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Recruiting physicians for academic medicine


Physicians and recruiter shaking hands in front of an image of a physician teaching other physicians Posted by Stephen Leggitt
Physicians and recruiter shaking hands in front of an image of a physician teaching other physicians

When the average person pictures the path of a physician, they most likely assume the physician attends medical school, goes through residency, and then begins treating patients at a hospital or a private facility. While this may be a more typical career lifecycle for many physicians, there are also countless numbers of highly successful healthcare professionals who found a love and career in academic medicine.

Every physician that a patient has ever visited was once under the tutelage of an expert in their field, one who possessed the natural talent and skill to explain complicated subjects clearly and provide guidance and nurture confidence in each physician who studied underneath them. Finding those specialized instructors can sometimes be difficult, but for a well-rounded physician recruiter, it is an essential skill.

Here are strategies when recruiting physicians for academic medicine:

Understanding academic medicine

To try and place a physician recruit in an academic or teaching environment, it’s important to learn and understand the differences and nuances between an academic focus and a more standard placement. Be aware of the specific academic opportunities you have available at your institution and familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of each role. Whether it’s fully understanding the teaching commitments or the research interests of your institution, the more knowledge you personally acquire before presenting an opportunity to your recruit will help both sides understand if academic medicine is the correct fit for the candidate.

Developing a recruitment strategy

There may be some potential recruits who are not completely sold on taking the academic route or may be deciding between an academic focus and some other direction. Be aware of the academic opportunities you currently have available at your institution and familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of each role. Finding candidates who already have research experience, have shown interest in or had previous experience with teaching and possess general leadership qualities will help narrow down the best candidates to enter the academic medicine arena.

Highlighting opportunities and resources

Sometimes, the healthcare facility, hospital, or healthcare institution itself can be the greatest selling point for a potential physician recruit. Some teaching hospitals have such a stellar track record and renowned reputation that they can clearly function as a stepping stone to bigger and better prospects in a physician’s career. Promote your facility’s funding provided from grants or donations, or maybe the history of acquiring funds for specialized research. There is certainly more to academic medicine than the direct teaching of residents, and other aspects of this career track can be just as alluring to those who are natural teachers.

Creating the culture

Post-Covid, it’s undeniable that the importance of work-life balance is paramount to those in all fields and industries, and the medical field is no exception. Knowing this, it’s always recommended to emphasize the institution’s work-life balance initiatives. In addition, showcase that as a leader in the academic medicine field, your recruit will be one of the voices to set the administrative tone within their department. There are numerous benefits to working in academia, and being one of the teachers who can help positively influence a future physician’s view of work-life balance and a sense of community within the workplace is a monumental and important responsibility of mentors in academic medicine.

Placing the next generation of academic medicine physicians

As a physician recruiter, you can often make correct snap judgments just from quickly reading a CV or engaging in a short conversation with a potential recruit about what type of medicine they would enjoy pursuing. When you come across those who could thrive in an academic setting, informing them about the positives that come with that focus will not only help place them in the appropriate environment but will bring satisfaction in knowing you’re playing an important role in the instruction of the next wave of physician healers.



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