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Best Practices for Hosting a Physician Site Visit

Step by Step Guide to Successful Physician Site Visits
Wavebreak Media Ltd123RF.com

You never get a second chance to make a first impression—especially when recruiting top talent in the highly competitive healthcare market space. Research by AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) indicates that the United States will likely see a shortage of up to 120,000 physicians by 2030.  Adding to the crisis, this shortage comes at a time of rising demand for healthcare services.

The increased demand is primarily due to the aging and escalating population. In fact, the US population is estimated to grow nearly 11% by 2030, with those over 65 increasing by 50%. Additionally, roughly one of every three providers will be retirement age (65) in the next decade, making the physician shortage crisis one of the most significant challenges facing healthcare organizations today.

As shortages rise and the market becomes increasingly more competitive, preparation and planning are critical for successful physician recruitment and retainment.

25 Best Practices to WOW at your Next Physician Site Visit

If an organization is planning a physician site visit, it is likely that physician recruiters, executives, and administrators have already engaged in a substantial amount of groundwork. The candidate has expressed interest in the opportunity, and based on discussions, the organization believes it could be a potential fit. Once the candidate has been selected for a site interview, it is time to make sure your organization or practice stands out from the competition.

The following are 25 Best Practices to WOW at your next physician site visit:

Pre-Site Visit Preparation

  1. Create and provide a pre-visit information packet.
  2. Provide a detailed itinerary.
  3. Provide a cost of living comparison analysis between your area and the current location of the candidate.
  4. Plan and organize a community tour to introduce the candidate and his/her family to your area. Personalize the community tour based on their specific interests: schools, parks, housing, places of worship, neighborhoods, shopping, etc.
  5. Coordinate airline flights for the candidate and his/her family.
  6. Arrange for transportation for the candidate to and from the airport to the hotel of choice. Include transportation to the site visit and all required travel.
  7. Make necessary hotel reservations.
  8. Schedule and coordinate a dinner with the candidate and appropriate physician or executive leadership.
  9. Organize a meeting with a physician colleague and the physician’s family, aligning family situation, lifestyle, and interests.
  10. Schedule a meeting with a real estate agent you know and trust in the community.

Site Visit

  1. Leave a gift at the candidate’s hotel such as flowers, a fruit basket, or a welcome packet that will reflect the essence of your community. If the candidate has children, include an age-appropriate gift for them.
  2. Ensure you take candidate and spouse on the pre-planned community tour.
  3. Remember – if you recruit the spouse, you will have recruited the physician.
  4. Provide a tour of hospital facilities.
  5. Provide a tour of office space.
  6. Include a luncheon with key members of the medical staff.
  7. Include a dinner with appropriate hospital staff and/or community members.
  8. Remember time for extracurricular activities such as golfing, tennis, fishing, etc.
  9. Provide time for the candidate to meet another provider/colleague and his/her family.

Post Site Visit

  1. Follow-up promptly with the candidate to address any questions or concerns regarding the site visit.
  2. Reimburse expenses quickly.
  3. Send a thank you with a small gift.
  4. Send the hospital newsletter.
  5. Continue thorough discussions and evaluate the candidate’s level of interest in your opportunity.
  6. Continue interviewing and answering questions until you have a signed agreement.

 

A well prepared, personalized, and refined physician site visit is essential to earning the trust of the physician and his/her spouse. The site visit is the most critical factor for determining cultural, operational, and philosophical fit. Healthcare organizations that successfully execute a physician site visit will stand out from the competition, earn the trust of the physician and spouse, and become their first choice.

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About Anne Carrie

Anne Carrie holds an MBA in Healthcare Management and a BS in Marketing. Her experience includes over 10 years of healthcare marketing, administration, recruiting, and business development. She has over 4 years of healthcare writing, copywriting, and editing experience for Hospitals, Medical Practices, and Medical/Healthcare companies. Her work has been published in Becker's Hospital Review, Medical Practice Insider, Physicians Practice, DenistryIQ, HealthITOutcomes, and other healthcare related publications.