Candidate Corner Blog - Physician Job & Healthcare Industry Trends

If you are a physician or healthcare professional looking for a medical career opportunity, you probably have questions about the recruitment process. The Candidate Corner Blog is designed to address common questions regarding physician jobs and the healthcare industry. Submit your questions, and the expert physician recruiting consultants at Merritt Hawkins will address common themes that emerge. We encourage you to read, participate and submit questions at Candidate Corner!


Optometry's Role in Treating Sports Related Concussions/Injuries

Optometrists Prevent and Treat TBIs


Optometry's Role in Treating Sports Related Concussions/Injuries

By Doug Bennett, Contributor


Recent research indicates that patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are rehabilitated faster and more completely when optometrists are included as part of the overall health care team.


Over 50,000 deaths each year in the United States, and nearly 50 percent of all injury-related deaths are attributed to TBI. Falls are, by far, the most common cause of traumatic brain injury in the U.S.; however, other causes are starting to generate headlines, and the role of optometry in proper injury assessment is also grabbing attention.


Increased media coverage of war veterans who have sustained traumatic brain injuries during combat has helped elevate awareness about the long-term harmful effects when TBIs go untreated. Additionally, there has been increased media coverage of TBIs among both youth and professional athletes who play contact sports like football and rugby. In fact, the leading cause of injury-related death and disability among children and young adults is traumatic brain injury. Conditions resulting from undiagnosed and untreated TBI often have devastating effects on quality of life and rehabilitative success of patients.


Optometrists play a crucial role in helping prevent and treat traumatic brain injuries—such as concussions—because vision is an excellent tool for identifying mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) among patients. Subtle changes to vision can get overlooked by practitioners who have not received specialized training in conditions of the eye. Visual pathways can account for over 50% of the brain’s pathways, which are often affected in concussion. Patients who have experienced concussion often exhibit signs of vision problems, including accommodative disorders, saccadic dysfunction and convergence insufficiency.


Children are especially vulnerable to the consequences of concussion because they often have more prolonged recoveries than adults with concussion do, leading to poorer outcomes. Recent studies have revealed a high prevalence of vision problems in adolescents who have experienced a concussion, along with substantial symptoms associated with those vision disorders. After receiving immediate treatment from a primary care physician, anyone with a concussion—children in particular—should be certain to schedule a follow-up comprehensive eye examination with an optometrist to ensure visual capabilities are intact and protected.


This elevated awareness about mTBIs is now creating a dramatic increase in office visits and referrals to doctors of optometry. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), of the 1.4 million traumatic brain injury-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths that occur each year, an estimated 75-90 percent are typically concussions or other forms of mTBI.


Because many doctors of optometry are already involved in the diagnoses and rehabilitation of people with traumatic brain injuries, the American Optometry Association (AOA) has developed a members-only tool called the Brain Injury Electronic Resource Manual (BIERM), which serves as a helpful reference to assist optometrists in evaluating brain injuries among patients. The BIERM emphasizes diagnosis of common visual problems associated with TBI, including accommodative, binocular vision and eye movement disorders. A second volume of the BIERM focuses on treating and managing brain-injured patients over time. Expect to see more research in the prevention of brain injuries, including the important role optometrists play in fall prevention—one of the biggest contributors to TBI among seniors.


When working as part of an interdisciplinary health care team in a hospital or clinic, doctors of optometry can introduce the latest research advances to help diagnose and treat visual conditions. They can also make appropriate referrals for patients who require more specialized treatment. Because they already know how to diagnose and treat TBI-related visual and ocular disorders, such as oculomotor dysfunctions, O.D.’s are now helping make a significant difference in patient outcomes, rehabilitative progress and overall quality of life.


Do you want to play an active role in shaping the future of health care delivery and patient outcomes? Invest some time browsing through the Merritt Hawkins optometry jobs database, which features open positions in a variety of locales and work settings. Then contact one of our expert professional recruiters today to discuss next steps.





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Posted by at 10/19/2017 7:18:25 AM
National Physician Assistant Week Shines a Light on a Key Profession

Happy PA Week!


National Physician Assistant Week Shines a Light on a Key Profession

By Travis Singleton


October 6th – October 12th marks National Physician Assistant Week – a good time to reflect on how PAs are making a growing contribution to healthcare access and quality in the United States.


According to the 2016 Survey of PA Recruiting and Employment Trends, which Merritt Hawkins conducted in conjunction with the American Academy of Physician Assistant (AAPA), 90 percent of U.S. hospitals now employ PAs. The number for hospitals of 200 beds or more is 96 percent. Sixty percent of hospitals are currently recruiting PAs and 58% expect PAs to take on a greater role within their facilities.


There are over 110,000 PAs practicing in the U.S. today, about one-third of them in primary care and two-thirds in specialty care. PAs are coming to the fore in healthcare in part because they offer patients access to services at a time when the supply of physicians is constrained. In 2017, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projected there will be a deficit of up to 104,900 physicians by 2030.


Physician shortages already are being felt by patients. Merritt Hawkins’ 2017 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times indicates that the average time to make a physician new patient appointment has grown from 20.5 days in 2009 to 24.1 days in 2017, a 30 percent increase.


PAs expand the medical workforce by handling some of the more routine maladies patients present, by assisting with procedures, helping with patient education, ensuring compliance and, in general, enhancing quality of care.


Their training and expertise fit perfectly into the “team-based” concept of care in which physicians, advanced practitioners, nurses, care coordinators and other professionals each practice “to the top of their training” along a continuum of care.


PAs also fit the staffing concept behind the “convenient care” movement, and now practice at a growing number of urgent care centers and retail clinics nationwide. Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) were among to first facilities to utilize PAs within the team-based model, and now PAs work at thousands of FQHC sites across the country.


Ninety percent of patients surveyed in a study conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of the the AAPA said PAs make it easier to get an appointment and improve quality of care, showing that the important role PAs play has not gone unnoticed by the public.


Merritt Hawkins is proud to recruit PAs to hospitals, medical groups, urgent care centers, FQHCs and other facilities across the country. We extend our best wishes to PAs during National Physician Assistant Week and welcome any comments readers may have on the role PAs are playing in today’s evolving healthcare system. Those who would like a complete copy of the Survey of PA Recruitment and Employment Trends are welcome to email me here.





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Posted by at 10/10/2017 7:43:02 AM
How Best to Establish Rapport with New Patients

Physicians and Patients Establishing Trust is Crucial


How Best to Establish Rapport with New Patients

By Doug Bennett, Contributor


It often takes several visits before patients fully open up and feel comfortable sharing personal information with their physicians. For instance, few patients are naturally comfortable disclosing recreational drug use, addiction to alcohol, sexual practices or promiscuity to doctors, even when they have an established relationship.


What can physicians and other healthcare practitioners do to build trust and establish better rapport with patients? 


First, it’s important to recognize that building trust is unique to each individual relationship. There are no standards of care for offering compassion and empathy, although demonstrating those two qualities is the very foundation for building a healthy, trusting and productive doctor-patient relationship.


Building trust starts with consistently exercising common courtesies during a patient’s visit and other interactions with you and your staff—from the first call placed to schedule an appointment, to greeting a patient when they enter the reception area, and all the way through to follow-up calls when checking on a patient’s recovery. Ensure that you and your staff are consistently courteous, patient and helpful on the phone, as well as in the office.


Physicians can also build trust by remembering to listen patiently to each new patient, without interrupting. It’s been said that most patients tell you ninety percent of what’s wrong if they are allowed to talk for five minutes without interruption. Physicians can exploit this window of opportunity by trying not to second-guess what a patient is trying to explain and allowing the patient to fully communicate, in their own terms, what is troubling them.


Unfortunately, research shows that most physicians interrupt patients after less than twenty seconds. Although it might be necessary on occasion to interject in order to keep a discussion on track, allowing patients to talk without interruption for at least five minutes can make a substantial difference in building trust.


Making good eye contact is another excellent tactic for establishing good rapport with new patients. It’s really a no brainer, but many physicians overlook this simple, yet highly effective, practice because they need to simultaneously record comments during the examination. Using a voice recorder and transcription service is one solution.


Understanding and respecting a patient’s desire for modesty often gets overlooked in doctor offices and hospitals. When patients feel like their desire for modesty isn’t respected, it can contribute to generalized dissatisfaction with the physician. It’s important to ensure patients feel secure and comfortable when disrobing in an exam room, and that they are offered appropriately fitting gowns that fully cover their bodies. Keep in mind that many patients—especially the elderly—can struggle with how to properly don a hospital gown. A little guidance from a nurse can go a long way toward ensuring that a patient isn’t frustrated and potentially left feeling exposed.


Always be certain to exchange “common courtesy” greetings at the beginning of an appointment. This means introducing yourself, confirming that you know the patient’s name (or the name they prefer to be called), smiling, extending an apology if you’re running a few minutes behind, and even making a comment about the weather, such as “Wow, it’s blistering hot out there today!” These exchanges demonstrate to the patient that you are, first and foremost, a human being before you are a doctor. All too often busy physicians dispense with these normal and expected interactions. This can cause patients to feel invisible and sow feelings of distrust.


Although it is necessary for doctors to stand when physically evaluating a patient, it is also important to sit when talking to patients, e.g., when listening to the patient describe the reason for their visit, when going over test results or when outlining a treatment plan. Physicians should not underestimate how patients perceive vertical differences when making eye contact, so don’t ignore this subtle yet important dynamic.


Start establishing a good rapport with Merritt Hawkins’ professional placement specialists. Take advantage of our unparalleled healthcare staffing resources, with over 20 years of experience recruiting and placing physicians in rewarding career positions. Please browse through our extensive online jobs database and give us a call today.

 






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Posted by at 10/9/2017 6:26:07 AM
Why Optometrists Should Care about Disruptive Innovation

Innovation in Optometry


Why Optometrists Should Care about Disruptive Innovation

By Doug Bennett, Contributor


“Disruptive innovation” is one of those trendy new terms that suddenly emerge in the American lexicon—overnight and out of nowhere. It turns out the term was coined by Harvard University Business School professor Clayton Christensen, and refers to a phenomenon occurring when innovation in a service or product spawns new markets that eventually displace longstanding ones.


Consider what the Internet has done as far as transforming traditional business and commerce models throughout the world. Or, how cell phones have replaced landline telephones, or how electronic banking has displaced writing checks by hand, addressing envelopes and attaching postage stamps. True disruptive innovations increase the convenience, accessibility and affordability of a service or product in order to make them more available to the general population.


Out with the old, in with the new


In recent years in the eye care industry, companies like Warby Parker have created true disruptive innovation. They burst onto the eyewear scene by employing a vertical integration approach to reduce costs and provide eyeglasses at a lower price than most other top eyewear competitors. This approach was pioneered by online contact lens companies, such as 1-800-CONTACTS, who first started transforming the eyewear industry over a decade ago. This new e-commerce business model for purchasing eyeglasses or contact lenses has disrupted the traditional model of going to an eyewear retailer at the local shopping mall, getting examined by an optometrist, and then selecting a new pair of frames or being fitted for contact lenses.


The risk for optometrists


This type of shift in traditional practices and business norms is beneficial and attractive to patients because it lowers costs. But, optometry practitioners view it as a competitive threat because less expensive online eyewear options can reduce sales volumes for optometry practices, thereby undermining their ability to remain in business. The implications for optometrists and other eye care professionals should not be underestimated.


Perhaps an even more compelling cause for alarm is that ordering contact lenses or prescription eyeglass lenses online—without a prior examination by a licensed optometrist or a proper fitting by an optician or optometrist—can seriously jeopardize a person’s eye health. This is an example of where disruptive innovations can have unintended negative consequences.


