The end of the solo practitioner has been greatly exaggerated. The increased demand for quality care is causing many groups and solo practitioners to consider bringing on additional physicians and extenders. But while many independent practitioners are finding that they need to bring on additional physicians, many are finding that doing so may not be as easy as it once was.
Below are three major challenges that the changing health care landscape is causing for solo physicians in the process of recruiting physicians to join their practice – and how to address them.
Due to changes and demands in health care caused by the Affordable Care Act, many graduating physicians are gravitating towards employed positions with large groups and health systems. These new physicians are operating on the belief that independent practices and small outfits don’t have the infrastructure and support they need in order to do their job effectively.
What to do: Make sure that candidates are aware of the technological tools, administrative support, and clinical network they will have available when joining an independent practice. The key is to dispel any misconceptions early on in the process. Participating in an Independent Practice Association can also help ease a potential candidate’s concerns.
Desire for Strong Network of Colleagues
Many physicians today associate small and solo practice with clinical isolation, especially in smaller and rural communities. The perception of small practice makes many physicians, especially new graduates, feel as if they won’t have the necessary support and network to grow professionally.
What to do: The world today is far more connected than it was a decade ago. While at one time being in a small practice in a rural community could be isolating, today medicine specific social media provides practitioners with plenty of opportunities to collaborate with colleagues around the country.
A Difficult Solo Practitioner
Sometimes it’s not the fact that they would be joining only one other practitioner that is the problem – sometimes it’s the practitioner themselves. Whether the current physician is afraid of losing their autonomy, refuses to admit that they need help, or is just plain unpleasant, having a difficult solo practitioner that needs a partner can make the recruitment process exceedingly difficult.
What to do: Explain to the practitioner that while you understand their concerns, the health care needs of the community are not being met. Reassure them that any physician that is hired will be one that they will mesh well with and is a good cultural fit.
Key Take Aways:
- Dispel common misconceptions around joining a small practice
- Provide the support and network candidates crave
- Make sure that the existing physician is on board with the physician recruitment effort