Back Top factors medical residents look for in a job - Part 2

Top factors medical residents look for in a job - Part 2

Recruiting New Physicians: 5 Medical Resident Job Seeker Preferences - Part 2

As the stepping stone between medical school and physician practice, a medical residency is the time when doctors-to-be not only acquire hands-on medical practice experience, but also when they typically formulate preferences for their post-residency careers.

For the nation’s hospitals and healthcare facilities, recruiting physicians has become more competitive than ever. Today’s doctors are in demand, and they know it: Accordingly, they’re faced with an almost overwhelming amount of career options at every point in their careers. This is especially true during their medical residencies.

“Medical residents are intensely recruited,” write the authors of AMN Healthcare’s 2015 Survey of Final-Year Medical Residents, which shows that 63% of final-year medical residents have already been approached by “recruiters with hospitals, medical groups, recruiting firms or other organizations 51 times or more during their residency training.” Almost half — 46% — indicate that they’ve “been contacted by recruiters 100 or more times during the course of their training.”

With this level of competition for the nation’s medical residents, how can employers hope to compete as recruiters? Luckily, the survey results shed a great deal of light into medical residents’ job preferences. Understanding these preferences — and speaking to them — will go far toward enabling employers to successfully recruit new physicians.

5 Medical Resident Job Seeker Preferences Continued

3. Salary Considerations & Paying Down Debt.

While a healthy portion of free time ranks as residents’ greatest career priority, it’s followed closely by the power to pay down educational debt and “earning a good income,” as the authors note.

The vast majority of surveyed residents — 92% — “would prefer employment with a salary in their first practice, rather than an independent practice income guarantee or loan,” the survey authors add. Furthermore, “more residents (36%) indicated they would prefer to be employed by a hospital than any other job option,” with just 2% indicating that they’d “prefer a solo setting as their first practice.”

Speaking of salaries, it’s also worth noting that almost four in every five respondents — 78% — “expect to make $176,000 or more in their first practice.”

  •  Takeaway: Of course, it isn’t always possible to be competitive on salary. If that’s the case, employers may need to make clear their ability to compensate in other areas, such as benefits, regular sabbaticals, a focus on work/life balance, or an emphasis on the financial benefits of working in a certain location (such as lower cost of living).

4. The Less Business, the Better.

Medical resident job seekers’ preferences for full-time employment isn’t just about a secure income. It also seems linked to a disinclination to engage in the business aspects of medicine, such as running their own practice or partnership. At 39%, more than one-third of final-year residents reported being “unprepared to handle the business side of medicine,” with just 10% stating that they’re “very prepared” to do so.

This reluctance to embrace the business side of medicine may stem directly from what physicians-in-training encounter in their residencies. Just over half (56%) said they’d received no formal instruction “regarding medical business issues such as contracts, compensation arrangements, compliance, coding, and reimbursement methods.”

  • Takeaway: Employers willing and able to let doctors focus on patient care over administrative tasks may find this a key selling point when attracting medical resident job seekers.

5. Tackling the Urban/Rural Divide.

Although doctors are badly needed in America’s rural communities — which is where the nation’s shortage of primary care practitioners is the most acutely felt — a whopping 93% of surveyed residents “would prefer to practice in communities of 50,000 people or more,” with just 3% stating they’d “prefer to practice in communities of 25,000 or less.”

  • Takeaway: Rural employers have their work cut out for them in recruiting new physicians, and may need to create other incentives for working outside of urban areas. This may include talking up the financial benefits of working in rural areas, such as a dramatically lower cost of living and relatively stress-free lifestyle.

The AMN survey was directed at approximately 24,000 randomly chosen, final-year residents and fellows working in a wide range of specialties, with a response rate of about 5%. Please note that Kendall & Davis is a company of AMN Healthcare.

Looking for more insight into hiring physicians for your hospital or healthcare facility? We can help: Contact a Kendall & Davis specialist today for expert assistance with physician staffing.