You may be surprised to learn that the retention process begins during a hospitalist candidate’s first interview. Most physicians who leave their organizations do so in the first five years, and often the decision to leave occurs within the first three to five months of employment. Examples of factors that lead to physician turnover include:
Poor fit within the organization’s culture
Disappointment with compensation
Pressure to see a higher-than-anticipated patient volume
From the initial interview, set clear expectations about compensation and long-term goals, clinical performance, and quality standards. Provide realistic details about your hospital or health system’s culture. Seek feedback on the candidate’s expectations and desires, and objectively evaluate the match.
Finally, invest in formalizing and implementing an effective retention program. A formal, written retention plan is essential to reducing turnover.
Remember: In the face of physician shortages and increased patient demand, it can be difficult to objectively evaluate issues such as fit and long term expectations, but securing the right hospitalist upfront will help save your facility time and money in the long run.