Jordan Search Consultants Blog
The ever-changing landscape of the healthcare industry can be a difficult one to navigate. To help you stay in-the-know, Jordan Search Consultants’ Founder and CEO, Kathy Jordan, posts twice a month about a range of healthcare and higher education topics. Some subjects she frequently touches on include recruitment, organizational culture, candidate sourcing, population health, integrated care, physician leadership, and much more.
Want Kathy to answer a question you have or address a topic you’ve been wondering about? Email her here.
The DACA Repeal and How it Affects Healthcare Recruitment
After Trump announced his decision to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Association of American Medical Colleges have been urging Congress to pass a solution to keep DACA individuals in the country. Why? As the AMA’s Chief Executive Officer pointed out in a letter to Congressional leaders, “this reversal in policy could have severe consequences for many in the healthcare workforce, impacting patients and our nation’s healthcare system.”
According to the AMA, one out of every four physicians practicing in the U.S. is an international medical graduate and these include many with DACA status who are filling gaps in care. In addition, there were 113 students with DACA status who applied to U.S. medical schools and 65 “Dreamers” enrolled for the 2016-2017 school year. While significant, these figures are expected to be even higher for the 2017-2018 school year considering most confirmed recipients are still completing their undergraduate degrees. Plus, in the coming decades, AMA figures suggest that DACA protections could qualify as many as 5,400 previously ineligible people to join the U.S. physician workforce.
What Does this Mean for Future Physicians?
Ending DACA would severely limit the number of physicians entering our workforce at a time when the U.S. is already experiencing a physician shortage—one that is expected to balloon to between 40,800 and 104,900 physicians by 2030 (and those figures were calculated prior to the announcement of the DACA repeal).
Removing those with DACA status will particularly worsen care shortages for organizations in rural and other underserved areas. DACA physicians are more likely to work in high-need areas where communities face challenges in recruiting other physicians. They tend to be bilingual and come from more diverse cultural backgrounds which help them better understand the challenges that face certain ethnic communities.
Considering this looming threat, it is important to understand and analyze how the legislation could impact healthcare organizations particularly in relation to recruitment. With the potential of a smaller pool of candidates than ever, it’s imperative to have tactful recruitment strategies in place now, before it becomes too late.
Is your organization ready? As you prepare for the future, consider completing this checklist to determine your readiness to recruit. If you have questions regarding the checklist or need information regarding compensation, recruitment incentives, or physician-to-population ratios, don’t hesitate to reach out. Jordan Search Consultants offers free recruitment assessments, and we would be happy to provide direction during this uncertain time.
We’re all familiar with the term IQ, but at this year’s MGMA Annual Conference, the focus was on a different idea—EQ or emotional intelligence. The Jordan Search Consultants’ leadership team attended this conference and heard from Shelly Waggoner, MS, CEBS, SHRM-SCP on the topic. Waggoner explained that emotional intelligence is made up of 4 core skills: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Acknowledging these behaviors can make the healthcare industry smarter—and recruiting efforts more meaningful.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
EQ is a set of behavioral abilities that impact work performance. This idea began in the 1930s when psychological research supported a connection between “social intelligence” and work productivity.
EQ’s connection to Healthcare
Although the term EQ has existed since 1930, emotional intelligence practices are just now finding their way into healthcare. Not surprisingly, the recent focus on this type of intelligence corresponds with the push for enhanced patient-centered care. In fact, it is proven that EQ leads to higher patient satisfaction and improved clinical performance. After all, healthcare is not only medical, but also highly emotional.
EQ is especially relevant when it comes to identifying strong physician leadership, which is critical for organizations in today’s healthcare environment. According to the American Board of Physician Specialties, “All doctors are intelligent, but it takes more than an impressive IQ to be a good leader. Emotional IQ, empathy, and the ability to build consensus are highly valued traits that can reveal someone’s leadership potential.”
Measuring EQ in Healthcare
There is no doubt that recruitment is the best time to introduce EQ measurement. One of the primary tools available to help identify levels of EQ is personality testing. The topic of personality testing in healthcare is a highly debated one due to the long-held belief that physicians require a broader, knowledge-based set of skills that are more important than an individual’s particular personality. But with healthcare employers facing increased hiring pressure due to physician shortages, the high cost of health professional turnover, and the focus on population health, more and more organizations are examining the value of integrating personality assessments into the recruitment process.