What to do?


Choosing to ignore the influence of disruptive innovations that will inevitably continue to reshape the optometry landscape is not the best strategy. Instead, optometrists and other eye care professionals should try to remain hyper-aware of any, and all, emerging industry developments. The best way—perhaps the only way—to survive in such a dynamic business environment is to recognize changes before they arrive, embrace them, and then identify strategies or tactics for differentiating between the impersonal, transactional nature of interacting with an online retail web site versus the more individualized patient experience that can be offered by a traditional optometrist.


Stay Informed, Speak Out


Ultimately, it is crucial for optometrists to recognize that disruptive innovation is here to stay. Although some drivers are well beyond the control of the average working optometrist, the broader community of optometrists does have some leverage as far as determining if, how and when to adapt to the inevitable changes that are afoot. For example, optometrists can take a stance on the potential harmful impacts to patient eye health by becoming an advocate in the legislative arena, where industry-wide solutions must be vetted and passed because optometry is a regulated practice.


If you’re an optometrist or other healthcare professional thinking about making a professional change, take advantage of Merritt Hawkins’ unparalleled optometry staffing and placement resources. We offer over 20 years of experience recruiting and placing healthcare professionals in rewarding career positions in a range of exciting geographic locations. Speak with a recruiter today to find out what optometry positions are waiting for your invaluable skills.






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Posted by at 10/6/2017 2:04:59 PM
Survey Shows Medical Residents Are Swamped With Job Offers

The 2017 Survey of Final-Year Medical Residents is Now Available


Survey Shows Medical Residents Are Swamped With Job Offers

By Phillip Miller


Everyone knows that medical residents are extremely busy absorbing all the clinical skills they need to become practicing physicians.


A new survey suggests they also spend a considerable amount of time processing the flood of job solicitations that come their way.


Merritt Hawkins’ 2017 Survey of Final-Year Medical Residents tracks the career plans and expectations of 926 physicians in their final year of residency training. Seventy percent indicated they received 50 or more job solicitations during their training, while 50 percent received 100 or more job solicitations.


That is the highest number of residents indicating they received 100 or more job feelers since Merritt Hawkins began conducting the survey in 1995. Job solicitations came in the form of phone calls, emails, and direct mail from recruiters at hospitals, medical groups and physician recruiting firms.


The survey is one more signal that the nation is facing a physician deficit, projected by the Association of American Medical Colleges to reach up to 104,000 doctors by 2030.


The survey also examines when residents begin a serious job search, what type of communities they would prefer to practice in, their salary expectations and other data of interest to those who follow physician recruiting and physician workforce issues.


This infographic illustrates key findings of the survey, and a complete copy of the 26-page survey report is available by emailing me here.

 




Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins and Staff Care, companies of AMN Healthcare (NYSE: AHS).  



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Posted by at 9/18/2017 7:20:49 AM
Care Redesign: Leveraging Team-based Care Models for Behavioral Health and Social Needs

In Healthcare, Teamwork Makes the Dream Work


Care Redesign: Leveraging Team-based Care Models for Behavioral Health and Social Needs

By Doug Bennett, contributor


Of the many changes envisioned as part of the evolution toward patient-centered primary care models, perhaps none offers more promise for improved outcomes and reduced costs than team-based care delivery.


Team-based care is defined by the National Academy of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine) as “…the provision of health services to individuals, families, and/or their communities by at least two health providers who work collaboratively with patients and their caregivers—to the extent preferred by each patient—to accomplish shared goals within and across settings to achieve coordinated, high quality care.”


Bifurcation of care impedes outcomes and increases costs


It is increasingly recognized that a small subset of individuals account for the majority of health care spending. These individuals often grapple with multiple medical, behavioral health and social challenges, which can result in costly—and often ineffective—interactions with the health care system. Research shows that patients who have high levels of emergency department and hospital use often have had life experiences that directly impact how they interact with health care providers, e.g., early-life trauma or family instability.


Yet patients struggling with complex physical and behavioral health needs, such as substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia generally require more in-depth and continuous treatment models than the fragmented type of care available in most primary care settings.


The strong influence of economic and social factors—such as income, education level, social connectedness, housing or employment status, and reliable access to food—among these high-cost patient populations is widely acknowledged among physicians and other health care practitioners. However, very little has been done until recently to ensure that these patients—sometimes referred to as “super utilizers”—receive the appropriate social and preventive health services they need, as opposed to more expensive, and often less effective, hospital-based services.


Team-based care to the rescue


New approaches encourage the simultaneous treatment of psychiatric conditions, such as depression or anxiety, and medical conditions such as diabetes or COPD, using coordinated teams of primary care and behavioral health providers. The team-based care model is aimed at preventing situations in which the treatment of one chronic condition lessens the effectiveness of the treatment of another.


Some collaborative or team care models strategically use psychiatrists to provide consultations to primary care providers, focusing on patients who have more serious forms of mental illness and are stalled on making progress. A review of 79 research trials documented that this approach significantly improves anxiety and depression outcomes, compared with standard primary care models. This approach is designed to prevent cases in which one poorly controlled chronic condition reduces the effectiveness of the treatment of another condition.


The integration of behavioral health and substance abuse services is still relatively rare because there is little or no administrative or financial incentive to bring together standalone primary care operations. Separate provider networks, record-keeping requirements, billing and coding practices and medical training—all pose a hindrance to better integration of behavioral health and medical services for patients.


Despite these historic obstacles to care redesign, progress in integrating behavioral health and primary care models is occurring. Surveys have revealed that close to 80 percent of primary care providers who have integrated behavioral health services into their medical practices have relied on grants and/or funded the initiatives themselves. Other pioneers adopting this patient outcomes-oriented approach have taken advantage of Medicare and Medicaid demonstration projects and waivers that allow them to accept payments for providing both types of services.


Some health systems, like Boston Medical Center, have already decided to foot the bill for adding patient navigators, social workers and psychiatric nurse practitioners into their family medicine practices on a trial basis. Their rationale is that the up front investment eventually will help them succeed in acquiring future value-based contracts, or to become an accountable care organization, which can accrue savings from improving patient outcomes and reducing costs.


Don’t stand on the sidelines any longer. Become a physician who plays an active role in shaping the future of health care delivery and patient outcomes. Take time to browse through the Merritt Hawkins jobs database, which features physician openings of every type and stripe, in a variety of places and work settings. Then, contact one of our professional recruiters today to discuss next steps.

 





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Posted by at 9/7/2017 1:34:58 PM
Survey: 42% of Physicians Strongly Support a Single Payer Healthcare System, 35% are Strongly Opposed

Here are Four Reasons Why


Survey: 42% of Physicians Strongly Support a Single Payer Healthcare System, 35% are Strongly Opposed

By Phillip Miller


A plurality of physicians strongly support a single payer healthcare system, according to a new survey by Merritt Hawkins.


The survey of 1,033 physicians indicates that 42 percent strongly support a single payer health care system while 14 percent are somewhat supportive. Over one-third (35 percent) strongly oppose a single payer system while six percent are somewhat against it. The remaining three percent neither support nor oppose single payer. This infographic shows results of the survey.


The results contrast with a national survey of physicians Merritt Hawkins conducted in 2008, which indicated that 58 percent of physicians opposed single payer at that time while 42 percent supported it.


In Merritt Hawkins’ experience, there are four reasons why a growing number of physicians are in favor of single payer. First, they are seeking clarity and stability. The fits and starts of health reform and the growing complexity of our current hybrid system are a daily strain on most doctors. Many of them believe that a single payer healthcare system will reduce the distractions and allow them to focus on what they have paid a high price to do: care for patients.


Second, it’s a generational issue. The various surveys that Merritt Hawkins has conducted for The Physicians Foundation in the past show that younger doctors are more accepting of Obamacare, ACOs, EHR, and change in general than are older physicians As the new generation of physicians comes up, there is less resistance among doctors to single payer.


Third, there is a feeling of resignation rather than enthusiasm among some physicians about single payer. These physicians believe we are drifting toward single payer and would just as soon get it over with. The 14% of physicians surveyed who said they "somewhat" support single payer are probably in this group.


Fourth, there is a philosophical change among physicians that I think the public and political leaders on both sides of the aisle now share, which is that we should make an effort to cover as many people as possible.


However, while single payer has gained acceptance among some physicians, it remains strongly opposed by over one third and strongly or somewhat opposed by over 40 percent. It is still a polarizing issue among physicians and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. I welcome any reader comments about the survey and would like to hear what others have to say about a single payer healthcare system.


Phillip Miller is Vice President of Corporate Communications for Merritt Hawkins and Staff Care, Companies of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.





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Posted by at 8/14/2017 11:41:58 AM
National Health Center Week: Time to Celebrate a Healthcare Success Story

Merritt Hawkins is proud to be a long-time supporter of FQHCs


National Health Center Week: Time to Celebrate a Healthcare Success Story

 By Travis Singleton

Merritt Hawkins is proud to be a long-time supporter of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and to be the sole preferred partner for permanent physician search of the National Association of Community Health Center’s Value in Staffing Program.


By partnering with FQHCs around the country, we have the privilege of seeing first-hand how pivotal health centers are to the well-being of millions of traditionally underserved patients nationwide. Enjoying widespread support from both ends of the political spectrum, FQHCs have expanded to approximately 9,000 sites of service and offer primary care, mental health and dental services to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.


At a time when the healthcare system is facing serious challenges, FQHCs are an unqualified success story, providing quality, affordable, and accessible care to over 24 million patients a year. Through the skills and compassion of a growing number of mission-driven physicians, advanced practitioners and other professionals, FQHCs offer the right care model at the right time.


Merritt Hawkins and our sister company, Staff Care (both companies of AMN Healthcare) are supporting National Health Center Week (August 14-20) with a $30,000 Bronze Level Sponsorship. Our representatives also will be personally attending National Health Center Week celebrations at six healthcare centers, including:


  1. Northeast Valley Health 
  2. Sunset Life 
  3. Metro Community Provider Network 
  4. Great Lakes Bay Health Center 
  5. Central Virginia Health Services
  6. Mountain Comprehensive Health

 


Merritt Hawkins’ executives will present a plaque to each of the health centers recognizing their commitment to community health and will speak on the central role FQHCs play in providing quality, affordable care to medically underserved populations.


As part of our ongoing support for FQHCs, Merritt Hawkins has developed a white board video illustrating both the key role FQHCs play in today’s health system and how Merritt Hawkins partners with FQHCs nationwide on physician and advanced practitioner recruiting efforts.


Merritt Hawkins also supports FQHCs year-round with thought leadership resources, including white papers and speaking presentations, and with our unique-to-the-industry Pro Bono Physician Search Program for FQHCs. I would be happy to share a copy of our most recent white paper, entitled Topic Guide for FQHCs: Physician Recruiting and Retention, to readers who may find it useful. Please contact me here and have a great National Health Center Week!




Travis Singleton is senior vice president of Merritt Hawkins, a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.



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Posted by at 8/14/2017 8:21:06 AM
24th Annual Physician Recruiting Incentive Report Offers National Benchmark Data, Market Analysis

2017 Physician Incentive Review Now Available


2017 Merritt Hawkins Physician Incentive Review Image

By Travis Singleton


It’s an annual occurrence that has become a key point on the calendar for healthcare executives, recruiters, media members, doctors and others who follow physician recruitng trends.


