2021 Physician Recruiting Efforts: Why Plan and Prepare During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted life globally, and the medical profession has not been spared. The massive layoffs and pay cuts that the pandemic has occasioned have sent shockwaves through several job markets and are part of the new normal.
One unsettling and unexpected consequence is the rise in the number of physicians who have lost jobs. For a profession where the demand is often higher than the supply, it is surprising that today you’ll find physicians looking for jobs. While we expected the need for physicians to rise to combat the pandemic, PhysicianSense estimates that the demand for these professionals has fallen over 30%.
Surge in Demand Expected Post-Pandemic
While fewer physicians are in employment today, the current state of affairs could be short-lived. It is expected that the shortage that American health care has experienced over the years will increase as we deal with COVID-19.
In a report released in June 2020, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimated that the physician shortage in the United States could reach 139,000 by the year 2033. The study further notes that before COVID-19, more than 35% of interviewed people already found it difficult to find physicians near them.
According to the AAMC, there are many reasons for the projected shortage, and knowing them should make providers of health care services already start considering their 2021 physician recruiting efforts.
With the percentage of the American population aged over 65 expected to grow by more than 45% by 2033, the demand for health care professionals is bound to increase. Moreover, the number of physicians who’ll be retiring in the next ten years is expected to grow; in fact, 40% of the physicians practicing today are expected to reach retirement age in that time.
Other than age, some physicians could retire early owing to burnout. The demand for more physicians could also rise if accessibility to health care services improves. In a nutshell, all factors indicate that hospitals and other health care facilities will face challenges when recruiting physicians, hence the need to have a good program in place right now.
Plan your 2021 Physician Recruiting Efforts the Long Term
If you’re recruiting physicians, look at the long-term picture. Answering some of the following questions could give you an idea of the number of medical personnel you’ll need. Are you planning to expand your facility? Are you planning to open a new facility? How many members of your current physician population are you likely to have in your employment in the next few years? How many are likely to retire?
Considering the needs of your regular patients, how could the departure of a physician affect your work? Answers to these questions, among others, could help you plan and develop your 2021 physician recruiting efforts for the long-term.
Assess the Needs of your Patients and How They are Likely to Change in the Future
Remember that your medical care facility exists for your patients. When planning your recruitment efforts, you need to assess your patients’ current needs and how those needs are likely to evolve in the future.
For example, if the majority of your patients are young executives who are single, consider how the community’s needs could change if these people marry and have children or will be taking care of aging parents.
Consider Possible Staffing and Resignation Notice Times
It can be more difficult to plan your staffing needs adequately if you don’t know how long you’ll take to fill a position. Filling a physician position can be complex and time-consuming. According to PracticeLink, you could take several months to fill a position.
Several factors can influence the difficulty, including the specialty you are looking to fill, the kind of facility you have, and your location. Some fields, such as addiction medicine, have fewer practitioners, so there may be fewer people who can staff mental health and substance abuse treatment centers.
In addition, many American physicians prefer cities and suburban areas over rural areas. Should you target hiring a physician who might need to relocate, remember that moving to the new location and acquiring the necessary licenses could prove both expensive and time-consuming.
For the current decade and beyond, it is also important to remember that there will be an increase in the number of younger workers joining the profession and that what they consider an ideal work environment might be different from older workers’ perceptions.
Should one of your physicians plan to leave your employment, what kind of resignation notice do you expect? Aware that they might take years to fill a vacant physician position, some administrators hope that their physicians will give them resignation notices of several months or years. The grim reality, however, is that many physicians provide only a few months’ notice.
Disparities between notice time and the time you fill a position can mean that some posts could remain vacant for lengthy periods. This could have a negative impact on the organization’s performance and could lead to substantial revenue losses.
Find Professional Physician Recruiting Help
Recruiting a physician can be expensive, challenging, and time-consuming. Given that you can’t afford to keep a position vacant for too long, it is prudent to entrust this work to professionals who have the experience to help you find the best available talent in the shortest time possible. If you haven’t started preparing and planning your 2021 physician recruiting efforts, consider starting now.
Learn More About Our Guest Contributor By Visiting PatrickBaileys.com
Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.