The key question organizations are asking: Is there a measurable benefit to personality testing in physician recruitment and development? If so, how can organizations successfully leverage the available resources and implement personality testing processes into their organization to cut turnover costs and more strategically plan for the future?
If you’re interested in exploring the answers to these questions specific to your organization, Jordan Search Consultants is here to help. Contact email@example.com for more information.
When healthcare organizations come to Jordan Search Consultants for recruitment solutions, one of the first questions they ask is if we operate under a retained or contingency model. Considering these are the two most highly-publicized search models, they are often surprised when our answer is, “it is not that simple.” After all, recruitment must be customized; one size does not fit all.
Increasingly, research supports that a flexible partnership between an organization and a search firm provides the most competitive advantages. That’s why we collaborate with our clients to customize a service offering that works with your internal resources to further your recruitment goals. We believe that delivering and retaining top talent doesn’t fit into recruitment model boxes. The methodology differs based on the position, the organization, internal resources, and more.
Next, organizations want certainty. Specifically, they ask about a placement guarantee.
There is never a “guarantee” of placement because successful recruitment is dependent on a myriad of factors, especially in the ever-changing healthcare environment. Jordan Search Consultants is proud of our 99.3% placement rate. And, we are so confident in our behavioral interviewing techniques that if your recruited employee leaves after less than a year of working for your organization, we’ll conduct a search to replace them at no cost.
You see, what makes the Jordan Search model unique is that we’re dedicated to more than position fulfillment. We know that strategic recruitment directly affects your organization’s revenue, reputation, and retention rate of staff—and that a function so critical to organizational success cannot be left to chance. That’s why our primary goal is to optimize the process and positively impact your bottom line.
How do we do it? We’re glad you asked.
The Jordan Search Model
For each recruitment project, JSC will provide some or all of the following services as deemed appropriate for the identified search:
- Interview key decision makers to determine candidate search criteria
- Assess organization’s corporate culture
- Identify potential challenges to recruitment and brainstorm potential solutions
- Analyze market for trends specific to industry and position
- Create comprehensive, customized, proactive recruitment plan
- Implement candidate sourcing initiatives
- Network with associations and industry leaders to mine active and passive candidate pools
- Identify qualified candidates meeting client-identified criteria
- Utilize behavioral interviewing techniques to vet candidates
- Maintain consistent communication to keep all parties informed of search status
- Act as consultant/advisor throughout process RESULTS
- Present top-tier candidates via verbal and written presentation
- Verify credentials, conduct in-depth reference checks on interviewing candidates
- Assist with interview preparation and candidate evaluation throughout process
- Following placement, provide reports as requested to meet organizational requirements
- Conduct strategic follow-ups with candidate and client to ensure retention
Interested in learning more about Jordan Search Consultants’ innovative healthcare and academic recruitment solutions? We would love to hear from you. Call 866.750.7231 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are excited to announce that Jordan Search Consultants’ website was recently selected as Best Internet Home Page by the 2017 eHealthcare Leadership Awards. Winners were announced on October 25 at the 21st Healthcare Internet Conference in Austin, Texas, where organizations representing a broad industry spectrum received recognition for their outstanding websites and digital communications. Judged by a total of 116 individuals in the healthcare industry, awards were given in 15 different categories.
“When we set out to create a new website with our marketing agency of record, Arco + Associates, our primary goal was to better communicate our mission and service offerings to healthcare organizations and higher education institutions throughout the nation,” said Kathy Jordan, Jordan Search Consultants’ founder. “This award is an excellent indicator that we not only met our goal, but that our digital efforts exceed industry standards, given the caliber of the competition and the credentials of the judges.”
Winners range from small and large healthcare provider organizations, to business-to-business and medical device companies, but they all understand their target audience, and they know how to present information in a format that is both pleasing to the eye and highly functional. That experience creates a bond between the user and the organization’s brand—and it drives business outcomes.
