When hospitals can’t pay physicians enough to practice in rural areas, the focus turns to keeping the spouses and children happy.
“Rural areas and smaller cities—depending on the impact the economy is having on them—they are being extremely creative” in their recruiting, says Kathy Murray, senior director of key accounts at St. Louis-based Cejka Search, adding that this is especially true for specialists such as orthopedic surgeons whose procedures are major cash generators. “They are bringing in significant amounts of revenue into a hospital system, and they are going to do whatever it takes to get them there.”
Murray says that this includes recruiting doctors earlier in their training and keeping the physicians’ families happy.
“If it’s a two-income family, I’ve seen organizations help the spouse look for a position,” Murray says. “A physician can generally practice any place. Their family, though, has to be happy or it becomes a retention issue.”