Finding the right physician to join your practice is becoming a difficult task for many groups. This is why when a recruiter comes across two physicians who could potentially join the team, it’s difficult not to get excited – especially when they are a package deal. But many practices and organizations are wary of hiring physician spouses, or even considering them during the physician recruitment process.
While it is true that recruiting a married physician team can pose some unique challenges, in some cases it may actually be the best case scenario for the practice. In order to find out if this is the case, a recruiter will need to ask the following five questions regarding physician spouses.
1. Does Your Organization Have Needs for Both Physician’s Specialties?
Sometimes a recruiter will get lucky when trying to lure a married physician team to their organization, with each spouse representing a high need specialty for your organization (primary care, hospitalist, oncology, etc.). But sometimes, one spouse’s specialty may not be needed at your organization, making recruiting married physicians more difficult. In this case, it is often beneficial to see if other groups in the area may be hiring for that specialty.
2. Are There Nearby Groups Hiring for the Spouse’s Specialty?
When there is no way to accommodate both physicians in a married couple in your group, it is beneficial if one of your nearby competitors is hiring. By doing this, you further commit the couple to relocating the community and increase your chances of bringing on your ideal candidate.
3. Can Your Market Handle both Physician’s Specialties?
What does the market look like in your community? Is your ideal candidate’s spouse’s specialty over represented? Especially with some specialties, it can be easy for an area to become over saturated, essentially shutting out new physicians. If this is the case, and the spouse is unlikely to find a full-time opportunity in the area, you may need to reconsider your candidate’s viability.
4. Is your Practice/Organization Large Enough?
Having a great deal of collegiality among the physicians in a group can be a great asset to an organization. But the dynamic of a group, especially one that is small, can be easily thrown off by issues between two members. This can be made even worse if the two members are married. In larger groups, any issues that may arise would probably not be felt too strongly, but in smaller groups and organizations, the reverberations can cause tension that can throw off the dynamic of the practice.
5. Which Physician’s Search is the Priority?
This can be a tricky question to answer, but it can make a huge difference during the recruitment process. With most married physician teams, one spouse’s search often takes priority over the other’s (this may be due a variety of factors such as difficulty of the search, income potential, etc.). This is usually a pragmatic decision, made to make relocating to a new location easier for both spouses as two job searches and a move can take a large toll on the couple. But which spouse’s search is the priority? If the physician whom you are trying to recruit’s job search is taking the backseat to their partner’s, you can find yourself losing out on the candidate – often in the late stages of the recruitment process.
Key Take Aways:
- Make sure your community can handle absorbing both physicians
- Connect with other practices in the area to find opportunities for the spouse if there are none with your organization
- If you’re considering recruiting both spouses to your organization, make sure it’s not too small of an environment – that can lead to issues in the future