“Digital marketing and communications in healthcare organizations continue to evolve rapidly and we were thrilled to recognize the best of the best in the industry,” said Matt Humphrey, producer of the eHealthcare Leadership Awards.
View the full list of 2017 eHealthcare Leadership Award winners and find us on page six under the Other Healthcare Sites category.
A recent article from Modern Healthcare sheds light on the ongoing gender pay gap in healthcare. The disparity is prevalent regardless of ranking in the chain of command; women CEOs of hospitals earn 22% less than their male counterparts, and male nurses on average earn $5,000 more annually than female nurses (even though they comprise just 5% of the nurse workforce).
Furthermore, a recent article from CNN Money states that among all physicians, females earn an average of 74 cents to every dollar a man makes, according to a new report from Doximity, a social network for healthcare professionals.
As a healthcare recruitment firm, we found these statistics disheartening. Equal opportunity is something we take very seriously at Jordan Search Consultants in our own workforce and in the services we provide to our clients. Not only do these wage gaps put women at a disadvantage in their long-term earnings potential, but also the ability to pay off large loans that tend to accompany any schooling related to their field.
Why Are Women Earning Less Than Men?
An April 2017 US News & World Report article states that conscious and unconscious stereotypes drive these pay disparities. For example, an experiment done in 2012 showed that when given two resumes, one named John and one named Jennifer, science professors hiring a lab manager offered John $4,000 more than they would have offered Jennifer. Research also shows that women tend to fall out of contention for top hospital spots between five years and 15 years post-graduation because that’s when they start thinking about families or have to care for parents.
Working Toward a Solution
The income disparity as well as the far fewer numbers of women in C-Suite executive positions speak to biases brought to hospital cultures. It’s a prime example of why it’s so important to consider your organization’s culture throughout your hiring processes. As your organization prepares for recruitment, we encourage you to assess your company culture and ensure that these implicit biases are addressed. If you’re unsure where to begin, consider this white paper we’ve put together to help organizations define their culture to attract and retain top talent. In addition, we are always happy to help in your assessment. Email email@example.com to learn more.
Quality Hospice Physicians Wanted
At Jordan Search Consultants, we’ve seen a major increase in hospice physician searches in recent years. This trend comes as no surprise considering only one in 10 people who need hospice and palliative care receives it, according to the World Health Organization and Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance. Studies also find between 8,000 and 10,000 physician specialists are needed to meet the hospice demands nationwide, but only about 4,500 are specializing in the field.
Despite the fact that the number of hospital-based programs nearly tripled between 2000 and 2010, and most large hospitals now have palliative care teams, according to the Center to Advance Palliative Care, Americans living in certain geographic regions (for example, where small hospitals are the norm) have limited access to this comfort-centered approach to serious illness.
The shortage will become even more serious as baby boomers reach end of life. By 2029, the number of Americans 65 or older will ascend to more than 71 million, up from about 41 million in 2011 (a 73 percent increase). More so than generations prior, baby boomers are living longer but are in worse health, resulting in a compounding need for hospice care.
Addressing the Shortage
In addition to the aging population, the shortage also likely stems from a limited interest in the field due to the nature of the work. “I do think it’s a calling to do this kind of work; you have to have a lot of compassion, communication skills, and excellent skills to keep [patients] comfortable,” said Dr. Jennifer Davis, medical director for Hospice of Davidson County in North Carolina.
Finding a solution to this dire need will require raising awareness and developing palliative-care skills among professionals, and medical and nursing students, according to Harvard Magazine. Recommended strategies include:
- Training leaders through programs like Harvard Medical School’s Center for Palliative Care, co-founded by Block and J. Andrew Billings about 15 years ago to expand palliative-care education nationally and internationally.
- Ensuring that everyclinician who sees seriously ill patients learns basic palliative-care skills, such as effective doctor-patient communication and pain management, while referring the more complex cases to specialists.
- Reminding physicians that palliative care aims to ease symptoms and suffering throughout a serious illness, not just at life’s end, and complements the care patients are already receiving. It’s not about dashing hopes.