I refer to the release of Merritt Hawkins’ Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives, the longest running and most comprehensive examination of the starting salaries, signing bonuses and other perks and benefits used to recruit physicians today.


Merritt Hawkins’ 2017 Review has just been completed and includes data generated by the 3,287 physician and advanced practitioner recruiting assignments Merritt Hawkins and its sister companies conducted from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.


For the 11th consecutive year, the Review indicates that family doctors top the list of the most highly recruited physicians in the United States, followed by psychiatrists, internists, obstetrician/gynecologists, and hospitalists. The average starting salary for family physicians is $231,000, according to the 2017 Review, up from $198,000 in 2015, an increase of 17%. The average starting salary for psychiatrists is $263,000, according to the Review, up from $226,000 two years ago, while the average starting salary for general internists is $257,000, up from $207,000 two years ago.


In addition to data on physician starting salaries and other incentives, the Review includes an in-depth analysis of the demographic, economic and legislative trends shaping the physician recruiting market today. It is an indispensable resource for those seeking to craft competitive physician recruiting incentive packages and for those seeking insights into today’s physician market dynamics. A breakdown of key findings of the survey offers a quick look at some of the data included in the 2017 Review. Those who would like a complete copy of the 46-page Review are welcome to email me here.  


Travis Singleton is Senior Vice President of Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.





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Posted by at 8/14/2017 7:55:11 AM
How Should Physicians Plan for Retirement?

How Physicians Can Plan for Their Financial Future


How Should Physicians Plan for Retirement


Physicians are often perceived as being more financially comfortable than the population at large, but the truth is many doctors fall short when it comes to saving for retirement. According to a recent Fidelity Investments analysis, nearly half of physicians surveyed are saving less than the recommended savings rate of 15%, averaging only 9%.


Why physicians are behind


Although physicians earn $300,000 annually on average, they tend to fall behind in saving for retirement for three key reasons: extremely high student debt loads (averaging $176,000); expensive practice-related costs; and confusion as to how to plan and navigate a viable path to ensure their financial future.


Perhaps the biggest reason why so many physicians are behind in planning for their own retirement is because doctors don’t take full advantage of retirement savings opportunities available through their employers, e.g., maxing out contributions to a qualified workplace plan, such as a 403(b).


Another problem is that many older and mid-career physicians have a mix of investments that are not aged-based. Almost 40% of pre-retirees are very aggressive in their equity allocation, making their savings much more susceptible to market fluctuations. At the same time, one-third of physicians in their 40’s are too conservatively allocated, limiting their potential for growth.


A prescription to improve your financial health


Physician retirement planning can be a tricky proposition because doctors tend to get a late start working and saving for retirement, thereby limiting the power of compound investment growth, which can have a tremendous impact on retirement accounts. The good news is that many employers now provide financial education programs and other related tools to help physicians manage their wealth and plan for retirement.


Physicians should routinely avail themselves of these services and conduct periodic checkups to ensure their financial planning and related efforts are yielding the desired results. Here are a few tips and pointers to help you stay on track: 

 

  • Seek professional financial guidance and a retirement plan checkup at least twice each year 
  • Revisit savings rates and adjust as necessary 
  • Ensure that your equity allocation is age appropriate 
  • Maximize contributions to qualified retirement plans such as a 401(k) or 403(b) 
  • Take advantage of opportunities to save in vehicles such as a non-qualified 457(b) plan, which allow highly compensated employees to defer an additional portion of their compensation and related taxes until retirement 
  • Maximize contributions to individual retirement accounts (IRAs), including Roth IRAs, and tax-deferred annuities and brokerage accounts

 


We hope this guidance will help you navigate successfully through the personal finance issues that doctors often encounter when planning for retirement.


Take advantage of Merritt Hawkins’ unparalleled staffing resources and over 20 years of experience recruiting and placing physicians. Jump-start your progress toward a financially secure retirement by calling today and speaking with one of our professional placement specialists.






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Posted by at 8/9/2017 12:27:59 PM
What Makes a Good Doctor?

Qualities patients expect in their physicians


What Makes a Good Doctor?


Competency, communication, compassion, confidentiality and convenience—“the five C’s”—are the most desirable qualities patients expect when seeking care from physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners and allied health professionals.


Convenience


No one likes to wait a long time for an appointment or to travel a long distance when in need of medical attention. It is the one time in life when time feels most precious. But recent studies show the average waiting time to see a physician in major U.S. cities is now 24 days. Because of this, patients increasingly expect physicians to offer early morning, late afternoon, evening, and weekend hours. They also expect brief wait times and more immediate access to physicians or advanced practitioners who utilize options like telemedicine. Some patients, particularly the elderly and disabled, are demanding the convenience of physicians who make house calls—an old school approach that has experienced a comeback in recent years. Trying to accommodate patients by offering more convenient access is one way to become a better doctor.


Confidentiality


With so much emphasis in recent years placed on ensuring the privacy and security of patient medical records, confidentiality might seem like a given. But not all physicians or other healthcare professionals remain vigilant about protecting the confidentiality of their patients’ data and information. Compliance with current HIPAA and other regulatory guidelines is crucial for all health workers.


One way to keep up with current best practices is to routinely check https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/index.html for the latest trends in patient data security and confidentiality. Keep in mind that failure to comply with ongoing changes to health information privacy policy can result in legal action, so it is paramount to stay on top of developments in this area. If you do nothing else, be certain to keep patient medical records secure and never discuss patient medical information with non-essential personnel.


Compassion


Perhaps the most difficult yet most important time in a physician’s career is when it becomes necessary to convey a terminal diagnosis to a patient. Patients need compassion; however, compassion doesn’t always come naturally to physicians who must share bad news. The good news is that compassion can be learned. Research shows that physicians who participate in programs that practice experiential learning skills—such as role modeling—were more humane and compassionate with their patients than physicians who did not participate. Again, compassion can be learned, and it is a crucial characteristic of a good doctor.


Communication


Patience is the key to good meaningful communication with patients. Patients immediately sense when a doctor is in a hurry or isn’t willing to spend time explaining complex medical concepts in a clear, cogent way. Studies show that patients who rate their physicians low on communication skills and bedside manner are more likely to switch to another physician. Patients also can confuse a physician’s poor communication skills with incompetence, which is often not the case.


It is incumbent upon physicians to slow down and take a little extra time to ensure patients and their families fully comprehend the information being shared, and to reassure patients that their concerns or fears are being heard and taken into consideration. A physician who possesses good communication skills can improve health outcomes for patients. Studies demonstrate that the quality of communication occurring during history-taking and the initial evaluation, as well as when treatment plans are conveyed, all directly influence patient outcomes.


Competency


Patients rightfully expect their physicians to make correct diagnoses, select the best treatment approach, perform any necessary procedures and follow up after treatment. So, what can physicians do to sustain consistent high levels of competency? It helps to ask at least once each day—and certainly before each patient interaction—“What can I do to be a better doctor?” This ritual helps reframe your thinking so you remember to approach each case with a fully open mind, thereby reducing the risk of making an incorrect diagnosis based on assumptions or preliminary diagnoses made by other staff or the patients themselves.


Become the best doctor you can become by taking advantage of Merritt Hawkins’ unparalleled healthcare staffing resources. We offer over 20 years of experience recruiting and placing physicians in rewarding career positions. Please browse through our extensive online jobs database and call today to speak with one of our professional placement specialists.






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Category:
Posted by at 8/7/2017 11:31:36 AM
Medical Specialty Spotlight on Family Medicine

Family Medicine Trends and Physician Salaries



 

In our special feature entitled “Medical Specialty Spotlight,” we review trends in a variety of medical specialties related to healthcare recruitment, physician compensation and industry trends. Today, we will look at Family Medicine.



  Number of active family medicine physicians: 107,937  
  Most in demand medical specialty ranking: 1st  
  Percentage of active family medicine physicians that are 55 or older: 38%  
  Average starting family medicine physician salary: $231,000  


Family Medicine Trends

  • For the eleventh consecutive year, family physicians topped the list of Merritt Hawkins’ 20 most requested recruiting assignments, underscoring the continued urgent demand for primary care physicians in an evolving healthcare system.
  • Because the health system now is primary care-led, demand for family physicians and other primary care physicians is likely to remain strong.
  • Average starting salaries for family medicine physicians as tracked by Merritt Hawkins’ Review exceeded $200,000 for the first time in 2016, climbing to $225,000 from $199,000 in 2015. The average in the 2017 Review further increased to $231,000.

We invite you to search our nationwide permanent family medicine jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



 

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Category:
Posted by at 7/24/2017 12:34:18 PM
Merritt Hawkins In the News Q2 Review

Physician Salaries, Health Care in America, and More


It is part of our ongoing mission to educate clients and candidates on the physician shortage and other employment and salary trends facing healthcare organizations across the nation. As part of this mission, Merritt Hawkins provides thought leadership and shared resources to the healthcare recruitment industry. In fact, our company has published or is cited in hundreds of articles appearing in a wide range of publications. The following are news articles from April 2017 - June 2017 referencing Merritt Hawkins.


 






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Category:
Posted by at 7/17/2017 2:23:35 PM
Why Physicians Should Get an MBA

The Case for Business School for the Physician


Why Physicians Should Get an MBA


With implementation of the Affordable Care Act underway and managed care organizations growing increasingly complex, some of the greatest challenges in healthcare today are business related. In response to this trend, more and more physicians in training—as well as an increasing number of practicing physicians—are choosing to round out their knowledge of anatomy and physiology with a business degree.


What you don’t know can hurt you


Let’s face it, most newly minted M.D.s don’t understand how a hospital or clinical practice makes money, how to manage people, how to make or interpret financial models, or much less how to lead a large complex organization. Earning an M.B.A. provides physicians with a solid leadership foundation to build upon, and the practical toolset necessary to address many of the looming challenges facing healthcare today.


According to the Association of M.D./M.B.A. Programs, the number of joint M.D./M.B.A. programs in the U.S. has grown from six to 65 in 20 years—increasing by 25 percent between 2011 and 2012 alone. In part, this is because earning an M.B.A. provides a new physician with more immediate clout in decision-making scenarios in hospitals and large clinical practices. An M.B.A. can also help more senior physicians prepare to transition into leadership or management roles if, and when, they decide to throttle back on practicing clinical medicine.


Meet the new boss—NOT the same as the old boss


A 2001 study showed that students from six M.D./M.B.A. programs possessed a higher tolerance for ambiguity and a greater capacity for handling uncertainty than traditional M.D. students. These characteristics are often associated with leadership ability. This means that physicians with dual degrees have a unique competitive edge in the lucrative hospital administration field in which top leaders have traditionally held M.B.A.s. A study in 2011 found that hospitals employing physicians as CEOs outperformed those with non-medical leadership.


As medicine becomes more of a business, it is essential for physicians to develop a good framework for understanding the ever-changing drivers that can affect them, including insurance reimbursement, budgeting and financial modeling, IT security, marketing strategies and healthcare law, to name just a few. M.B.A. programs can also help physicians learn how to communicate more persuasively and effectively with other decision-makers, including board members and potential investors.


The additional knowledge and skills gained from a healthcare M.B.A. or traditional M.B.A. can go a long way toward helping physicians navigate through an increasingly complex healthcare landscape, while also grooming them to become highly effective leaders. When coupled with an M.D. , an M.B.A. can really set you apart and help pave the way for an eventual foray into leadership roles.


Let Merritt Hawkins’ professional recruiters help you find the perfect physician job today. Simply take a moment to complete our short form and we’ll take it from there. One of our highly experienced recruiters will be in touch to help you find physician or other healthcare opportunities.






