In a recent article, MDLinx named the Best States to Practice Medicine in the US. To determine the results, the writers considered both career and lifestyle factors. Career factors including highest physician compensation, lowest cost of living, low physician density, lowest cost of malpractice insurance, tax friendliness and general quality of healthcare. Lifestyle factors included quality of life, best places for families, cultural activities, availability and quality of higher education, and healthy lifestyle.
A Wallethub article posted in March 2019, the Best and Worst States for Doctors results were based on Opportunity and Competition, as well as the Medical Environment. They reviewed things like physicians annual and monthly average salaries, hospitals per capita, percentage of insured population, and share of elderly population. Pertaining to the medical environment, they considered quality of the hospital systems, hospital safety, physician’s assistants per capita, as well as the punitiveness of the local medical board and other malpractice factors.
Obviously, if you happen to live in one of the states listed on the top of the lists, you will be happy. Or if you have been dreaming of buying a ranch in North Dakota when you start your practice, you may be in luck. But we all know that the geographic location is only one of the factors in selecting where you will practice medicine.
Out clients typically have a few locations in mind by the time we meet. They have chosen locations based on the factors that are important to them personally and might include locations where they have family, where they grew up, or where they went to college. Some may have dreamed of working near the beach or practicing in a large city. Some have their eye on a distinguished healthcare organization or private practice. And some of our future doctors are looking for recommendations from our network.
The reality is the best place to practice medicine is the place that fits your needs. It is a personal decision. It’s one that will require clear-minded analysis, advice from trusted family or friends, and a professional agent that will work on your behalf to help you sort through all the information you will have in front of you. The professional Career Consultants at Physician Placement Concierge act as your “agent.”
To find the best career placement we help prioritize your list of needs and wants. We identify the right organizations, arrange meetings and site visits. We then work to negotiate a package that meet your needs. We will provide information and research on the cities where you might live, including career and lifestyle factors per the articles mentioned above, but always placed in the context of what is the best fit for your career and your life. What are the best places for you to practice medicine in the country? Together we will figure that out!
Read the full articles cited here:
Perhaps no one understands the burden of student loan debt more than a medical student. Medical school is expensive and the years of study required to become a practicing physician are many. The truth is that physicians are highly compensated, but the highest physician compensation comes with additional training in a specialty. And that means, more debt.
The average student loan debt for a physician is over $175,000 and for specialists, even higher. So naturally, repayment of these loans is a high priority for many physicians when they are looking for the right position after completing their training. Even with a high starting salary, a new doctor will potentially be repaying loans for many years.
The good news is many of the healthcare organizations are prepared to help with loan repayment as part of the physician’s compensation package. With the right negotiation, it is possible to receive offers that include high level compensation, incentives, moving expenses, student loan repayment and even training stipends. They key is understanding the priorities of the doctor and the hiring organization before starting the negotiation process and working to find the right balance to meet the needs of both parties. Win-win, as they say. The financial pool is not unlimited, the skilled negotiator must know how far to push to get the most for the new physician and their family.
If you are a physician looking for the right place to start your practice, it is important to have the right people on your team. At Physicians Placement Concierge, we will work hard to help you articulate their priorities, there are likely things you haven’t considered yet. Then we get to work finding the right organizations, corporate culture, location, compensation, and terms to meet those needs. We have the right tools, and many years of experience to get the job done and unlike traditional recruiting firms, we only work for YOU! Call us today for a consultation and see the difference we bring to the table.
According to the Physicians Misery Index, a survey published recently by the Geneia Company, one of the highest factors in Physician Misery is the doctor’s inability to see more patients. Another misery factor was the increased amount of time spent on data entry and technology. What’s interesting about these two factors is that much of the technology being used in healthcare today is designed to give doctors more time with their patients and to allow them to see more of them. And yet it seems they may not be doing their job. The “Technology Culture” of the prospective healthcare organization is an important consideration when looking for the right place to start your practice. How do you know if you are getting into an environment that will give you joy…or cause you misery?
As a physician, you have spent years learning and training in order to dedicate your life to the field of medicine. The last thing you want is to arrive at your practice and be miserable. Unfortunately, for many physicians completing their training and beginning the search for the best position, this type of question takes a back seat to questions about compensation, bonuses, future partnership, and location. Vetting your potential future employer is a complex process and one that is likely unfamiliar to you. And let’s face it, after living the life of a college student followed by the life of an intern and then resident physician, you are eager to learn the details of your compensation package and potentially getting some help with the student loans you have likely amassed.