While there is certainly reason for concern, it is important to remember that hospice and palliative care are still relatively new medical specialties; the fields weren’t officially recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties until 2006. If your organization is in need of palliative care specialists, remain hopeful. Jordan Search Consultants’ customized recruitment solutions, extensive physician database, and passive and active search strategies ensure access to top candidates across the nation. Contact us to start your search.
Interview Advice for New Physicians
After over a decade of conducting executive searches for healthcare and higher education institutions across the nation, when it comes to interviews, we’ve seen it all. We’ve sat on the employer’s side of the table throughout every stage of the hiring process, from question development to candidate evaluation, and we have acquired a keen understanding of what makes—or breaks—an interview. On the other side, we have also coached hundreds of candidates and learned the most common questions or concerns they have going into the interview. To answer them, we asked our Executive Search Consultant, Adam Rockey, for help.
Q. What is the best way to answer the “tell me about yourself” question?
A. It’s so easy to fall into the “I” trap when answering this question, but most candidates don’t realize this is a great opportunity to show humility and put the focus on “we” instead. Rather than simply listing the things you have accomplished or skills you have learned, talk about the key people that helped you along the way. When you acknowledge that your team and mentors were a critical component to your successes, it shows the interviewer that you are a team player and that you will be more likely to be a mentor to future generations. This is especially important in today’s workplace environments that put so much emphasis on culture and collaboration. Hiring organizations are seeking leaders who know how to build trusting relationships, demonstrate empathy, and are willing to humble themselves for the sake of their team.
Q. How much should you reveal about your flaws or weaknesses in an interview?
A. When an interviewer asks you what your greatest weakness is, the worst thing you can do is to not have an answer. Knowing your own limitations is a big part of being able to learn and grow as a leader. If you can’t identify an area that could be improved upon, it tells the interviewer that you aren’t self-aware or may be lacking in emotional intelligence. While there is no one right way to answer this question, here are three angles to consider:
- Reference an attribute that isn’t necessarily essential in the position for which you are interviewing.
- Focus on an area that you are already actively working on improving and let the interviewer know how you are doing so.
- Mention one of your strengths and discuss how it could be construed as a weakness if not in the right context.
Q. What is the one common trait every interviewer is looking for?
A. No matter what line of work you are in, humility is key. Your resume is there to showcase your skillsets and accomplishments, so use your interview time to shed light on your personality and compassion. For example, when asking candidates about transitions they made throughout their careers, we often ask how the decision to leave their team made them feel and how their team felt about it. The answer tells us a lot about their leadership style.
Q. What is your favorite unexpected question to ask?
A. I love to ask candidates about the last book they read. Their answer not only gives you a sense of their personal interests, but can oftentimes show how serious they are about self-improvement. If you’re interviewing for a leadership position and the interviewer asks this question, your best bet is to site a leadership development book. Employers really favor candidates that have a student mentality no matter how far they are into their career.
Q. What is the one thing to keep in mind during any interview?
A. Interviewers are rarely trying to trick the interviewee. When we develop the questions, our goal is to give you as many opportunities to sell yourself as possible. Don’t be nervous; just be honest. A good interviewer will ask thoughtful questions that lead you down a path that gives them the information they need.
Throughout the country, independent academic medical centers (IAMCs) are providing patients with quality care and students with superior medical education and research opportunities. Though these institutions maintain major medical school affiliations, they operate independently of medical school governance and consequently face challenges and opportunities unique to those of traditional academic medical centers.
To gain some insight into these differences and opportunities, we spoke with Kimberly Pierce-Boggs, the Executive Director of The Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers (AIAMC).
We seem to be hearing more about IAMCs than ever before. Why?
While IAMCs certainly aren’t a new concept—they have been around since the beginning of medical education—they may be getting more attention due to their role in helping to address the ongoing shortage of physicians. New medical schools are popping up all over the nation in response to the need for more physicians, but it’s virtually impossible to finance a new hospital with each new training program. Instead, residency programs are partnering with established healthcare institutions that are amenable to adding teaching programs. It is practical and efficient.
Are there any drawbacks to this model?
