Fit is the new buzzword in
physician recruiting

I often coach physicians in the difference between a resume and a CV, which is basically the difference between a marketing document (resume) and a simple career chronology (CV). However it is a bit more. In my 20 years of recruiting, on-boarding and managing physician practices and groups, I’ve seen many physicians essentially hired based solely on the contents of his/her CV. 

And, while I know it still happens today, the word fit is becoming more relevant in physician recruiting and medical staff planning than ever before. It’s about time.

The first conversations regarding physician fit to a practice setting were based almost exclusively on productivity and/or production capabilities. Many recruiting interviews began simply with, how many patients do you see a day, or, how many cases do you do a week.

High producers were pretty much automatic… lower ones had to explain why. Raw number have now been replaced by more sophisticated data. Companies are popping up everywhere that provide various metrics, from production to patient quality rankings to system utilization and internet presence.  It’s a great service for a solid historical view and snapshot in time of those metrics. But it has nothing to do with fit. And fit is the best predictor of ongoing performance. Are you hiring physicians for what they have done or for what they will do?

Today, however, fit can also be prospectively assessed by using the same behavioral-based instruments Fortune 500 companies use to assure the right person is doing the right job. Yes, historically, the very idea of behavioral testing for physicians was seen as a nonstarter. Physicians, after all were producers. Any general IM should be able to work in any general IM practice. That was the thinking, and that’s just one reason more than 60% of practicing physicians today would like to leave their medical practices – because they don’t fit. As you well know, every practice has a culture, style or attitude – whatever you wish to call it, and different physicians fit different cultures. Healthcare simply hasn’t been fully exposed to some of the highly sophisticated and accurate instruments that can add valuable data to the recruitment and retention process to further assure the right fit.

The cost of recruitment is soaring and the cost of mistakes is becoming unacceptable. With the newfound focus on practice quality, fit is becoming an even bigger word. It may actually become as important in healthcare as in the Fortune 500 world. And don’t you think it should?