t nearly as sexy if housing in an appealing new location is through the roof. Physician recruiters should definitely do some location “scouting” ahead of time – and that means everything from crime rates, to schools, to climate – so an EM doctor knows what to expect. There are a myriad of great online resources for this research, including this cost of living calculator and this site for Best Places to Live. You can even find which neighborhoods are safest with these eight tools. The key to scouting a new city is acting like you already live there, so schedule a weekend for a candidate with friends or family.

Benefits and incentives are other big motivators: Offering a relocation package is a great motivator, for instance. In 2018 the average relocation allowance was just under $10k for physicians (per Merritt Hawkins). Educational loan repayment programs, health benefits, CEMA allowance, retirement plans are other great incentives. What does your job offer?

Employment type and workplace culture: As more physicians join larger physician groups and health systems, it is important to understand differences in average compensation by employment type. More than one-third of final year residents plan to work in a hospital because of their experience during residency  and roughly half of all physicians in the U.S. now work for a hospital or are in a group owned by a hospital (per EMRA).

Malpractice is another critical component of any physician offer, but it can vary more with EM doctors – both by location and the nature of the job itself. Most hospitals pay for malpractice premiums for their employed EM doctors, but it’s considered part of the package. Other times, EM doctors may have hospital privileges, but are responsible for their own malpractice insurance (and providing proof) before they obtain hospital certification.

There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re recruiting physicians – regardless of their medical specialty – but if you understand the nuances of a candidate’s medical specialty you’ll be the guide they rely on for their career moves. Are you using Doximity Talent Finder to recruit great EM physicians? 

Check out this guide to social recruiting for more information on how to connect with this talented group of physician online. 

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Topics: Recruiting Emergency Medicine Physicians, tips for physician recruitment, nuances of a candidate’s medical specialty, Talent Finder 101, EM doctors, emergency medicine candidates, EMRA

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