Combating the Physician Shortage – Physician-recruiting Programs Must Be Properly Developed – And Managed
December 1, 2005
Almost anyone who has sought medical services in Western Massachusetts lately can attest in many instances to waiting months for even the most routine appointments. While this can, to a certain degree, be attributed to the desirability of the particular physician, it is more often than not due to the general shortage of doctors in our region. Organizations such as the Massachusetts Medical Society, which keeps a close eye on the physician labor market, have long since identified a severe and critical shortage in the Massachusetts physician labor market, and the situation is predicted to worsen in Massachusetts over the next 20 years.
Fingers are often pointed at the legal community with their naturally litigious nature as one reason why physicians are dissuaded from practicing in the state. High malpractice insurance premiums are the byproduct of such litigation. Alternatively, the legal community argues that if not for physician carelessness, malpractice insurance would not be so frequently utilized, and that the threat of litigation may have the effect of improving the quality of care.
Regardless of which side of the argument you may find yourself, the physician shortage affects us all. Hospitals, large private practice groups and clinics must therefore have ongoing physician recruitment programs in order to meet patient demand and to ensure the continuity and existence of the organization. Before embarking on any such recruitment effort, organizations need to establish a common sense recruitment approach that includes determining the organization’s recruitment objectives, employs various recruiting sources, assesses whether the candidate is a good fit for the organization, and has personnel in place to clearly explain employee benefits to candidates.
Incentive packages are often successful tools that may be utilized in physician recruiting. Reimbursement for relocation expenses…
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by: Gary L. Fialky, Esquire and Martin C. Dunn, Esquire
Healthcare News, BusinessWest
December 2005, January 9, 2006