For applicants still completing their training, Dr. Huynh-Duc prefers to start recruiting them in the fall of their final year of rheumatology fellowship training. “It can take between three and six months for someone to become credentialed,” he says. “By recruiting at least six months early, it gives candidates and the practice time to complete this process. It also allows the applicant time to prepare for a big move if it’s to a different city or state.”
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Dr. Hasan seeks out specific characteristics in candidates. “The most important [characteristics are] that the physician should be willing to communicate and listen to others and is a team player,” she says. “They need to respect their peers and staff. They should portray empathy, especially in a field [such as] rheumatology [in which] patients chronically suffer from pain.”
From a patient’s perspective, they want a provider who listens to them, involves them in decision making and is knowledgeable and skilled.
Dr. Huynh-Duc works in a private practice, which is production based. Candidates need to be able to see a larger volume of patients compared with what they see in training during their fellowship years. “It also helps if they are familiar with the biologic drugs and infusions we prescribe,” she adds.
Make Your Practice Appealing
To attract ideal candidates, a practice needs to offer income guarantees, relocation reimbursement, signing bonuses and continuing medical education payments. Also, consider offering student loan repayment, Dr. Hasan says.
In addition, many younger physicians are seeking a work–life balance, which will make your practice stand out from competitors. “There has been a shift in younger physicians’ expectations regarding avoiding physician burnout, as well as balancing reserved time for non-work-related pursuits,” Dr. Hasan says. Consider offering a four-day week with flex time, no on-call duties, an outpatient practice setting, onsite daycare and paternity leave.
Karen Appold is a medical writer in Pennsylvania.
- American College of Rheumatology. 2015 Workforce Study of Rheumatologists in the United States. 2015.