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Making a physician offer


outlines of multiple physicians with one highlighted in the forefront Posted by Megan Trippi
outlines of multiple physicians with one highlighted in the forefront

To maintain quality care and success within your organization, you want to find the right physician to join your facility. Each time you search for your next hire, you may ask yourself: How many interviews should be conducted before extending a physician offer?

Remember the Tootsie Pop commercial where the young boy asks how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? Similar to that popular question, "the world may never know" exactly how many interviews you should perform before giving an offer to a physician, but there are ways to determine a good number on a case-by-case basis.

Importance of conducting physician interviews

Physician interviews and the interview process allow you to assess a candidate’s qualifications, clinical expertise, interpersonal skills and cultural fit within your organization. They provide an opportunity to delve deeper into a candidate’s background, explore their motivations and evaluate their ability to handle complex medical scenarios.

How to determine the quantity

The number of interviews required before extending a physician offer can vary depending on multiple factors. Here are some key considerations to help determine the appropriate number of interviews:

  • Complexity of the position: The complexity of the role plays a significant part in determining the number of interviews. For positions that require specialized skills or involve a high level of responsibility, conducting multiple interviews gives you a more comprehensive evaluation of the candidate’s capabilities.
  • The urgency to fill the opening: If there is an immediate need to fill a position due to patient demand or staffing shortages, the recruitment process may be expedited with fewer interviews. However, compromising the number of interviews should not compromise the thoroughness of the evaluation process.
  • Your organization’s recruitment process: Each organization has its own recruitment process. Some organizations have a structured approach with multiple rounds of interviews involving different decision makers, while others may have a more streamlined process. Aligning the number of interviews with the organization’s established recruitment process ensures consistency and fairness.

How to balance being efficient and thorough

Striking a balance between efficiency and thoroughness is important when determining the number of physician interviews.

Conducting too few interviews may result in overlooking how well the physician will fit in the role while conducting too many interviews can prolong the recruitment process, potentially leading to losing top candidates to competitors. Here are some strategies to maintain this balance:

  • Pre-screening: Implementing pre-screening methods such as phone interviews or video conferences can help filter out candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements. This reduces the number of in-person interviews.
  • Conducting panel interviews: Using panel interviews - with multiple interviewers from various departments or specialties participating - can provide a comprehensive evaluation of the candidate in a single session. This approach minimizes the need for numerous rounds of interviews while incorporating diverse perspectives.
  • Utilizing candidate evaluation tools: Supplementing interviews with candidate evaluation tools, such as case studies, assessments or simulations, can enhance the process. These tools provide additional insights into a candidate’s problem-solving abilities, clinical judgment and communication skills.

With each opening, it will become easier to strike a balance between being certain the candidate is a good fit and practicing efficiency in the recruitment and interview process. So, while the world may never know how many interviews it takes to extend an offer to a physician, there are still ways to determine the appropriate number for each position and candidate.


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