So what do we mean by “technology culture?” It all started with a series of policies mandated by the Federal Government. The HIPPA laws, enacted in 2003, created a need for increased information technology in healthcare to provide better privacy, security and access to patient information. The HITECH Act was passed in 2009 followed by the Electronic Medical Records mandate in 2014 further pushed the requirements for electronic documentation. The goal of this type of legislation is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our healthcare system and provide better patient care. The HITECH Act specifically cites 5 goals and instructs that every criterion should tie back to at least one of these goals: improve quality, safety, and efficiency; engage patients in their care; increase coordination of care; improve the health status of the population; and ensure privacy and security. As a physician, you have undoubtedly been exposed to HER (Electronic Health Records) systems and likely have an opinion about how user friendly and time saving, or consuming, they are.
Along with applications for data collection and security, the healthcare technology industry has been working to find solutions to help with the current and future physician shortage. Obviously one of their goals is to help doctors see more patients, a goal clearly aligned with one of the primary goals of the doctors and a key to improving their overall “Joy in Medicine” status.
With any change in enterprise systems, the introduction and implementation of technology can be chaotic during initial installation. In addition, the quality and ease of use from one technology platform to another varies. And these factors are where physicians can experience frustration and lose precious patient time. This is also why it is important to consider the “Technology Culture” of your potential employer as part of your overall negotiations and selection.
Here are some things to consider:
After dedicating so many years to your training and education, it’s important to make the right decision about where to start your practice. Compensation and benefits are a big part of the equation but there are many other things to think about before you decide. Physicians Placement Concierge understands all the elements that should be considered prior to your decision and we work with our clients to help them make the right choice. Once you have the information and have chosen one or more options, we can help negotiate the best possible contract. If you are just starting your search, you will benefit from a consultation with us. If you are a practicing physician thinking about re-negotiating your contract or considering a move, we can help you weigh your options and negotiate the best contract to move forward. The first consultation is free and guaranteed to be well worth the time!
If you are a Physician planning to complete your residency in June of 2019 you may already know where you will be next year, or you may still be considering your options. There are so many things to consider when looking for the place to start your practice. Many of these considerations are financial. Some are all about corporate culture and career growth. And some things to ponder are not about your career, but how you will live your life.
The Holidays are here and depending on your situation, you may be working during the Holidays. Or you may be traveling to wherever home happens to be. Some may be gathering with local friends and family. Whatever you plans for this year, it is likely next year’s will be very different. Next year you will have started your practice and possibly living in a new location. If you were able to look into the future, what will you be doing a year from now? Where will you be?
Part of deciding where to take a position as a practicing physician, should be looking at the big picture and considering things that are lifestyle and family values that can and will be impacted by your choice of location, company culture and network of other professionals. Studies have shown that having “Joy in Work” depends on many things that are not shown on your paycheck! Here are some great things to include when you are finalizing your search:
We are all adaptable to change and we don’t want to imply that you can’t be happy wherever you choose, but if you can try to “have it all,” then why not try! Our mission at Physicians Placement Concierge is to help our physician clients find the opportunity that meets all your needs and expectations. If you are still looking for your best opportunity and need some help with analyzing your options or negotiating your contract, give us a call and let’s talk about you!
According to a recent survey, practicing physicians are becoming more dissatisfied in their work, and those employed by hospitals or corporately owned practices are more dissatisfied than those working independently or in a physician-owned practice. These results are based on a nationwide survey of post-residency physicians working for more than 4 years and was conducted by Geneia, a leading provider of healthcare data, technology, business and education solutions. The survey was started in 2015 and this year’s July 2018 survey indicated an increase in the Physician “Misery Index” from 3.78 to 3.94 out of 5. If you are a physician just getting ready to start your practice, or a practicing physician thinking of making a change this information is probably making you more than a little uncomfortable, but your future doesn’t have to include misery. With the right approach and a good team on your side, you will be able to make the right choice and find the joy in practicing medicine you have been working and planning for.
So what are the issues causing the misery and physician burnout? The survey is based on six factors including the negative changes brought on by the business and regulation of healthcare, the heightened demand for data reporting to support quality metrics, the business-side of healthcare playing a role in diminished joy in the practice of medicine, and physicians feeling rushed when seeing their patients. 80% of responding physicians said they were personally at risk for burn-out while 96% said they had either personally experienced or witnessed the impact of physician burn-out. According to the survey, 66% of all physicians say current conditions have made them consider career options outside of clinical practice. And this is an 11% increase over the initial survey in January of 2015!
As you face the changing landscape in our industry, it becomes very clear how important it will be for you to truly understand the culture, practices, and personality of the organization you choose to partner with to begin your own practice. Before you choose your practice, choose a partner to help you gather information, size up your options, and dig into the details before negotiating your contract. Yes, it will take some digging to really figure out what the practice you consider is all about. On the surface many healthcare organizations are going to say much of the same thing and the offers you receive might look similar – at first review. Only someone who knows the business on all levels, can flesh out the information you are going to need to mitigate the effects of the “misery index” and choose the right place to start your medical practice.
