For many organizations, finding the right physician to join their team is no easy feat. Between finding a candidate that will be a cultural fit and competing with other organizations, getting the right candidate to join – and stay – with an organization is more difficult than ever. However, for faith based health systems, this process becomes even more difficult. Being a mission driven health system or hospital with restrictions on the range of procedures and trials some physician specialists can offer, faith based healthcare systems often have an extra step to go through in sourcing and interviewing candidates.



Challenges to Finding Compatible Physicians


While faith based employers often employ physicians of the organization’s denomination, many if not all faith based hospitals and health systems have embraced diversity in their recruitment of physicians of all faiths. While many physicians are aligned with faith based system’s mission to provide compassionate care to the sick, the poor, and the dying, some still express reluctance to join such an organization.


Some common reasons include:


  • Misinformation regarding physician practice with faith based hospitals and health systems
  • Desire to carry out procedures, prescribe medicine, or conduct trials that are contrary to many faith based organization’s mission and values. This is most common among providers in specialties concerned with reproduction
  • Fear of a loss of autonomy on the part of a physician

While some of these reasons can make it more of a challenge to recruit physicians, especially those of certain specialties, there are many faith based health systems and hospitals that have excelled at bringing on a diverse provider base that is aligned with their mission and values.


Possible Solutions


In order to ensure that a prospective hire is the right fit for a faith based organization, the organization must first create a profile detailing what type of character a prospective candidate must have in order to align with the organization’s mission and values. Things such as a commitment to serving the community and treating the whole patient are common characteristics that many faith based organizations would find immensely important in a candidate. 


It is then important to find how to source and screen for these characteristics. The following steps are key in identifying the type of candidates needed:


  • Creating an engaging job description aimed at your ideal candidate profile
  • Identifying what types of communities and activities your ideal candidate belongs to/participates in
  • Establishing a multi-pronged recruitment strategy to target candidates that fit this profile


Additionally, when working with third party recruitment firms, it becomes even more important that faith based systems express and share candidate recruitment guidelines. Ideally, the physician recruitment firm will have a track record of success working with faith based systems. 


Once candidates have been identified, it is then important to thoroughly screen and interview any candidates to ensure that the organization and candidate are an excellent match and address any of the candidates reservations. Organizations should ensure that they:


  • Assess cultural fit and alignment with mission and values
  • Address any concerns, incorrect information, or practical questions a candidate has honestly and thoroughly
  • Clearly delineate what is and is not permissible for providers to do according to their ethical guidelines


By following these guidelines, faith based organizations can ensure that any new providers they bring on board are aligned with their organization’s goals, mission, and values, regardless of religious affiliation.