Traditional medical staff development has a very singular focus – getting the right number of physicians to serve the community’s needs. Although meeting the demand for services is crucial, the importance of choosing the candidate with the “right stuff” is often an understated step in this process. Many organizations dive right into the relationship with little or no thought as to organizational fit, practice style, or whether or not you can get along with each other. The following are a few pointers to follow to ensure that you don’t find yourself stuck in a loveless marriage.
- Assure Fit First –Determine the “deal or no deal” qualities for which you are recruiting before you start the dating process. Screen for those traits that a candidate absolutely must have to be successful. New practice? You need an entrepreneur, not a physician ending his or her career. Part timer? A younger physician may be a better fit. Most importantly, don’t try to make the candidate fit. If they don’t fit the mold, move on.
- Date Before You Commit – Take time to get to know the physician and his or her family before you put a contract in their hands. The physician should meet people outside of the medical staff, such as hospital executives, other physicians and community leaders.
- Quality Matters – It is no longer enough to simply fill the slot on the medical staff development plan. Set standards in advance for the quality of practitioner you want on your staff. Make certain that he or she can adequately demonstrate their patient outcomes, not just the volume of patients seen.
- Don’t Compromise – Many a recruitment has gone awry when clinical quality is there, but behavioral issues are suspected. Listen to your gut. If you suspect there are behavioral issues, there probably are. If you have any concerns around a physician’s behavior or ability to get along with staff, this is a patient safety issue. Make sure you resolve any concerns in this area before moving on with any recruitment.