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Category:
Posted by at 7/17/2017 2:20:00 PM
How to Develop Collaborative Relationships with Hospital Leaders

Physicians & Administrators: Collaboration is Key


Physicians_Administrators


Physicians and hospital administrators don’t always have perfect relationships. With all the demands placed on them in today’s healthcare environment, it’s easy for physicians to get distracted and lose sight of what matters most to administrators—and vice versa.


Plus, the two groups tend to have different areas of focus. Physicians are focused on taking care of patients, while administrators are more focused on the operational aspects of running the business.


Despite their different roles, it’s critical that physicians and leaders build a partnership based on mutual trust. Collaboration and trust are key, according to guidelines released by the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association in 2015. The joint document, entitled “The Principles of Integrated Leadership for Hospitals and Health Systems,” points out that clinicians and hospital leaders must be able to trust each other’s abilities and intentions.


Hospital executives and physicians can have good working relationships if they put the right kind of effort into working together. Here are four ways that physicians can do their part:


1. Build open channels of communication.


Do you speak regularly with the administrators and leaders in your organization? If not, now’s the time to work on that goal. Even if you are new to the hospital, it’s important to talk about how you can work together and make sure you understand each other’s concerns. And ask if you can schedule regular times to check in. Use whatever channels of communication work best for both of you—the phone, email, impromptu meetings, etc.—to maximize the opportunity.


2. Be clear about what you need to do your job well.


As a provider, you know better than anyone what you need to deliver excellent patient care. Do you need additional opportunities for continuing education for yourself or your staff? Does the current staffing set-up make sense? Are there problems with the electronic medical record system you’re using? These are the sorts of things that you want to discuss with administrators to make sure you’re able to be the best care provider you can be.


3. Get involved in the decision-making process.


A great way to make sure that you and the administration are on the same page is to get involved—or get other physicians involved—in the decision-making process in your organization or health system. You can contribute input from the perspective of a physician in the strategic planning process, or other boards or committees that make decisions. And you’ll get a chance to learn more about the perspectives and concerns of others in the organization.


4. Invite hospital leaders to join you.


When was the last time anyone from the C-suite or board of directors joined you on rounds or visited you on a unit? If you can’t remember, or if the answer is “never,” it’s time to invite your leadership to join you. A growing number of healthcare organizations have embraced this opportunity for hospital leaders to get up close and personal with their physicians, nurses and other staff.


It will take time to build a good relationship between physician and administrators, but it’s worth the effort. Research shows that patient care benefits from good relationships between physicians and management.






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Category:
Posted by at 7/10/2017 12:57:09 PM
How to Be a Change Agent for Your Practice’s Culture

Physicians, Here's How to be an Influencer


How to Be a Change Agent for Your Practice’s Culture

By Doug Bennett, Contributing Writer


Any proposed changes to an organization’s existing culture inevitably conjure the “10/80/10” rule, which states that 10% of employees will actively embrace the change, 80% will be neutral or “fence sitters” and 10% will actively resist or fight the change. This is not surprising because it’s human nature to view change as either an opportunity or a threat, and people respond to change in many different ways: personally, professionally, socially, etc.


Most physician practices and other health organizations have employees who are either naturally skilled at serving as a catalyst for change or who have been explicitly charged with bringing about organizational change, i.e., change agents.


So how do you go about becoming a beneficial change agent in your own practice or health organization?


  • Question the organization’s current structure, policies and culture in a constructive manner. This first step should include interviewing colleagues and managers to develop a sense of where they stand with regard to the practice’s existing cultural norms and any proposed changes to status quo. 

  • Be certain to accurately capture in writing what you hear and try to quantify any opinions to the extent possible, e.g., “six out of ten practice employees strongly favor a four-day work week.” Good solid data will help you build a stronger case for change.

  • Build a coalition early on by identifying key decision makers, leaders, experts and others—both inside and outside of your organization—who are supportive of any proposed change processes. Acquiring the support and involvement of others upfront is the very foundation for successfully implementing changes to a medical practice’s culture.

  • Attend seminars and conferences to learn about the latest change management techniques. This will help you avoid common pitfalls and save precious time.

  • Read academic medicine journals to find out which best management practices (BMP’s) other clinical practices or health systems are implementing. There is no better indicator of what to do and what not to do than sizing up the competition to benefit from their lessons already learned.

  • Schedule routine meetings with colleagues, managers and advisory boards to discuss strategies for implementing necessary and appropriate changes in your practice.

  • Create constructive feedback loops to ensure all stakeholders have a voice and are heard. Be certain to acknowledge all opinions—even radical or unpopular ones that aren’t likely to get traction. It’s important for all employees of the practice or organization to feel invested and that their thoughts and opinions have value and are being taken into consideration.

Serving as a change agent enables physicians to share their valuable perspective and play a direct role in positively shaping and transforming the culture in their medical practice, hospital or health system. Merritt Hawkins’ recruiters are ready to share their own extensive experience with placing physicians in rewarding temporary or career positions. Browse through our extensive jobs database and reach out to one of our professional recruiters today.






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Category:
Posted by at 7/6/2017 8:25:34 AM
Physicians, How to Accept the Offer

You've Got the Job Offer, Now What?


Physician job offer

By Doug Bennett, Contributing Writer


When evaluating offers of employment, it can pay to follow the old carpenter’s advice: measure twice, cut once. Taking a little extra time at this juncture of the hiring process to clarify and confirm the terms and conditions of employment will help ensure the job is a good fit. It will also decrease your chances of having to repeat the whole process again sooner rather than later.


Get it in writing.


Most formal employment offers and contracts are provided in a memo signed by someone who is authorized to hire. If your offer is conveyed informally, say via phone or email, it’s important to request a signed copy of the offer and all related terms and conditions in writing. Only after you receive the full offer in writing can you properly evaluate the details to ensure they are consistent with your own understanding.


Haste makes waste.


After what can often be—especially for physicians—a long and tedious recruitment process, it’s important not to respond immediately once a formal offer is in hand. This is really the time to play it cool, carefully assess what is being offered and get answers to any outstanding questions that might remain from earlier steps in the process. After a potential employer puts their cards on the table by extending a formal offer of employment, it’s also important to recognize that you now have some leverage in the negotiation phase.


Show gratitude.


Upon receiving a written offer of employment, the first thing to do is express gratitude to the person(s) who made the offer. A brief email is generally considered acceptable at this stage, but it never hurts to send a handwritten note or to make a phone call. Keep it succinct, such as “Thank you very much for extending an offer of employment. I’m excited about the opportunity and would like to take time to evaluate the terms and conditions of your offer. I will be back in touch very soon.” This step acknowledges that you received the offer, expresses your continued interest and enthusiasm and keeps the door open for follow-up questions and negotiation.


Reiterate your understanding and get it in writing—again!


After you negotiate salary and benefits and receive answers to any outstanding questions, it’s crucial to recap what was agreed upon in a written acceptance memo. This is your opportunity to explicitly state your understanding of any terms and conditions not outlined in the offer letter, as well as any adjustments to the original terms negotiated in follow-up meetings. It’s important to be as specific and accurate as possible at this juncture because any errors or misunderstandings will only come back to haunt you. The acceptance memo also presents an opportunity to inquire about next steps. For example: What does the on-boarding process entail? Is there an orientation program for new employees? What should you expect on the first day?


Merritt Hawkins professional recruiters are well informed about the latest emerging trends in physician hiring and employment. Please browse through our extensive online jobs database and reach out to one of our top-notch recruiters to learn more.






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Category:
Posted by at 6/21/2017 10:42:50 AM
How to Build a Professional Network — and Why You Should Start Now

Networking is Crucial for Physicians


How to Build a Professional Network

The mere mention of “networking” can conjure cringe-worthy images of rubbing elbows in forced social situations, or climbing the 1980s-era corporate ladder. But learning how to network effectively just might be the most powerful tool physicians can command to advance their professional careers. With career dissatisfaction and burnout among physicians on the rise (see the Merritt Hawkins 2016 Survey of America’s Physicians), it’s time to reconsider the value of actively building and sustaining robust professional networks.


Stay current to stay relevant


Healthcare is evolving at a rapid pace, and traditional approaches to practicing medicine are continually being re-examined, reformulated and replaced. Maintaining a professional network with colleagues who stay informed about the latest challenges, trends and best practices can keep your own skills and knowledge from stagnating. You can keep up with emerging areas of inquiry, new specialty fields and job opportunities by staying in touch with a variety of physicians in different work environments.


Help shape modern medicine


Physicians who interact routinely with other physicians are better positioned to develop a “big picture” view of the daily challenges that arise in healthcare. The insight and perspective gained through professional networks can help physicians identify new ways to address old, familiar problems. A broader, informed perspective can also facilitate serving in leadership roles that may help shape medical research priorities or determine healthcare standards and practices ripe for revision.


Don’t confuse social media with networking


In the era of social media, more traditional approaches to networking often get short shrift. Although Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook each serve a purpose—including keeping up with healthcare news and career opportunities—never mistake them as substitutes for good old-fashioned conversation and personal interaction.


10 tips to network more efficiently


Yes, networking can take some time, but here are 10 tips to help you build and expand your professional network in the most efficient and effective ways possible:

 

  1. Before anything else, determine your professional goal(s) and how you can help others. This might sound counterintuitive, but only if you are genuine about helping others will they want to help you in return.  
  2. Identify people who are likely to have the connections and knowledge to help you reach your goals. Start with those you know and expand outward from there. 
  3. Amplify your physician job opportunities by staying in close touch with your placement specialist. The team at Merritt Hawkins is in daily contact with top health systems, clinics and practices across the country.
  4. Prepare your elevator pitch. Keep practicing until you can convey who you are and your professional goals in less than 30 seconds. 
  5. Join professional groups and associations and take advantage of their physician networking opportunities by regularly attending meetings and conferences. 
  6. When meeting a new, professional contact, get to know the person a little and start by asking for information—not a job. 
  7. Participate in online discussions and forums to make new contacts you can meet later in person at conferences/networking events. 
  8. When you use social media for networking, give extra consideration to what you post and how you are represented online. Based on the American Medical Association’s policy statements, the American College of Physicians and the Federation of State Medical Boards have social media guidelines you can reference
  9. Stay in contact with former colleagues and employers. Schedule 5-10 minutes each day for a call; slow and steady relationship building is the foundation of good professional networking. 
  10. Follow up after you make a new contact. Business cards can help ensure that new professional contacts have your information, but nothing beats sending a text, email, or even a handwritten note to demonstrate your appreciation and interest.

 


There are many reasons why cultivating a professional network is important for physicians. Ultimately, expanding the depth and variety of your professional relationships helps you become better at what you do, and can translate into an abundance of new—and often unexpected—professional opportunities.

 





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Category:
Posted by at 5/31/2017 8:47:34 AM
Physicians Not On Board With The AHCA

Physician Survey on the AHCA

By Phil Miller


Physicians Not On Board With The AHCA

Historically, physicians have rarely been supportive of government sponsored legislation intended to shape how healthcare is delivered in the United States.


According to a new survey conducted by Merritt Hawkins, this lack of support extends to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) – at least to the version recently passed by the House.


The survey of 1,112 physicians indicates that 66% of physicians have a negative impression of the AHCA, only 26% have a positive impression, and seven percent are neutral.


