HR, Recruiting & Staffing

Building a Practice that People Want to be Part Of

As those of you who have followed my posts on this blog know, I’ve been spending a lot of time mulling over issues related to hospitalist job satisfaction and career sustainability. I’ve written about concrete things like re-thinking hospitalist work schedules and minimizing low-value interruptions, as well as more abstract concepts like assessing your group’s “gross happiness index.” My fascination with these issues and my concern about their potential impact on the specialty of hospital medicine eventually led John and me, as course directors, to the theme of this year’s practice management pre-course at HM17 – Practice Management Success Strategies: Building a Practice That People Want to Be Part Of. Perhaps, like me, you are interested in digging deeper into matters of career satisfaction and sustainability. Or perhaps you are simply focused on the more mundane struggle just to recruit and retain enough qualified providers for your group. In either…

Overcoming a Continued Physician Shortage

Updated statistics from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) show that the United States will continue to face a physician shortage over the next decade, ranging from a conservative estimate of a shortfall of approximately 40,000 to a pessimistic estimate of about 105,000 by 2030. The statistics are based on modeling a variety of policy and health care scenarios over the next 10-20 years to determine what the physician workforce requirements will be compared to the expected pipeline. Although the current and projected healthcare landscape is complex, dynamic, and uncertain, every estimate projects a shortage that is significant enough to affect patient care in the United States. The US population is both growing and aging, which creates an ongoing need for hospitalists and hospital-based patient care; between 2015 and 2030, the US population aged 65 and older will increase by 55%. Hospitalist groups will not only be impacted by…

We Go to the Altar Together

Last month, I wrote about onboarding and the important responsibility that everyone associated with a hospitalist program has to ensure that each new provider quickly comes to believe he or she made a terrific choice to join the group. Upon reflection, it seems important to address the other side of this equation. I’m talking about the responsibilities that each candidate has when deciding whether to apply for a job, to interview, and to accept or reject a group’s offer. The relationship between a hospitalist and the group he or she is part of is a lot like a marriage. Both parties go to the altar together, and the relationship is most likely to be successful when both enter it with their eyes open, having done their due diligence, and with an intention to align their interests and support each other. Here are some things every hospitalist should be thinking about as…

Pulling the Welcome Mat Out from Under Our Colleagues

We sat in the living room at a colleague’s home, drinking beer, wine or sparkling water, eating desserts, and talking. Talk started with residents comparing notes about clinical sites or rotations, worries about being prepared for boards, congratulations on fellowship matches, and discussions about trying to decide what to do post-residency. “How are you doing?” my colleague and assistant residency program director asked the group. Silence followed. One person spoke up. “I’m worried about what will happen with my fellowship. I’m still talking with my lawyer.” This was not a question of where he would match, how his clinical skills would be stretched, or adapting to a new location. This was about his immigration status. We met two weeks after the president’s executive order on immigration, and he was worried if he would be able to continue to work under his current visa, being from one of the seven countries…

Equal Time for Hospital Execs

Last month, I wrote a letter to hospital executives, urging them to deliberately invest their own personal time and effort in fostering hospitalist wellbeing. I suggested several actions that leaders can take to enhance hospitalist job satisfaction and reduce the risk of burnout and turnover. Following publication of that post, I heard from several hospital executives and was pleasantly surprised that they all responded positively to my message. Several execs told me that they gained valuable new insights about their hospitalists’ challenges and needs or that they planned to take action on one or more of my suggestions that had never occurred to them before.  Especially useful to them was the idea of a hospitalist “hierarchy of needs,” in which basics such as well-designed work (including adequate staffing), belonging, and esteem must be addressed before expecting hospitalists to undertake “self-actualizing” work, such as engagement in organizational performance improvement initiatives. Their…
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