Is it all bad news for the healthcare industry and the physicians who serve their patients? We certainly don’t believe so. Many of the questions in the Geneia survey pertained to regulations, information systems, reporting and technology and the impact that changing requirements are making on the professional life of a physician. We know the current and growing physician shortage leaves practicing physicians with heavy workloads. We also know that technology is evolving to meet the needs of the entire healthcare system and will likely make a positive impact on many of these issues and the medical teams that provide patient care at all levels. With Physician Placement Concierge, we will help you find the organization that is the right choice for you now and the one that will continue to evolve in a positive direction as you do. You don’t have to go it alone and you don’t have to trust traditional recruiters who are employed by healthcare organizations and hospitals. We only work for you and provide singular focus on helping you find your perfect starting point.
You can read more about the survey and Geneia’s Joy of Medicine Initiative here:
Learn more about Physician Placement Concierge’s unique approach to physician placement by visiting our website at www.physicianplacementconcierge.com.
Choosing the right place to practice is one of the most important decisions a physician will make. In addition to salary, benefits, and location, it is important to choose an environment where you will be supported and can accomplish your professional goals.
Dr. Parveen Vahora finished her fellowship training in Gyn Minimally Invasive and Pelvic Surgery. Her passion was for gynecology, not necessarily obstetrics. Sitting for her board certification would follow in the appropriate time and those boards would be in OB/GYN. She also knew she would establish a private practice, and would have to maintain hospital privileges for her surgical interventions. And, with the appointment to the Hospital medical staff, she would be expected to take Emergency Room call for OB&GYN.
She began her job pursuit and interview schedule. As is also common in the industry, her preferred vendor product(s) representative(s) kept her informed of certain opportunities throughout the state. (Vendors travel into many hospitals, get to know the OR personnel and help identify potential opportunities for both the physician and the hospital).
Opportunities were abundant. She was exceptionally well-trained and women’s health initiatives were continuing to be either further refined and/or developed. Her outpatient practice should succeed on its own merits of offering new, minimally invasive options to her patients. But, which hospital would or could accommodate her desire to only have OB privileges through her Board results and then allow her to maintain GYN services and GYN call only? While it seems simple enough, at that time, it would be an exception to find a hospital in Florida that didn’t have one call roster – OB/GYN. She definitely didn’t want the OB part after her boards. How would the medical staff respond to her request, if the Hospital and the medical staff were always looking for more to take ER Call in OB/GYN (with the onerous call responsibilities with little to no sleep sometimes for mothers in delivery without a private OB).
Ms. Gillette, as the Hospital CEO, met with the physician in her job search – first at her training site. She travelled to meet the physician and understand her needs and desire. After hospital site visits, more discussions, the offer package was negotiated, and Dr. Vahora signed her deal. There was a clear understanding and alignment of mutual goals. Ms. Gillette agreed to buy the equipment that would be needed for the type of minimally invasive surgery Dr. Vahora would perform. Even so, It was not without challenge that slightly over a year later, Ms. Gillette negotiated with the Medical Executive Committee (all physician leaders for their section) and the Board of Trustees to create a new call roster – GYN. (OB would stand on its own.)
It was only through the efforts of this young physician, her value-add to the community for her highly specialized services, the negotiation and compromise skills of Ms. Gillette with the various hospital committees and the confidence with which Dr. Vahora communicated her desires to her fellow medical staff colleagues that the first GYN only roster was created in a tri-county area.
Today, Dr Vahora remains in her same practice location with an upgrade to a new office site, the additional hiring of mid-level practitioners, the acceptance of physician residents in rotation with her as a teacher, now some 10+ years later.
Why is she so successful? She made her wishes known early on. She found a hospital leader, Ms. Gillette, who was willing “to go to bat for her”. And she is a marketing genius in her own right by attending virtually every women’s group, being a member of the Rotary, and sharing her passion for women’s health. She has grown her skill set and is now proficient in robotics. And, she has found a niche market in being frank with her patients in meeting their needs. It’s all about the fit – the right place, the right opportunity, the ability to market oneself, the partnership with the Hospital.
To learn more about Dr Parveen Vahora, visit her website at https://parveenvahoramd.com/ or visit her practice where her mission is “Inspiring Women to Live Their Best Life by Providing Compassionate Care.”
Kathryn Gillette is the founder of Physician Placement Concierge. This story is one of the many that laid the foundation for her vision that is now our company. She knows the value of finding the right fit and how easily the needs of the physician can become secondary to the needs of the hospital or practice. Her belief that a physician looking to start their practice or a seasoned practitioner looking to make a move need someone on their team to help them ensure the best result. Learn more about Kathy’s story on our website.