In a 2016 survey of 17,236 physicians that Merritt Hawkins conducted on behalf of The Physicians Foundation, 23% of physicians gave the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a positive grade of A or B, 28% gave it an average grade of C, while 48% gave it a negative grade of D or F. The AHCA, now being considered by the Senate, gets an even higher negative rating, according to the new Merritt Hawkins survey. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed have a strongly negative impression of the bill, 8% have a somewhat negative impression, while relatively few (7%) are neutral.


The survey has an error rate of +/- 2.87% as determined by experts in statistical response at the University of Tennessee and echoes statements from the American Medical Association and other physician groups that have come out against the bill. Read what Forbes had to say regarding the survey here.


I would welcome any comments others may have about the ACHA and about how the healthcare system can or should be reformed.


Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here .





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Category:
Posted by at 5/31/2017 7:27:03 AM
Carry the Load with Merritt Hawkins on Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial_day_carry_the_load

"Carry the Load" - Bring Back Meaning to Memorial Day


 

Merritt Hawkins and AMN Healthcare will proudly be participating in “Carry the Load” this Memorial Day Weekend once again. Carry The Load is an excellent opportunity for Americans to remember and honor the sacrifices of our military, law enforcement, firefighters, and rescue personnel.


Here are two stories from Merritt Hawkins team members regarding the program.


“The Carry the Load program is awesome because it is ran by two former navy seals who aren’t looking to personally profit from the program. They do an excellent job of not only honoring those who have sacrificed their lives for others but also celebrating their lives. These people were not just soldiers or just firefighters they were real human beings with families.” – Tom Hudgins 25 year army veteran and senior marketer at Merritt Hawkins.


“The annual 2-day event in Dallas this weekend is family oriented and very much an “Americana” experience. There will be tailgating, music, ice cream, flag ceremonies, food trucks, bounce houses, face painting, and inspirational speeches. And for those able to attend, If you march with us along Katy Trail, it will be a moving experience…there are banners with stories of fallen heroes. It is always heartfelt & sobering to walk in silence with the memories of family members and friends that have made the ultimate sacrifice. It also been a great opportunity to talk to the youngest generation of kids about being an American.


It’s a rare individual that takes the oath to serve this country, putting themselves in harm's way to protect the freedoms & ideals of our country. We in the civilian world sleep peacefully in our beds at night, but we can never really understand all the sacrifices they make, nor their selfless dedication to duty, ideals greater than self. My father served in the U.S. Army and I have a tremendous respect for these heroes. Carry the Load is a small way for me to honor the sacrifices made by our Military, Law Enforcement, Firefighters and First Responders.” – Terry Dickerson, son of veteran and senior search consultant at Merritt Hawkins.


The Dallas Memorial March is a 20-hour Memorial Day event honoring service members and their families for the sacrifices they make. You can join in the Memorial March at any time during the 20 hours and walk even for just a few minutes. You do not have to carry a weighted pack.


The event will take place May 28 – 29, starting at 4 p.m. Sunday May 29 and concluding at 12:16 p.m. Monday May 30. It will take place at Reverchon Park and on the Katy Trail in Dallas. Address: 3505 Maple Ave, Dallas, Texas 75219.


We invite you to join our team this Memorial Day Weekend or donate to this great cause.

 

Category:
Posted by at 5/25/2017 7:40:14 AM
Medical Specialty Spotlight on Pediatrics

Pediatrics Trends and Physician Salaries


Medical Specialty Spotlight on Pediatrics

 

In our special feature entitled “Medical Specialty Spotlight,” we review trends in a variety of medical specialties related to healthcare recruitment, physician compensation and industry trends. Today, we will look at Pediatrics.



  Number of active pediatrics physicians: 64,223   
  Most in demand medical specialty ranking: 10th  
  Percentage of active pediatrics physicians that are 55 or older: 38%  
  Average starting pediatrics physician salary: $224,000  


Pediatrics Trends

  • The supply of pediatrics physicians will be constrained both by the federal cap on GME spending and by an increasing number of physician retirements.
  • Pediatrics continues to be important to implementing the population health management model, due to the role they play in chronic disease management.

We invite you to search our nationwide permanent pediatrics jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Category:
Posted by at 5/21/2017 10:57:39 AM
Medical Specialty Spotlight: Dermatology

Dermatology Trends and Physician Salaries


Medical Specialty Spotlight: Dermatology 

 

In our special feature entitled “Medical Specialty Spotlight,” we review trends in a variety of medical specialties related to healthcare recruitment, physician compensation and industry trends. Today, we will look at Dermatology.



  Number of active dermatology physicians: 12,677   
  Most in demand medical specialty ranking: 11th  
  Percentage of active dermatology physicians that are 55 or older: 42%  
  Average starting dermatology physician salary: $444,000  


Dermatology Trends

  • Dermatologists remain in steady demand, underscoring the need for medical specialists among an aging population.
  • Average salary offers for Dermatology physicians increased by 12.7% in 2016, from $398,000 to $444,000.

We invite you to search our nationwide permanent dermatology jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Category:
Posted by at 5/21/2017 10:56:28 AM
What to Know About The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

An Expedited Path to Physician Licenses


The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact offers an expedited pathway to licensure for physicians who want to practice in multiple states. There are now 19 states participating in the Compact, with others planning to do so. See the infographic below to learn more.


What to Know About The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact






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Category:
Posted by at 5/18/2017 8:55:07 AM
Top Apps for Physicians

Healthcare Apps that Physicians Should Consider Using

Top Apps for Physicians

Doug Bennett, Contributing Writer

 

A 2016 survey revealed that physicians dramatically increased their use of both electronic health records apps and mobile clinical apps in recent years. The number of physicians using mobile EHR apps increased from 50 percent in 2013 to 78 percent in 2016. A whopping 85 percent of physicians and physician practices now use mobile devices to do their jobs.


We’ve assembled a list (not exhaustive) of the top mobile applications used by physicians. These apps are transforming how medicine is practiced on a daily basis, so it pays to familiarize yourself with the ones that can benefit you most.


General medical and drug reference apps offer a quick way to look up or confirm medical facts and information while also enabling point-of-care diagnosis support. They are the most common and popular apps for physicians.


  • UpToDate enables physicians to answer clinical questions on the fly and features evidence-based recommendations, mobile-optimized calculators and a CME tracker.

  • Medscape includes formulary information on over 7,000 prescription, OTC and herbal drugs, a drug interaction checker and a dosage calculator.

  • DynamedPlus features disease and point-of-care information for over 3,400 different conditions, with new updates routinely added.

  • Epocrates is one of the most robust and highly regarded reference apps. It provides basic drug prescribing and safety information including side effects and interactions, dosage amounts, pharmaceutical manufacturer contact info, and tools for calculating patient data (e.g., BMI) and identifying pills.

  • Isabel is a diagnostic assistant app whose recommendations have been peer reviewed in various medical journals. A handy tool for physicians who want to double-check their diagnoses, Isabel includes over 6,000 medical condition presentations and offers a variety of ways to refine results based on symptoms, patient demographics and travel history.

  • Skyscape is another decision support tool for physicians, which features drug information, medical calculators, summaries of journal articles and evidence-based clinical information.

One of the most popular medical imaging apps is Figure 1 Medical Images, which enables physicians to view, comment on and share medical images with hundreds of thousands of other physicians. This app is helpful for diagnosing rare conditions and seeking feedback from other physicians who have encountered similar cases.


Several apps enable physicians to stay informed about the latest research developments and news in the medical field. These include Read by QxMD, NEJM This Week, MedPage Today and Medscape's MedPulse. These apps can generally be personalized based on specialty or areas of interest and they cover everything from FDA bulletins and clinical practice guidelines to proceedings from professional medical conferences.


Patient care and patient communication apps such as Virtual Practice for Doctors and MediBabble are transforming how physicians interact with patients both inside and outside of the office. These apps often feature remote patient monitoring and patient portals for communicating with patients, including live video chat.


Take advantage of Merritt Hawkins’ unparalleled staffing resources and over 20 years of experience recruiting and placing physicians. Browse through our extensive online jobs database and call today to speak with one of our professional placement specialists.






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Category:
Posted by at 5/17/2017 1:11:16 PM
Why Physicians Should Have Hobbies

Hobbies are Important for Physicians

Why Physicians Should Have Hobbies

Doug Bennett, Contributing Writer

 

Parkinson’s law says “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” For busy physicians this can translate into spending precious downtime on secondary work-related tasks—like reading scholarly journal articles—instead of on more restorative activities, such as pursuing a favorite hobby or playing a sport. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to ignore this subtle blurring of the lines until the damage is already done.


Hobbies help you strike a healthy work-life balance


Constantly viewing the world through the lens of medicine can create a distorted perspective. When every waking moment revolves around practicing medicine, the inevitable negative interactions and outcomes that accompany the profession can begin to influence your overall mood and outlook. It’s important to recognize this slippery slope before you begin to slide down it.


Perhaps a long-term patient dies on the same day your pet research project generates a major breakthrough that will ultimately save thousands of lives. How do you reconcile that type of emotional disparity?


Pursuing hobbies and recreational endeavors outside of practicing medicine enables you to experience other forms of growth, development and success. In turn, this helps remind you that those inevitable negative events occurring at work must be kept in perspective and are not representative of the balance of your life.


Life doesn’t end at retirement


Hobbies help foster new social connections, which are a key component of happiness and having a meaningful life. This is especially true as we age. One day you will retire from being a physician, so it’s important to cultivate hobbies and interests outside of medicine that you can continue to pursue throughout your golden years. Meeting new people, sharing passions and forming new bonds throughout your working years helps form good habits and paves the way toward a more active and healthy retirement.


The bottom line


Life inevitably has its ups and downs, successes and failures, each and every day. The key is to be able to look back upon each day and see that, on balance, life’s events are mostly positive or successful. For physicians—who commonly deal with illness, crises and death—keeping this strategy top-of-mind and making a conscious effort to create opportunities for growth and success outside of practicing medicine can be a career saver, not to mention a lifesaver.


Always remember: you are more than a physician. You are a multifaceted person who deserves a healthy, joyful, balanced life. Get out now and start cultivating fun, enjoyable hobbies to foster a healthy work-life balance—the ultimate measure of success.


Merritt Hawkins professional recruiters are ready to help you find your next physician job. Take time to browse our robust jobs database, which features physician openings of every stripe, in a variety of places and work settings. Then, contact one of our expert recruiters to discuss next steps.






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Category:
Posted by at 5/16/2017 12:13:56 PM
The Rise of Virtual Reality in Healthcare

Healthcare and Technology Trends

The Rise of Virtual Reality in Healthcare

Doug Bennett, Contributing Writer

 

It appears the imagined future in the 1966 film classic Fantastic Voyage has finally become reality. Virtual reality (VR)—a computer-enabled technology that simulates 3D interactive virtual environments—is rapidly emerging as a real game changer in healthcare, where the technology is particularly well suited for quick adoption.


In specialties like neurosurgery, physicians are now able to “navigate” through the brain of a patient prior to surgery using a hyper-real digital simulation of the patient’s brain. This enables neurosurgeons to map out a 3D image of the brain’s structure, which facilitates navigating around tumors, aneurysms, blood vessels and delicate brain tissue during actual surgery.


A diverse range of applications


The range of applications for VR technology in healthcare is immense. In addition to surgery, VR is already being used in advanced medical training and education, to help plan for rehabilitation therapy or radiation therapy, and in the treatment of various addictions and phobias.


Robotic assisted surgery enables surgeons to better visualize the anatomy of the area being treated, thereby reducing medical errors. Other VR applications can facilitate distance diagnosis and remote treatment. In reconstructive surgery VR allows patients to see the potential outcome of any operation.


