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May 1, 2024

Site visit expectations

Helping a physician candidate prepare for a site visit at your organization is no easy task! First, make sure there are no questions about the itinerary and that they and their partner are clear on the plan. Then, suggest these additional steps.

Suggest they do pre-visit homework

Lisa Hauck, senior physician recruiter at Mercy in St. Louis, advises candidates "to do their homework. Go to the group’s website. Maybe watch the video clips of the physicians
in the group. Read their bios online. Where did they do their training? What are the areas of interest? Prepare a list of questions that you want to ask the group. Have that ready."
Encourage candidates to prepare questions that will help them get to know the partners. How many patients are they seeing a day? What does the patient population look like? What are they looking for in a partner? Remind candidates that this is their time to determine if this is both a place they could both live and work.

Think critically about potential questions

Some candidates may ask for potential interview questions.  Though every interview is different, you can point them in the right direction.
"More site visits are including questions such as, ‘If a patient came to you with this condition, how would you
address that?’" says Sarah Cole, D.O., family medicine residency program director at Mercy. "’If a practice was
experiencing this situation, how would you address that?’ Or, ’Tell us about a time that you have handled certain
situations’ so that they can get a gauge of past performance as well as aspirational performance moving forward."
Alison Woods, director of physician recruiting at the University of Kansas Health System, suggests encouraging
candidates to prepare for questions such as, "What are you comfortable doing, (and) what are you not comfortable
doing? How do you interact with your team? How do you resolve conflict? How are your interactions with patients?"
Woods shares this advice with candidates: "Stay open-minded about the questions you are going to be asked,
because it can vary from person to person and what position you are (interviewing for). You are going to have access and interactions with everyone from administrative assistants all the way to physicians and sometimes medical officers."
Cardiologist Eric Lieberman, M.D., says he considers many factors in an interview. "I’m looking at someone
presenting themselves well. I want the individual to come in prepared with questions they want to know about a
practice, asking things that are important to them in terms of how they are going to interact with the practice, what their growth is, how the practice foresees their trajectory. What their expectations would be. What are
their strengths? What are their weaknesses? What do they see themselves doing? Where do they see themselves five years from now regarding professional development?"

Shape what the candidate sees

Jason Maddox, D.O., chief family medicine resident at Mercy, advises candidates to "pay attention to the culture.
Do the physicians and the support staff seem to be happy, cooperative with team members, and appear to be excited to be there? I feel that it’s an intuitive sense you get whenever you go to any of the clinics. Second, focus on the resources that are there. Would the resources support your practice goals? As an example, it’s important to my osteopathic manipulative medicine treatments that my room, tables and facilities could accommodate patients undergoing their treatments during their visits."
As a recruiter, ensure that the tour and interviewers address specialty-specific resources available.
If the physician candidate is going to multiple places during the site visit, he/she will want to take notes. Hauck
adds, "the candidate should bring a portfolio or notebook to jot some notes down. They are likely interviewing at
multiple places, so they are learning a lot of information."

Read PracticeLink articles from Marcia Travelstead

Marcia Travelstead

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