Though an affiliation between medical schools and existing hospitals is a cost-effective and practical solution for launching training programs, there’s still reason for concern for many members of AIAMC. Because the number of training programs has increased so quickly, many of the existing hospitals can no longer accept any more residents. After all, additional residents mean independent academic medical centers must hire additional physicians who are committed to spending part of their working hours training young physicians. These physicians must be compensated for the time they are not seeing patients. Without additional funding to sustain this infrastructure, we can’t be certain that every new medical school will be able to secure a residency program within an independent academic medical center.
Are there advantages to being an IAMC in the current healthcare climate?
IAMCs are in high demand right now. Residency programs are continuously courting our members because processes at IAMCs tend to be more nimble and efficient when it comes to meeting accreditation requirements. For example, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has recently implemented the Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) program to provide institutions with periodic feedback on patient safety, health care quality, care transitions, supervision, fatigue management and mitigation, and professionalism. Each institution must undergo a CLER visit every 24 to 36 months to maintain accreditation which requires a high level of participation from the healthcare system’s CEO. Because the Designated Institutional Officer (DIO) of IAMCs report to the institution’s CEO, the CEOs are already engrained in their training programs’ operations and have the necessary information readily available, making most CLER visits engaging and successful. At Universities, on the other hand—where CEOs may be inherently far removed from their medical schools because DIOs report to their Deans instead—attaining GME: C-Suite engagement may be more challenging.
What challenges, if any, do IAMCs face when recruiting physicians?
At IAMCs, patient care is priority, and education and research—while still important—are secondary. At many University-affiliated healthcare systems, education and research are paramount. Physicians who prioritize teaching and research will look for a university-healthcare system. Physicians who are devoted to patient care and are passionate about training future generations of physicians find the perfect fit in an independent academic medical center. Finding physicians with a passion for both can prove challenging. The right candidates are usually personable with high patient satisfaction scores and an interest in the future of healthcare.
What benefits do IAMCs see with recruiting and retention?
IAMCs are very much in tune with local patient populations and healthcare disparities; it becomes part of how physicians at IAMCs teach residents. Often, residents feel so connected to the patient populations, that they decide to stay and serve the community in which they trained. With residency programs, we have a ready pipeline of candidates; our connection to the communities we serve are a recruitment benefit. This approach also helps to retain IAMC physicians committed to quality care.
What is your perspective on the future of IAMCs?
IAMCs will continue to grow and prosper, especially as we continue to find ways to address the physician shortage. We are the efficacious alternative for new medical schools and residency programs. With heightened emphasis on patient care, population health, and cost effectiveness, independent medical centers offer unique solutions to the healthcare challenges of today—and tomorrow.
As a healthcare recruitment firm, we’ve recently seen a tremendous increase in psychiatrist searches. In fact, psychiatry is currently the third most recruited position in the country, falling just behind family medicine and internal medicine. Why? The answer is twofold.
Psychiatry is becoming progressively more important in society.
Becker’s Hospital Review states that one out of five American adults experience a mental illness every year. This statistic rings louder than ever before as popular culture—such as the recent Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”—sheds light on the realities of mental health. Such movements to destigmatize mental illness have helped to encourage those in need of psychiatric care to seek it. Plus, more people in general are prioritizing their mental health. A recent national survey found that 90 percent of people value mental health and physical health equally, and 93 percent of people said they’d intervene if they discovered someone close to them was contemplating suicide. Ultimately, the public is becoming more aware, more educated, and more accepting of mental illness.
While the population is growing, the psychiatry field is shrinking.
The April 2017 issue of Academic Psychiatry illustrates that the U.S. has seen about a 37 percent population increase in the past 20 years, while the psychiatry field has increased only by 12 percent. We are seeing the effects of this now as 55 percent of U.S. counties currently do not have psychiatrists and the national average wait for a psychiatrist appointment is 25 days, according to a report conducted by the National Council for Behavioral Health. The reason for the shortage of psychiatrists boils down to the fact that as more and more psychiatrists retire, less and less students are choosing psychiatry as a profession. Industry leaders speculate that the lack of interest in the field likely stems from lower wages due to minimal reimbursement from insurance companies. Psychiatry is compensated far less than procedure-based specialties, such as cardiology or general surgery. Considering medical school students are graduating with an average of $207,000 in student loans, it’s no surprise that they are choosing fields that will allow them to pay this massive debt off at a quicker rate.