Non-life-threatening conditions such as agoraphobia and chronic acute anxiety are being investigated as good candidates for VR treatment. VR can even help new mothers prepare for the potential challenges that can arise with breastfeeding.


A revolution for medical training


VR systems enable medical trainees to experience realistic 3D medical emergency scenarios and acquire hands-on experience with complex medical procedures without also being subjected to the risk of making errors in a real world setting.


Just as commercial airline pilots train using sophisticated flight simulators, physician trainees can use VR technology to practice and hone their skills at their own pace. Training tasks can be monitored and tracked to ensure competency has been reached before allowing a trainee to operate on real patients, i.e., surgical skills assessment without the traditional risks. VR may enable reducing the number of cadavers needed by medical schools.


VR can also be used to train for handling mass casualty scenarios or accidents in unusual industrial settings, which require urgent and accurate triage responses.


Strong growth potential


Overall projected increases in healthcare spending are expected to drive further investment in VR, which helps reduce training costs and medical errors over time. VR is poised for continued growth across the healthcare industry in both the U.S. and emerging economies such as India and China, where rapidly expanding healthcare markets will fuel its adoption.


Recent projections indicate that the worldwide market for virtual reality in healthcare is slated to reach $3.8 billion dollars by 2020—a strong indicator for just how much demand for this innovative tool is expected to increase. With these projections, there will be an opportunity for new medical roles as well as career advancements.


Take advantage of Merritt Hawkins’ unparalleled healthcare staffing resources, with over 30 years of experience recruiting and placing physicians in rewarding career positions. Please browse through our extensive online jobs database or request a call today to speak with one of our professional recruiting specialists.





We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 5/4/2017 12:40:13 PM
Which States Have Tort Reform: Where to Practice?

What to Know About Tort Reform in the U.S.

Which States Have Tort Reform and Where to Practice?

Doug Bennett, Contributing Writer

 

A tort is either an omission or an act that harms or injures another person, i.e., a civil wrong. The tort system essentially requires that victims receive full compensation for proved harm—usually in the form of money—from those who are responsible or at fault for harming them. In the medical context, harm can include medical expenses, payment for pain and suffering, loss of income during recovery, loss of future income, and loss of one or more body parts.


Tort reform in the United States proposes changes to the civil justice system aimed at reducing both the ability of victims to litigate and the damages they can receive if they choose to litigate and do so successfully. It is a contentious political matter.


Advocates prefer imposing limits on the ability to file medical malpractice claims for personal injuries incurred while receiving care in order to address the perception that the current system distorts economic impacts in the way of overly generous—and sometimes downright frivolous—jury verdicts. Most proposed or existing tort reform laws are aimed at making it more difficult for injured people to file a lawsuit or obtain a jury trial, and at limiting the amount of money injured people can receive in a lawsuit.


Supporters of the existing tort system, including many consumer advocates, believe that tort reform measures are nothing more than disguised attempts to protect and benefit businesses (like hospitals, physician practices and health systems) that have injured innocent victims.


Regardless of where you stand on the matter, it’s important to become aware of the status of tort reform laws and measures in your current home state as well as other states where you might choose to live and practice medicine.


As of 2016, thirty-three states have imposed caps on any damages sustained in medical malpractice lawsuits: Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.


The caps vary from state to state, ranging from $250,000 per incident to as much as $2.25 million. The remaining states and the District of Columbia do not impose damage caps in medical negligence tort claims.


Tort reform measures are highly variable across the states, and state laws are always subject to annual changes, so please be certain to speak to an attorney or another legal authority in your area to ensure you have the latest information as you evaluate places to live and work.


Take advantage of Merritt Hawkins’ unparalleled healthcare staffing resources, with over 20 years of experience recruiting and placing physicians in rewarding career positions. Please browse through our extensive online jobs database and call today to speak with one of our professional placement specialists.





We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 4/27/2017 9:21:40 AM
Medical Specialty Spotlight on Neurology

Neurology Trends and Physician Salaries


Medical Specialty Spotlight: Neurology

 

In our special feature entitled “Medical Specialty Spotlight,” we review trends in a variety of medical specialties related to healthcare recruitment, physician compensation and industry trends. Today, we will look at Neurology.



  Number of active neurology physicians: 15,373   
  Most in demand medical specialty ranking: 7th  
  Percentage of active neurology physicians that are 55 or older: 50%  
  Average starting neurology physician salary: $285,000  


Neurology Trends

  • Neurology physicians remain in steady demand, underscoring the need for medical specialists among an aging population.
  • Average salary offers for neurology physicians increased by 3% in 2016, from $277,000 to $285,000.

We invite you to search our nationwide permanent neurology jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 4/18/2017 11:27:34 AM
A Message on National Doctors' Day

We Need More Doctors

Happy Doctors Day 2017

By Phillip Miller

 

It’s appropriate on March 30 -- National Doctor’s Day -- to reflect on both the value physicians bring to society and how they are viewed from a public policy perspective.


Physicians in the U.S. handle an overwhelming 1.2 billion patient encounters a year in office, inpatient and emergency department settings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They diagnosis illness, admit patients to the hospital, prescribe drugs, develop treatment plans, perform complex procedures, coordinate care – and save and enhance countless lives in the process. Despite the growing role of other types of clinicians, physicians remain at the core of health care delivery and are indispensable as diagnosticians, surgeons, team leaders and patient advocates.


They also play a central economic role within the communities in which they practice. Each primary care physician supports 14 jobs and generates $2.2 million in economic activity, according to a study conducted by IMS Health for the American Medical Association (AMA).


Nevertheless, some policy makers believe that physicians represent a cost to the healthcare system rather than an asset. Those who hold that view remain committed to limiting the supply of doctors. This perspective recently was reflected in an article posted by the Journal of the American Medical Association in which the authors contend that there is no physician shortage and that the number of physicians being trained in the U.S. should not be increased.


A contrary perspective from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) also was posted by JAMA, in which the authors present the AAMC’s new projection that the U.S. will face a deficit of up to 104,900 doctors by 2030 and that consequently the number of physicians being trained in the U.S. should be increased.


On virtually the same day that these articles were posted, Merritt Hawkins released its 2017 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times indicating that the time it takes to schedule a new patient physician appointment in 15 major metro areas has increased by 30% since 2014 and now stands at an average of 24 days. In some metro areas the wait is much longer. In Boston, for example, the time to schedule a new patient appointment with a family medicine physician averages 109 days.


Nevertheless, in terms of actual policy, the perspective of those who believe that physician supply should be restricted prevails. Congress set a cap on the amount of funds spent on physician graduate medical education (GME) in 1997, and that cap remains in place, despite numerous bills submitted to Congress that would lift it. As a result, the number of new physicians being trained has increased only incrementally in the last 20 years while demand for medical services has rapidly accelerated.


As the nation’s leading physician search firm, Merritt Hawkins views physician supply and demand trends from what might be called the street level rather than the theoretical level. We understand how difficult it is to recruit physicians in today’s market, and we also are privileged to witness the profoundly beneficial effects physicians have on their patients and their communities. It is a pleasure on National Doctor’s Day to pay tribute to the remarkable, life-enhancing work that physicians do and to their unique skills, passion and commitment.


Physicians are a vital asset to the nation’s well-being and Merritt Hawkins is firmly in the camp of those who believe we should be training more of them. What messages would you like to convey about physicians on Doctor’s Day?


Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.





We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 4/10/2017 8:40:27 AM
Medical Specialty Spotlight: OB/GYN

OB/GYN Trends and Physician Salaries


Medical Specialty Spotlight: OB/GYN

 

In our special feature entitled “Medical Specialty Spotlight,” we review trends in a variety of medical specialties related to healthcare recruitment, physician compensation and industry trends. Today, we will look at Obstetrics and Gynecology.



  Number of active OB/GYN physicians: 43,212   
  Most in demand medical specialty ranking: 6th  
  Percentage of active OB/GYN physicians that are 55 or older: 37%  
  Average starting OB/GYN physician salary: $321,000  


OB/GYN Trends

  • OB/GYN physicians remain in steady demand, underscoring the need for medical specialists among an aging population.
  • Specialists continue to be high revenue-generators in a system that remains largely volume-driven.
  • Average salary offers for OB/GYN physicians increased by 16% in 2016, from $276,000 to $321,000.

We invite you to search our nationwide permanent OB/GYN jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 4/4/2017 2:03:41 PM
Five Tips Physicians Can Use to De-stress after a Hard Day's Work

How Physicians can Overcome Stress


How Physicians can Overcome Stress


For physicians, even the most normal days at work are like being in a pressure cooker. You run nonstop for 10 to 12 hours. Patients and colleagues demand constant attention. Vital patient care decisions must routinely be made in the absence of complete diagnostic information. And, the “professional detachment” technique taught in medical school only goes so far.


So, what can busy physicians do to de-stress after a hard day on the frontlines?


Take a 15-minute walk.


Perhaps the most tried and true way to reduce stress is to take a walk. Although walking along hallways or up and down stairs can still offer some benefit, the best strategy is to get outside and get moving for at least 15 minutes. This will enable you to clear your head, boost endorphins and, in turn, reduce stress hormones. And, if you’re able to immerse yourself in a natural setting, such as a park or a wooded trail, you can double the benefits. Being in a green or natural environment induces a meditative state known as “involuntary attention” which is when something holds our attention, yet also allows for simultaneous reflection.


Take deep belly breaths.


As physicians already know, controlled or “deep” breathing exercises can reduce blood pressure while also aiding physiological systems harmed by stress. In fact, recent research indicates that breathing exercises may be able to change the expression of some genes involved in how the body reacts to stress, as well as immune function, energy metabolism, and insulin secretion.


Visualize where you’d rather be.


If you can’t escape for a 15-minute walk, an alternative tactic is to simply visualize yourself in a more desirable setting or circumstance. The NIH already recognizes “guided imagery” as eliciting a relaxation response. The key here is to find a private, quiet space where you can close your eyes for a few uninterrupted minutes. Then, imagine yourself basking on a sun-drenched Caribbean beach, walking hand-in-hand through Paris with your partner, or slicing through powdery snow on the slopes in Lake Tahoe. You’ll be amazed how readily this technique can snap you out of a stressful state of mind.


Drop the electronic gadgets.


Computers, smartphones, televisions and gaming devices can enable hours of fun and pleasure, but they can also be major sources of stress, especially when used in the hours just before bedtime. Start by keeping TV’s and other electronic devices out of the bedroom. Another effective strategy is to schedule your use of electronic devices so they do not become omnipresent in your daily life. For instance, allow yourself 15 minutes to play a game on your smart phone, but only after you complete a chore.


Turn on some music.


Listening to your favorite music is a known stress reliever because it floods your brain with neurochemicals like dopamine. Classical music, in particular, has been proven to lower heart rate, decrease stress hormone levels and reduce blood pressure.


Merritt Hawkins has experienced professional recruiters on staff who can help take the stress out of the physician job search. Our recruiters can also provide practical tips and guidance to physicians as they adjust to new work settings or geographical locations. If you have questions, or would like more information, please request a call from one of our physician recruiters.




We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 3/20/2017 1:03:48 PM
How to Cultivate and Maintain Empathy as a Doctor

Fostering Empathy is a Critical Practice for Physicians


How to Cultivate and Maintain Empathy as a Doctor


One of the most valuable traits a physician can possess is capacity for empathy—defined by the Society for General Internal Medicine as "the act of correctly acknowledging the emotional state of another without experiencing that state oneself." Physicians who can empathize with patients can reduce frustration and anger and increase the likelihood of beneficial therapeutic outcomes.


