Five surgeons discuss how they have found and retained top talent for their practices at a time when every medical industry is facing labor shortages.
Question: What are some ways your practice finds and recruits top talent?
Lali Sekhon, MD. Reno (Nev.) Orthopedic Center: Recruitment is challenging for both physicians, midlevels and staff in clinics, our imaging centers and our surgery center. Reno Orthopedic Center has an outstanding reputation in the community for ethical and expert care and reputationally this helps us. Our human resources department is active in the use of traditional online tools to fill positions. The Center also relies on word of mouth and networking with professional contacts.
Recruitment is one thing. Retention is another. The Center has built a patient-centric culture of excellence. Our practice is physician run. Our human resource department ensures salaries and benefits are competitive and regionally and nationally benchmarked. In short, our group has focused on an ethical and skilled practice with a breadth of ancillaries and a positive culture and work environment. Small enough to be nimble, but big enough to have clout. Staffing is challenging everywhere, but with over 400 employees, our practice seems to be navigating the post-COVID world better than most.
Kevin Stone, MD. The Stone Clinic (San Francisco): We have found the most success recruiting talent on LinkedIn.
Issada Thongtrangan, MD. Microspine PLC (Scottsdale, Ariz.): Recruiting and retaining staff in today's healthcare labor market is very challenging, especially as an independent physician. It is not uncommon that the staff is feeling overwhelmed, undercompensated or undersupported, and more importantly, underappreciated. From my experience, the key to recruiting staff is making the staff feel appreciated, welcomed, excited about new opportunities, and more importantly, giving them reasonable compensation.
The successful management concept to retain staff is to provide reasonable compensation for services provided and advocating for staff needs. I make sure that they are a vital part of my practice. I don't see them as employees, but as my team. However, we set healthy professional and personal boundaries in the practice so everything is done in a professional manner and not emotionally driven.
The biggest challenge in healthcare labor markets today is not necessarily the physicians, but physician support staff. Many times, the negative or bad online reviews are from the "unsatisfied" clients/patients on the staff, and less on the physicians, which unfortunately, makes the whole organization look incompetent.
Jason Koh, MD. NorthShore University HealthSystem (Skokie, Ill.): At the NorthShore Orthopaedic & Spine Institute, we find and recruit talent by casting a wide net and looking for individuals that want to provide the highest-quality clinical care combined with an interest in teaching and research. We have great surgeons who trained at a variety of different programs that reach out to their networks to let them know when we are recruiting for our leading orthopedic institute.
Daniel Choi, MD. Spine Medicine and Surgery of Long Island (N.Y.): I personally have had the most success recruiting through my personal network. But I have also had good success using Indeed. We have recruited a good number of employees from job websites. Indeed is our go-to right now as it is very efficient and optimized.
I think the key has been word of mouth. Someone who knew someone who was looking for a job in this geographical area and that turned into a key hire that has boosted our practice. One piece of advice I could give for people who are running their own practices and seeking good talent is to keep your network as open as possible, and maintain your networks. You don't know who is going to know someone who can fulfill a need in the future. I have even gotten hires through industry contacts, people who know someone else at another practice, because they're working with different practices. You never know someone who can know someone who can help you.