Surviving the Physician Shortage

by Patricia O. Urquiaga | Apr 14, 2020 | Physicians, Healthcare, healthcarerecruiting, medicalrecruiting, nonphysicians, Physicianrecruiter, physicianrecruiters, physicianrecruiting, physicianrecruitingplan, physicianrecruitment, physicianshortage, recruiting, recruitingapproach, recruitingmethods, recruitingstrategy, recruitment, shortage, strategicrecruitingplan, strategyplan, survivingtheshortage, vacantpositions
Surviving the Physician Shortage

Surviving the physician shortage is a tough task to overcome especially when the nation is facing a shortage of between 41,000 and 105,000 physicians by 2030. More than likely, your healthcare organization is already feeling its effects.

As you may already know, physician recruiting can take anywhere from months to over a year. If turnaround times to fill vacant positions aren’t fast enough, it can cost organizations around $45K-$232K per month in lost revenue.

But in the light of this, surviving the physician shortage is not impossible. In fact, here are 6 effective solutions that can help medical organizations survive the physician shortage. Keep in mind some of these solutions can be done internally, while some we must wait for government approval.

1. Create A Candidate Pipeline Early On

Many healthcare roles require advanced degrees and certifications. Consider recruiting early on while medical students are still in training. As a hiring manager or recruiter, you can serve as a mentor and even offer internships opportunities to build experience. Not only is this a good long-term strategy, but it’s a good way to invest in future physicians while building loyalty.

2. Promote From Within 

If you have skilled employees within your organization consider giving out promotions. If your organization is looking to fill executive or administrator roles, consider offering those roles to existing physicians. Not only will this help serve your staffing needs, but it will show other employees that they can also be rewarded for their good efforts.

3. Hire Or Engage The Help Of Non-Physicians

Todays growing physician shortage means there is also a shortage in quality care. Instead of focusing all your efforts in hiring physicians, consider hiring or engaging the help of non-physicians to help fill vacant positions. Nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) can make a difference in your organization. Their role is to provide care when physicians are not available. In fact, NPs and PAs can be found in several areas of practice – family, pediatric, surgical and more.

4. Increase Residency Training Slots

Now more than ever, U.S. medical school enrollment has increased. Over time, this can potentially solve todays physician shortage crisis. However, federally supported residency programs have been capped by congress for more than 20 years limiting the spots for medical school graduates to obtain additional training before they can practice medicine. If the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2019 can be approved by Senate and the House of Representatives, it can potentially provide 15,000 residency positions over a five-year period staring in 2021.

5. Streamline The Licensing Process (Legislative Taskforce)

Did you know that approximately 22.7% of IMG’s (international medical graduates) are now licensed U.S. physicians? The goal of the legislative taskforce is to streamline the licensing process for IMG’s by developing a standardized assessment and certification program to measure clinical readiness. The recommendation also includes dedicating residency positions for immigrant physicians.

6. Enlist The Help Of A Recruitment Firm

Enlisting the help of a recruitment firm like MASC Medical can help your organization maximize capacity, quality and continuity of care. Most recruitment firms have access to top medical candidates, and work with physician recruiters who have extensive recruiting experience whom can help fill vacant positions (temporary or permanent) within a short period of time – to avoid loss in revenue.

Dive into our physician recruiter 101 resource to learn about other recruitment trends affecting the healthcare industry.


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