Ironically, however, studies indicate that empathy starts to erode during medical school and continues to diminish after physicians enter the workforce. In part, this is because physicians are taught to maintain professional detachment in order to afford reliable care to all patients, regardless of personal feelings.


So how can physicians cultivate and maintain empathy?


Here are a few strategies physicians can employ to foster empathy and transform emotionally charged interactions with patients into constructive dialog.


Recognize your own emotions.


Evidence suggests that taking time to develop and practice self-awareness reduces errors, enhances decision-making and helps resolve conflict. Research shows that people readily correct negative appraisals or feedback once they are attuned to their own negative emotions.


Tune into the emotional subtext in a patient’s story.


Deliberately listening for a patient’s distinct emotional concerns, which might be obscured by words spoken or urgent clinical demands, is another useful strategy. Research shows that listening to the emotional meaning behind a patient’s words, as opposed to restricting attention to only the facts, creates more opportunities for physicians to cultivate and exercise empathy.


Pay attention to nonverbal communication.


Nonverbal cues and communication between patients and physicians can affect patient satisfaction and health outcomes. Physicians can demonstrate empathic behavior by adjusting their own gestures, vocal tone and pauses, and by being aware of interpersonal distance with patients. Studies suggest that the best way to learn these techniques is through role-modeling or formal communication skills training.


Learn to accept negative feedback.


Despite the prevailing medical culture, physicians must learn to accept a patient’s feedback, even when it is negative or accusatory. This enables patients to share more difficult feelings that might otherwise be suppressed during conflicts, while also providing physicians a gateway to empathy.


Ask an experienced clinician who is gifted in patient care to mentor you.


This can include analyzing recorded encounters between physicians and patients, as well as role-playing exercises. Also, check out The Balint Society—an organization present at many medical schools that consists of clinicians and teachers who emphasize the importance of emotion and personal understanding in the doctor-patient relationship.


Don’t skip taking medical histories.


In addition to revealing medical facts that might be helpful in diagnosing or treating patients, taking a medical history also creates an opening to cultivate a closer relationship with patients.


Building and maintaining empathy can yield many tangible rewards, including personal growth and career
satisfaction for physicians and improved health outcomes for patients. Remember to treat the whole person, not just the disease.


Merritt Hawkins is Here to Help You Succeed


Merritt Hawkins’ professional recruiters are here to help you find the perfect physician job. Please browse through our extensive jobs database and reach out to one of our recruiters today.




We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Category:
Posted by at 3/10/2017 11:22:57 AM
Merritt Hawkins 2016 Year in Review

Merritt Hawkins 2016 Year in Review: A Historic Year


2016 was a historic year for Merritt Hawkins with exciting new milestones reached in terms of physician placements. We are particularly proud of the impact that clinicians we placed last year have had on the quality of care and economic vitality of their states and communities. See the brief video below highlighting the combined impact of 1,039 placed healthcare professionals. We look forward to working with you to make an even larger impact in 2017!


 

 




We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 2/28/2017 12:30:58 PM
How to Ace the Interview

Physician job interview tips that will help you get the job you want


Physician job interview tips


Merritt Hawkins has experienced professional recruiters on staff who can help physicians prepare for any phase of the job search. Below are some tips to help you nail the interview and get the job.


Anticipate likely questions, and prepare and practice your responses in advance.


In particular, be prepared for behavioral interviewing techniques, which are based on the principle that past behavior can predict future behavior. For example: Tell me about a conflict you’ve had with a colleague and how you handled it.


Dress appropriately.


Traditional business attire is appropriate for most physician job interviews.


Greet and be kind to everyone you encounter.


This includes those you speak with on the phone before you arrive, reception staff, and anyone you encounter in the parking lot, hallway or elevator.


Be aware of your own body language.


While it’s natural to be nervous, try not to cross your arms or slouch during the interview. And, it’s always good practice to make and maintain good eye contact, which helps project confidence. In addition, a smile goes a long way and will help both you and your interviewer feel more relaxed and at ease.  BONUS TIP: A few deep “belly breaths” can help you relax quickly.


Never rush to answer a question.


Take your time and think your responses through before answering. A few seconds of silence while you formulate your response might feel awkward, but don’t let that sensation distract you from providing the best answer you can muster. Interviewers will appreciate that you exercise good professional judgment by thinking carefully before responding.


Never disparage previous employers or supervisors.


This could make you appear petty and spiteful.


Ask intelligent questions.


Although you need to be prepared to answer questions about yourself during the interview, there are also questions you should be certain to ask at the appropriate juncture. For example: 

 

  • How is the program or practice managed, and to whom do physicians report? 
  • What are the metrics for success and how are physicians reviewed? 
  • Is staff support available to help with routine tasks? 
  • Are there opportunities for advancement into leadership roles? 
  • What are the local licensing requirements and admitting privileges?

Refrain from inquiring about compensation, benefits, paid leave, or bonuses until the topic is broached by the interviewer(s).


These topics are more appropriately vetted with your professional recruiter (before your interview), or when a formal offer is either imminent or in hand.


Inquire about next steps at the end of the interview and send thank you cards to each interviewer.


This is your opportunity to reiterate your interest and overall qualifications, as well as to highlight something unique about your candidacy that might give you an edge.




We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Category:
Posted by at 2/24/2017 10:18:02 AM
Innovative Solutions in Pediatric to Adult Care Transitions

Join Merritt Hawkins for the 2017 Transitional Care Conference

North Texas 2017 Transition Care Conference

We hope that you will join us on Thursday, February 16th for the North Texas 2017 Transition Care Conference where we will be examining Innovative Solutions in Pediatric to Adult Care Transitions.


Merritt Hawkins is proud to be a silver sponsor for this conference. Attendees can receive CME credit for attending this conference. Additionally, those who attend will be provided information that will help you:

 

  • Examine the necessity for improving care transitions from the different stakeholders’ perspectives 
  • Learn at least four models of care transition practices 
  • Discuss the need for care transition improvements in North Texas 
  • Identify care transitions resources available via GotTransition.org  
  • Describe how care transitions curriculum can be developed and implemented into healthcare professions education

 

The conference will take place on Thursday, February 16th at the UNT Health Science Center Medical Education and Training Building on 1000 Montgomery Street in Fort Worth, Texas. To register for the conference, click here


We look forward to seeing you there.





We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 2/8/2017 12:11:35 PM
Medical Specialty Spotlight: Psychiatry

Psychiatry Trends and Physician Salaries


Medical Specialty Spotlight: Psychiatry

 

In our special feature entitled “Medical Specialty Spotlight,” we review trends in a variety of medical specialties related to healthcare recruitment, physician compensation and industry trends. Today, we will look at Psychiatry.



  Number of active psychiatry physicians: 39,180   
  Most in demand medical specialty ranking: 2nd  
  Percentage of active psychiatry physicians that are 55 or older: 60%  
  Average starting psychiatry physician salary: $250,000    


Psychiatry Trends

  • For the first time in the 23 years Merritt Hawkins has conducted the Review, psychiatrists were second on the list of our most requested recruiting assignments. This is a clear reflection of the focus healthcare providers are putting on addressing mental health challenges in the United States.
  • With many psychiatrists aging out of the profession, and with a preference among psychiatrists for outpatient practice settings, it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit to inpatient settings.
  • Average salary offers for psychiatry physicians increased by 11% in 2016, from $226,000 to $250,000.

We invite you to search our nationwide permanent psychiatry jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 2/8/2017 12:09:56 PM
The Best New Year’s Career Resolutions for Physicians

Advance Your Physician Career with these Resolutions


The Best New Year’s Career Resolutions for Physicians


New Year’s resolutions are often cookie-cutter and personal in nature. You know, the typical eat healthier, exercise more often, and save more money for retirement—things everyone should be doing, regardless. This year, in addition to trotting out those same old predictable promises, try to include a few resolutions that will benefit your physician career, as well.


Time to Recalibrate


Are you where you want to be professionally? Are you living where you want to be living? Are your relationships with family, friends and colleagues in a good state, or is there room for improvement? At the start of a new year it’s always a good idea to re-evaluate the paths you’re on and the direction in which you’re heading. By answering these questions honestly—without caveats and qualifications—you will point your compass in the right direction and make more meaningful changes to your career and personal life.


A Little Give and Take


After recalibrating to determine where you need to make adjustments, one of the best things you can do to bolster your physician career is to take advantage of lessons already learned by others who have walked down similar paths. Identify another physician who is a step or two ahead of you in the profession, and invite them for coffee or lunch. Ask about their career path and try to establish a mentor-like relationship.


Mentors can help you navigate career ladders more efficiently—saving you some of the same headaches they’ve already encountered, not to mention precious time. In turn, make an effort to share some of your own valuable lessons learned with junior colleagues who might need some helpful guidance, too, i.e., pay it forward.


Create Time to Cultivate New Skills


Every time you turn around there is a new development upending the traditional norms of practicing medicine—everything from new treatments enabled by advances in genomics, to remote surgery using the latest robotics technology. These developments are positive; however, the extraordinary pace at which technology is revolutionizing medicine can make it difficult to keep up. For busy physicians, finding extra time to get up-to-speed on the latest medical advances can seem like an exercise in futility. Thus, it’s important to proactively build time into your schedule to master the myriad of innovations and tools now at your disposal.


The Only Thing Certain in Life is Uncertainty


If there's one overarching New Year's resolution that physicians should make, it is to accept and embrace change. As 2016 seemed to establish once and for all, uncertainty is the new norm. In a world that seems in constant flux, committing to embrace uncertainty and change just might be the single most important resolution you can make.


If a new job is on your list of resolutions for the new year, let Merritt Hawkins’ professional recruiters help pave the way to new success. Browse our robust jobs database and then contact one of our expert recruiters to discuss next steps.




We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Category:
Posted by at 1/19/2017 6:40:54 AM
Physician, Heal Thyself: Volunteer to Get Happy

Help Yourself By Helping Others


Physicians volunteering


When pondering the key to happiness, we tend to think of things like sustained good health, and more time and money for recreation and relaxation. But what if the true key to happiness is actually about spending less time at play and relaxing, and more about spending time giving back, or volunteering?


According to research conducted by the London School of Economics1, people are happier the more they volunteer. This is because volunteering increases empathic emotions, which, in turn, contribute to elevated levels of happiness.


More empathy = more happiness


In an increasingly hectic and harried world—something physicians often experience more acutely than the population at large—many of us can feel we no longer have enough time to sleep, much less time to feel empathy toward others.


But research suggests that more empathy is actually the key to creating stable relationships—the glue that helps hold societies together. Feeling empathy toward others—something nearly everyone is capable of with awareness and practice—helps enhance life satisfaction and, in turn, feelings of happiness.


Unlike the atmosphere in a traditional practice or hospital environment, volunteering in a clinic can allow physicians an opportunity to spend more time with each patient and to see patients on a continuous, sustained basis. This enables physicians to see firsthand the bigger picture and the many challenges that patients often grapple with in their daily lives.


All We Need Is Love


It’s generally accepted that healthy social relationships are key to feelings of happiness and well being. Maslow’s research in the 1950’s helped establish that people need emotional belonging and social bonding and connections more than anything else (except safety) in order to feel happy and at ease.


Volunteer to stay healthy and live a longer life


People who volunteer regularly live longer on average than those who don’t. This is because volunteering makes people happier, and happier people tend to experience fewer health issues and setbacks, especially as they age.


Give more time to have more time


Feeling stressed and unhappy is often triggered by not having enough time to do everything on one’s plate. Ironically, when volunteering, people often experience a sensation of actually having more time, as opposed to less time.


