Keep the following tips in mind when supporting the transition and integration of new GPs (Summation of insights from Dr. Bruce Hobson, MD).
- If a physician isn't happy practicing in our community, everyone -- staff, patients, and the physician -- will lose in the end. It is much better to realize that an incompatibility exists before we recruit a physician than afterward.
- If we only can recruit a physician solely on the basis of a compensation and benefits package, we don't want that person. We want a physician who understands as much about family practice, the patients, and our community as is humanly possible so they walk in with their eyes open. As recruiters, we must consider ourselves ambassadors for our community’s health.
- If a physician doesn't understand what it will be like to practice in our community, or doesn't find that the experience matches what was anticipated, the physician will leave. Recruit with eyes open, and be absolutely certain we can deliver on everything.
The most essential ingredient for retaining a physician is choosing the right person to start with.
Other retention needs to consider when supporting new GPs:
- Good communications, as well as a feeling that they are heard, listened to, and respected.
- Input into decision making that affects clinical activities: productivity, support staff, and call schedule.
- A good orientation to get them started on the right foot.
- Fair overhead payment structure (everyone seems to learn what everyone else makes); feeling that they are being treated fairly and consistently Opportunities to teach.
- Encourage, recognize, and reward the new physician.