Working Toward a Solution
It has become clear that sustainable changes aimed at filling psychiatry residency spots year-after-year can only occur if all stakeholders (federal and state governments, payers, providers, provider trade associations and advocates) take action within their respective spheres of influence in the design, funding, regulation, and delivery of mental health care. Each of the stakeholders have a role and must work together to make an impact. Servicing those suffering from mental health issues must be a top priority.
Residents and fellows have staying power. They work extremely long hours—often without taking the time to sleep or eat. They are constantly surrounded by trauma and illness. They sacrifice time spent with friends and family to perfect their craft and pursue a dream. Becoming a physician is not for the faint of heart—and it is no wonder that resident depression, anxiety, and suicide rates have increased over time.
A Mayo Clinic study showed a strong correlation between burnout and depression, with 31% of residents screening positive for depression and 51% reporting a history of depression during residency. It is clear that rates of depression are higher in medical students and residents (15% to 30%) than in the general population. Some surveys have found that roughly 10 percent of medical students have reported having thoughts of killing themselves within the past year, which compares to 3.7 percent of the general U.S. population.
Complicating matters? Because of the significant demands on their time, residents and fellows are less likely to receive mental health treatment than members of the general population.
In years prior, there were no limits to the number of hours residents work. However, the ACGME, the governing body overseeing medical and surgical residency programs, has taken measures through the years to stunt the burnout epidemic. In 2003, with adjustments in 2011, the council imposed an 80-hour cap on the number of hours a resident can work per week, with 16 consecutive hours also serving as a limit for first-year residents (24 hours for second- and third-year residents).
To accompany these regulations, there are additional measures your organization can take to curb resident and fellow burnout.
1. Hold Special Stress-Mitigating Staff Events
Appreciation can go a long way in the medical industry. At Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, a hospital committee runs a yearly event called Paws for Pennsy (P4P), where cats and dogs are brought in for staff to enjoy.
“This definitely helps,” said Stephen Tsoukas, a medical resident at the hospital. “Hospitals are stressful. Some cases are sad. This brightens up your day.”
The UNC School of Medicine takes a similar route, hosting annual social events and activities to diminish burnout. These events include picnics, welcome and goodbye dinners, and participation in softball and kickball leagues.
2. Be Aware: Recognize Symptoms and Take Action
Residents are trained to detect signs of depression or substance abuse among patients. According to Morganna L. Freeman, DO, FACP, chair of ACP’s Council of Resident/Fellow Members and chief oncology fellow at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., this should be practiced with peers, as well.
“Our skillset as clinicians in paying attention not only to what patients say but what they don’t say or how they interact with you is something you can easily carry over to how you interact with colleagues. … We have to look out for each other,” she said.
When Dr. Freeman saw a resident exhibiting signs of depression or anxiety, she waited until rounds were over, pulled him or her aside, offered to take the next admission, and suggested a coffee break.
3. Make Communication (and well-being check-ins) Mandatory
Residents should feel comfortable speaking about their struggles. However, the current residency/fellowship climate often discourages this, leaving physicians feeling uncomfortable about sharing their failures or struggles with superiors.
A former resident’s suicide inspired Stanford’s Department of Surgery to form a wellness program that promotes psychological and physical well-being for new surgeons. A focus of the Balance in Life program includes mandatory group therapy with Lisa Post, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Post is also available for one-on-one counseling if the participants deem it necessary.
Balance in Life has implemented stress-mitigating staff events on the campus lawn, mentoring partnerships between junior and senior residents, and healthy snack-stocked fridges since its inception in 2011.
Odds are that individuals in intense residency and fellowship programs will experience some sort of burnout throughout their journey. By normalizing these feelings and behaviors—and offering outlets for communication and counsel—leading academic healthcare centers throughout the country can help to mitigate this long-standing challenge. Innovative resources, respite opportunities, and organized appreciation events will go a long way in improving the mental health and clarity of hard-working residents and physicians.