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4 Wellness Practices to Increase Physician Retention

by Rita Jackson | Dec 01, 2021 | Physicians, clinical leaders, Clinicians, doctors, employee retention, financial wellness, healthcare crisis, healthcare professionals, leadership, mental health, organizational culture, pandemic, physician burnout, physician mental health, physician recruiting, physician recruitment success, physician retention, physician retention best practices, Physician Retention Strategies, Physician Staffing, recruitment and retention, wellness, work-life balance
4 Wellness Practices to Increase Physician Retention

After going through a challenging pandemic, the U.S. is facing another major healthcare crisis, in the form of a physician shortage.

In our article titled ‘Top Physician Practice Trends in 2021’ we emphasized how doctors make up 58.4% of the medical profession. And a shortage of these professionals would make it difficult for patients to get the care they need. With that said, healthcare facilities must retain the physicians they currently have employed to ensure adequate care for their clients.

Here are 4 ways to improve physician retention in your facility with a focus on wellness:

Provide Better Leadership

Healthcare facilities can increase physician retention by providing better clinical leaders in the workplace.

Recognizing the importance of leadership skills, the Well-being Champion program was conducted on Internal Medicine physicians and trainees in the US. Through this program, researchers were able to identify the contributors to physician burnout, especially in the Internal Medicine department. About half of the respondents responded with poor physician mental health, stating that this was influenced by the misalignment of values with clinical leaders and the lack of teamwork among workers.

Thus, leaders play an important role in learning how to improve retention among healthcare professionals. Hospitals and healthcare facilities can invest in leadership training programs, so that each department head/chairs can hone their management skills. These training programs will help them align the values of their organization and department along with the values of their workers. Moreover, it will train them to cultivate teamwork in the workplace.

Improve the Organizational Culture

If you want to know how to improve retention among your employees, then you have to look into your organizational culture.

A study published by the International Journal of Production Economics revealed that building a broad and multidimensional organizational culture can help hospitals and practices become more successful.

Embracing a multidimensional competing value framework (CVF) culture is positively related to individual productivity, well-being, and operational efficiency. To achieve this, you need to tap into leaders that can properly shape your organizational culture.

Implementing the four CVF cultures is one way to improve physician retention. Let’s define what the four CVF cultures are and what they mean. The four CVF cultures are the clan culture, developmental culture, hierarchical culture, and rational culture.

The clan culture focuses on doing things together through teamwork and mentoring, while the developmental culture leans on innovation and risk-taking. Meanwhile, the hierarchical culture is centered around accuracy and internal efficiency, while the rational culture is concentrated on decisiveness and competitiveness.

Help Them Achieve Work-Life Balance

You can address physician mental health by helping them achieve a better work-life balance.

Did you know that doctors make up the highest turnover rates in hospitals? According to MDPI their turnover rates are influenced by factors such as job stress, burnout, and poor work-life balance. Since physicians tend to work long-hours, they almost always end up sacrificing their time with loved ones and even for self-care.

Therefore, if you want to know how to improve physician retention, then try reducing the number of working days in a week. SymptomFind states that having a shorter workweek can help individuals improve their emotional and mental health. In fact, U.S. companies that have implemented a 32-hour workweek noticed improved productivity and work quality from staff. Similarly, physicians that get enough rest can work better and be happier in their workplace.

Invest in Their Financial Literacy

Another factor that affects physician mental health is their financial wellness.

One of our latest articles titled “how to be a more compassionate leader in your medical practice” emphasized that finances are becoming a big concern for physicians, especially due to the increasing costs of tuition fees, housing, and other essential expenses. These financial concerns as well as others can put a strain on physicians’ well-being impacting their productivity, focus, and job engagement.

To address this concern, you as an employer, must help improve their financial wellness.

Consider investing in resources and seminars that educate physicians on how they can pay off medical school loans, improve their credit scores, and invest in the stock market. Additionally, if your medical practice has the resources to offer a 401(k) or similar type of retirement plan, do it as this can help your physicians prepare for retirement. Investing in your physicians financial wellness, can help increase physician retention and job satisfaction overall.

Together, healthcare facilities can help prevent another incoming health crisis by learning how to increase physician retention today.

For more strategies on how to improve retention, check out our blogs and resources tailored specifically for healthcare providers and organizations.

Let us help you create a place filled with happy and competent healthcare professionals.

About Our Contributor Rita Jackson: As an aspiring life coach, Rita Jackson hopes her articles can inspire young professionals to discover their best selves. In her free time, she enjoys birdwatching, going for long walks, and playing frisbee.

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