74% of PGY-4 residents are concerned about having adequate personal time

Physician recruitment has always been competitive and difficult. Still, it’s a critical piece of any healthcare organization’s success. Despite how crucial it is to recruit physicians, many organizations overlook enhancing recruitment efforts. In light of more immediate concerns like lower reimbursement and higher operating costs, recruitment just doesn’t seem to be a priority. However, with a worsening physician shortage and looming labor cost increases, physician recruitment will soon be an area organizations can’t afford to overlook.

Undoubtedly, clinical recruitment may be one of the biggest challenges healthcare organizations face in 2020 and beyond. The days of attracting a new physician with a lucrative signing bonus or student loan repayment are over. Residents are disillusioned with recruitment pitches and overwhelmed with job offers. In the Merritt Hawkins 2019 Final-Year Medical Resident’s Survey, 45% of final-year residents reported receiving more than 100 job offers during their residencies. What’s more, 64% of residents felt recruiters contacted them too much.

To make matters worse, employment packages that used to stand out are now commonplace among a field of similar offers. For example, the study showed that 42% of residents have more than $201,000 in student loan debt; however, only 25% of residents indicated educational loan forgiveness was a key factor in their job search.

So, with residents feeling recruiters contact them too much and diminishing financial recruitment tactics, what can healthcare organizations do to stand out? The answer may be easier than you think.

Recruit physicians by offering work-life balance

More and more new physicians are looking for work-life balance in their careers. In the survey, residents widely noted the importance of work-life balance to their career decisions. While location took the top spot, the second most important factor when weighing job opportunities was adequate personal time. 74% of residents considered having adequate time off and flexibility a very important factor in their job searches. Additionally, when asked about their biggest concerns for their first professional practices, 33% of residents mentioned free time in their new careers.

As our founder, Suvas Vajracharya, writes in a recent Mobile Health Times article, the medical profession is facing a big cultural shift: “No one tasked with saving lives and promoting the health of others should be expected to meet benchmarks set decades ago that leech from a physician’s own well-being and are designed for people with a full-time stay-at-home partner.”

Today’s residents understand this reality now more than ever before. They are looking for a practice that prioritizes flexibility and fair scheduling for providers. Organizations must capitalize on these requests and find innovative ways to stand out.

Need help?

We all know offering flexible scheduling isn’t as simple as it sounds. Healthcare organizations of any size are simultaneously trying to balance the needs of patients, providers and business objectives. Unhealthy shift scheduling for providers is often the result of understaffed practices meeting increased patient demand.

But shift scheduling that offers providers work-life balance and aligns the needs of patients, providers and business objectives is possible. Learn how Lightning Bolt’s rule-based scheduling and prescriptive analytics can create more transparent, equitable scheduling and add to your 2020 recruiting toolbox.


“The program, in addition to saving countless hours in the scheduling process, helps us to individualize our schedules, which in turn helps us to recruit and retain new physicians.”

Autumn Moser, M.D., Providences Health Systems – Everett Clinic, Everett, WA

“Any software can make a schedule, but Lightning Bolt’s software generates a schedule that’s optimized for the unique needs of each of the providers.”

Dr. Kenneth Serio, Scheduling Physician, Scripps Medical Group, La Jolla, CA


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