The Truth behind Physician Turnover

Can your organization afford to lose more physicians? With the physician shortage intensifying, it’s never been more important to address turnover challenges. And as the liaison between physicians and healthcare organizations, Concorde knows the secrets behind this critical issue.

To improve retention, first you need a better handle on why turnover happens. Here are the top six reasons we hear for physicians moving on:

  • Lack of the right physician mix.Large metro areas sometimes have too many physicians in certain specialties, making it difficult to make a living. Smaller areas tend to have too few physicians, leading to burnout and on-call coverage issues. Primary care physicians prefer to have specialists on staff, and they’re not embracing the “tele-med” physicians that may be covering their hospital instead.
  • Mergers and culture clashes. Change is unsettling. A new administration may have difficulty communicating with physicians, who may anticipate negative impacts. For example, mergers can lead to new contracts with lower compensation or more work needed to reach productivity bonuses.
  • An inadequate hospitalist program. Physicians in most specialties include this on their must-have list when looking for a position because they tire of being on call. If the program is understaffed, the hospitalists themselves may burn out, as well.
  • Questionable Financial Viability. If a practice is portrayed as being busy or potential growth proves to be inflated, physicians will leave when they determine productivity formula is not obtainable.
  • Not fitting in or feeling welcome.It’s critical for a healthcare organization to embrace new staff and make sure the physician acclimates and becomes part of the community within the first 6 months!
  • Last but not least: personal reasons. The family may not be happy. Friends or relatives may be too far away. You can’t control personal lives, but this is another reason to be as thorough as possible in the recruiting process to make sure the family needs of your best candidates are satisfied.

Filling the Gap when a Physician Leaves

There are numerous options to consider when exploring how to replace a departing physician. Here are a few of your options:

  • Shifting work to another physician.
  • Recruiting a new physician.
  • Working with a Permanent Placement firm to recruit a physician.
  • Implementing asupplemental staffingsolution to fill the gap.

Consult with Concorde to consider the pros and cons of each.

Speaking of your recruiting process, in the next newsletter, we’ll discuss why physicians accept one position over another. Until then, best of luck in all your physician recruitment and retention efforts.

Jamey Morgan