An essential way to ease the transition of a new physician into your organization is to establish a mentoring program. These programs significantly decrease physician turnover. For example, according to the 2006 Cejka Search and AMGA Physician Retention Survey, practices without mentoring programs experience a 7.2% turnover rate. Practices with established mentoring programs experience a 6.3% turnover rate.*
Mentors perform a wide variety of activities with new physicians. Mentoring roles may include:
· Orientation: Mentors shadow new hires for first day and assist in orientation efforts.
· Social: Introducing new physicians to staff, leadership and providing social opportunities for physician and their families is a key role for mentors.
· Policy assistance: Mentors will ensure that new physicians understand all policies, unstated rules, coding issues and oversight on the group culture.
· Regularly scheduled meetings: These meetings are designed to check in with the new hire. The meetings are more frequent when the physician first begins.
· Reviews: Mentors offer new hires a review after predetermined time periods.
· Reviews offer the new hire valuable feedback on their performance in order to help them acclimate to the organization.
· The go-to-role: New physicians can go to their mentors at any time with any questions regarding the organization.
The primary factor for success or failure in a mentor relationship is the commitment level of the mentor. Mentors must be available to a new hire in order for the relationship to be successful. In addition, the more formalized your mentor program is, the more likely it is to succeed.
*Source: The Cejka Search and AMGA 2006 Physician Retention Survey was completed by 92 members of the American Medical Group Association, and collectively employ more than 16,833 physicians.