Tuesday, July 29, 2008
At this stage, it is best to provide the candidate with personal, direct, and meaningful feedback. Comments that you might incorporate into your closing conversation include the following:
▪ “We really like you and feel that the interview went very well.”
▪ “We believe you’d be a tremendous fit for our hospitalist program.”
▪ “Are there any issues that came up today that we should address?”
▪ “What are your thoughts about the position and the organization?”
Closing the deal ultimately comes down to knowing your hospitalist candidate both professionally and personally. A physician is most likely to accept a position if it offers a better career path, a promotion, or better lifestyle. Through a candid conversations, you can learn about one’s professional and personal goals, and identify what opportunities your organization can provide over his or her current situation.
If the candidate portrays a positive attitude and likes the organization, position, salary, and the community you may want to ask, “If we were to make you an offer, what would you say?” If the candidate seems prepared to make the decision, you may want to cut and close. In that case, if you’ve done your reference checks, you’re home free.
Screening a hospitalist candidate goes beyond reviewing a resume and performing the necessary background and reference checks. It is also important to consider whether the candidate is a good “fit” for your organization. For example, does he or she share the majority of the organization’s work styles, philosophies, and goals?
When assessing whether a candidate is a good fit, first you must candidly consider the style of your department and organization. Address questions such as:
1. Does the organization value individual performance or team play?
2. Is the organization’s style loose or structured with regard to schedules, coverage, etc.?
3. How social is the department and organization?
4. Does the position entail taking risks, or it more suited to a cautious hospitalist?
5. How much value does the organization place on saving money and improving the bottom line?
Next, develop a checklist of all of the qualities you are seeking in a hospitalist. Begin by addressing the following questions:
1. Do you need a team player or an independent performer?
2. Do you want a physician who will stay for 20 years or for five?
3. Are community involvement and civic contributions important?
4. What does the candidate’s background tell you about his or her ability to fit in with your organization?
While there is no fail-safe method for assessing candidates, a careful appraisal of your organization coupled with a detailed exploration of a candidate’s personal and professional goals will help you better determine if he or she is a good match.
Elements of a strong and effective orientation program include:
▪ Implementation of a formalized training program to help the new hospitalist learn the ropes of your organization, making him or her feel more at ease in the new position.
▪ Introducing the new hospitalist to staff and arranging meetings between the hospitalist and the individuals with whom he or she will work closely.
▪ Creating a welcoming environment by inviting the new hospitalist to social events. It is important to include the new hospitalist’s significant other and/or family in part of the orientation, especially in cases where the physician/family has relocated to the community.
Monday, July 28, 2008
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.
The interview team needs to be well-prepared and set aside plenty of time to spend with the candidate. Preferably, the interview itinerary should be sent to the candidate a week in advance.
The prospective employee should be greeted upon arrival and escorted by a designated interview team member during the course of the interview. Well-conducted interviews with a wrap-up session that allows the candidate to address any issues or unanswered questions. If he or she wants the position afterward, your efforts have been successful.
Friday, July 25, 2008
In the May 2008 issue of Managed Care, David Cornett was featured discussing the topic of physicians balancing professional time with personal time through the use of part-time employment.
A survey conducted by Cejka Search and the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) shows a rise in the number of physicians who practice part time. From 2005 to 2007, the percentage of all physicians practicing part time increased from 13 percent (5 percent men and 8 percent women) to 19 percent (7 percent men and 12 percent women) — a jump of 46 percent.
“Twenty years ago, the concept of practicing medicine on a part-time basis was never heard of,” says David Cornett, regional vice president for client services at Cejka Search. The need is not coming from the organizations but from the younger physician population and those nearing retirement,” says Cornett.
Forecasts of a shortage of primary care physicians and the trend toward more part-time practice suggest that it will be increasingly difficult for health plans to ensure access to primary care providers for their members.
Cornett says that physicians want to avoid the administrative burdens of running a traditional independent medical practice and that managed care organizations can play a role by reducing those burdens.
“If managed care organizations can remove obstacles for physicians, they will be more productive — and accessible to health plan members — within the clinical hours they will be working,” says Cornett.