This phenomenon is supported by a Harvard/Wharton research study2 involving over 2,000 people. The study demonstrated how selfless concern for the wellbeing of others, or altruism, is strongly associated with decreased stress and enhanced mental health.


So, although it might seem counterintuitive, spending more time volunteering actually creates a positive feedback loop: happy people give more, and giving, in turn, makes people happier. Everybody’s a winner!


Rekindle your passion for practicing medicine


Physicians who volunteer regularly are able to capture a much-needed mental break from the numerous daily stressors that contribute to physician burnout. This can also help revive and rejuvenate a physician’s early passion for practicing medicine.


If you are a physician interested in exploring volunteering opportunities, please visit the JAMA Network Career Center, which serves as a clearinghouse for the United States and abroad.


1“Doing well by doing good. The relationship between formal volunteering and self-reported health and happiness.”, Borgonovi F., Soc Sci Med. 2008 Jun;66(11):2321-34. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.01.011. Epub 2008 Mar 5. PMID: 18321629 

2 “Giving time gives you time.”, Mogilner C, Chance Z, Norton MI. Psychol Sci. 2012 Oct 1;23(10):1233-8. doi: 10.1177/0956797612442551. Epub 2012 Sep 12., PMID: 22972905




We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Category:
Posted by at 1/9/2017 8:01:58 AM
Medical Specialty Spotlight: Optometry

We’re Hiring Optometrists & Opticians for Outstanding Jobs & Practice Opportunities


Optometrists, a better career awaits: We’re recruiting qualified optometry professionals for unique practice opportunities in some outstanding locations — including Illinois, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Texas.


Check out the infographic below to learn more about optometrist compensation and job outlook trends in Optometry.



Medical Specialty Spotlight: Optometry


 


Find your next optometrist career today. We invite you to search our nationwide permanent optometrist jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 1/5/2017 7:50:18 AM
The 8 Top Blogs from Merritt Hawkins for 2016

Top stories from 2016


Top Merritt Hawkins Blogs from 2016

2016 was a year filled with changes within the healthcare industry. Here are the top 8 blogs from Merritt Hawkins for the year, which cover topics such as physician compensation, the relationship of poverty with healthcare, patient access issues, and mental health trends.


Survey: How Physicians View HHS Secretary Nominee Dr. Tom Price

Physicians weigh in with first impressions on HHS Secretary Nominee, Dr. Tom Price in this survey.


Top Starting Salaries For Physicians and Advanced Practitioners

This study consists of an overview of the salaries, bonuses, and other incentives customarily used to recruit physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.


Why Physicians Should Consider Working for the VA

Both vacancies and wait times could be reduced if more doctors knew about the benefits of working at one of the nation’s 152 hospitals and 1,400 clinics that treat veterans


8 Ways NPs Make Healthcare Better

NPs continue to play a significant role in providing timely access to quality healthcare for millions of patients across America.


Medical Specialty Spotlight: Psychiatry

In our special feature entitled “Medical Specialty Spotlight,” we review trends in a variety of medical specialties related to healthcare recruitment, physician compensation and industry trends. This article delves into Psychiatry.


Medical Specialty Spotlight: Otolaryngology

Average physician salary offers for otolaryngology increased by 21% in 2016, from $334,000 to $403,000. Learn about more trends in this article.


A Raised Hand: The Poverty of Healthcare

When discussing what makes people in the United States healthy or unhealthy, most Americans would likely say diet, exercise, obesity, social indiscretions, or genetics, but not poverty. Yet, poverty plays a crucial role in healthcare access.


Survey of Physicians Holds Critical Implications for Patient Access/Health Reform

Just as the United States is facing a growing physician shortage, physicians around the country are planning to change their practice patterns in ways that will reduce patient access to their services.





We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 1/4/2017 2:23:15 PM
Merritt Hawkins in The News in Q4

Physicians Survey on HHS Nomination, Salary Trends, and More


It is part of our ongoing mission to educate clients and candidates on the physician shortage and other employment and salary trends facing healthcare organizations across the nation. As part of this mission, Merritt Hawkins provides thought leadership and shared resources to the healthcare recruitment industry. In fact, our company has published or is cited in hundreds of articles appearing in a wide range of publications. The following are news articles from October 2016 - December 2016 referencing Merritt Hawkins.


 




We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 1/4/2017 2:23:01 PM
Merritt Hawkins in the News - Q3 Review

Physician Survey, Salaries, and More


It is part of our ongoing mission to educate clients and candidates on the physician shortage and other employment and salary trends facing healthcare organizations across the nation. As part of this mission, Merritt Hawkins provides thought leadership and shared resources to the healthcare recruitment industry. In fact, our company has published or is cited in hundreds of articles appearing in a wide range of publications. The following are news articles from July 2016 - September 2016 referencing Merritt Hawkins.


 




We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 12/28/2016 7:31:46 AM
Happy Holidays, Thank you for a great 2016!

Thanks for a great 2016!


Happy Holidays from Merritt Hawkins


Merritt Hawkins enjoyed a very busy and exciting 2016. In an industry that has been transforming significantly in recent years, with more changes on the horizon, we are grateful for the opportunity to have partnered with so many of you.


At the end of the day, our hope is that more patients can live healthier lives. We are grateful for the vital role that we play in this process by serving candidates and clients day in and day out.


With that in mind, we would like to thank you for partnering with us in 2016 and we hope that your 2017 is even better.


From the team at Merritt Hawkins, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season!




We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 12/21/2016 9:52:49 AM
Survey: How Physicians View HHS Secretary Nominee Dr. Tom Price

Physicians Weigh in on HHS Secretary Nominee


Physicians weigh in on Tom Price

By Tom Florence


If confirmed, president-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Tom Price, M.D., would be the first doctor to hold the position in over 20 years, and only the third in the 60-year history of HHS.


The American Medical Association (AMA) has endorsed the nomination of Dr. Price, but how do physicians feel?


Merritt Hawkins conducted an email survey of physicians on November 30 and December 1 to explore this question. Approximately 1,100 physicians responded to the survey, the results of which were the subject of several media articles, including one in MarketWatch (a feature of the Wall Street Journal) and one in HealthLeaders.


As these articles note, physicians are divided on Dr. Price. The plurality believe he will improve medical practice conditions for doctors, but the plurality also believe that, if confirmed, he would detract from the ability of patients to access quality care.


These are, of course, first impressions, and we will all have to wait on the confirmation process and what comes after to get a better sense of Dr. Price’s impact on the healthcare system.


In the meantime, I would be happy to email readers an infographic illustrating the results of this brief, three-question survey, and would also be interested in any initial thoughts readers may have about Dr. Price.

 




Tom Florence is Senior Vice President of Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.


We invite you to search our nationwide permanent physician jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 12/21/2016 8:41:35 AM
New Survey Reveals Physician Assistant Recruiting Trends

2016 Survey of PA Recruiting and Employment Trends


2016 Survey of PA Recruiting

By Phillip Miller


In 1991, there were approximately 20,000 physician assistants (PAs) licensed to practice in the United States. Today, there are over 108,000, according to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (www.aapa.org).


How many hospitals now employ PAs, how many are actively recruiting them, and how do they fit into the emerging model of team-based care?


Merritt Hawkins and the AAPA recently cooperated on a survey that provides answers to these and related questions. The 2016 Survey of PA Recruiting and Employment Trends includes responses from human resources personnel at 287 hospitals nationwide regarding their facilities’ use of PAs. Survey data suggest that 90% of hospitals currently employ PAs, while 60% are actively recruiting them. Among hospitals of 100 beds or more, 87% are actively recruiting PAs, according to the survey


More key findings from the survey are illustrated in this infographic.


The survey also features an examination of the trends driving the increased use of PAs, including the physician shortage, new value-based payment models, the adoption of population health management, and the growing use of integrated clinical teams.


PAs represent an important resource of patient care expertise and are playing an increasingly pivotal role in the implementation of emerging delivery models. I would be happy to provide readers who email me with a complete copy of the 28-page survey report and welcome any comments about the role PAs are playing in today’s evolving healthcare system.

 




Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search and consulting firm and a company of AMN Healthcare (NYSE: AHS).


We invite you to search our nationwide permanent jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 11/28/2016 12:24:31 PM
2016 Survey of PA Recruiting

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Posted by at 11/21/2016 1:52:46 PM
8 Ways NPs Make Healthcare Better

Happy National Nurse Practitioner Week!


NP Week 2016


November 13-19 is National Nurse Practitioner week, so be sure to thank any NPs you see this week. NPs continue to play a significant role in providing timely access to quality healthcare for millions of patients across America.


Here are 8 ways that they make healthcare better.


  • There are over 220,000 NPs now licensed to practice in the U.S. helping to alleviate the effects of the physician shortage.*

  • Over 97% of NPs can prescribe medications.

  • 21 states and the District of Columbia allow NPs to practice independently.

  • NPs play a crucial role in the growing trend of the population management/team-based care model.

  • NPs are playing a growing role in healthcare delivery due to the increased scope of practice regulations, cost considerations, and their proven ability to increase patient access and patient satisfaction.

  • Over 60% of NPs average 3 or more patients per hour.*

  • “NPs emphasize the health and well-being of the whole person in their approach, including helping patients make educated health care decisions and healthy lifestyle choices.”*

  • Taking roles in both primary care and specialty medicine, NPs supplement the physician workforce and allow physicians to practice to the top of their training.

Merritt Hawkins would like to thank all of the Nurse Practitioners out there who are making a huge impact on healthcare in America. Happy NP week!


 *Sources: AANP.org, Merritt Hawkins 2016 Incentive Survey

 



 


We invite you to search our nationwide nurse practitioner jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 11/14/2016 11:52:42 AM
The 2016 AAMC Meeting and Academic Physician Recruiting

Trends in Physician Recruiting and Academic Medicine


Physician Recruiting and Academic Medicine at the 2016 AAMC Meeting

By Steven Price


Those seeking to better understand trends in academic medicine have an excellent opportunity to do so at the Association of American Medical College’s 2016 “Learn, Serve and Lead” meeting to be held November 11-14 in Seattle, Washington.


Merritt Hawkins’ Department of Academics will be exhibiting at the meeting, seeking both to absorb information and to share our experience and data in the area of recruiting for academic leadership, faculty and clinical positions.


In particular, we will be sharing copies of our white paper, The Changing Landscape in Academic Physician Recruiting. In this analysis, Merritt Hawkins outlines some of the trends that are causing academic medical centers to rethink traditional modes of recruiting in a response to a number of emerging and ongoing trends. These include the physician shortage, mounting financial pressures, growing medical school enrollment, system consolidation and the shift from volume to value-based payments.


To meet these challenges, many academic centers are revising their traditional compensation models, expanding traditional candidate parameters, and seeking ways to streamline the traditional candidate review and selection process.


In addition to the white paper, Merritt Hawkins Department of Academics will be sharing other thought leadership resources at the meeting pertaining to physician recruiting incentives, physician retention methods, and related topics. I hope you will have an opportunity to visit us at booth #409.


I would also be happy to share these and other resources with those not attending the meeting and can be reached here.

 




Steven Price is Vice President of Merritt Hawkins Department of Academics, a division of Merritt Hawkins specializing in the recruitment of leaders, faculty and clinical personnel at academic medical centers nationwide.


We invite you to search our nationwide permanent jobs. If you have any questions or want more information regarding a physician job or any other matter, request a call from one of our expert physician recruiters.



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Posted by at 11/10/2016 1:38:30 PM


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