How To Avoid The Physician Shortage Of 2025

90,000 - Per a study by the Medical School Association, that is the projected number of the physician shortage the United States will experience by 2025. Although the physician shortage has been common knowledge for some time, many practices have yet to adjust their recruiting process to reflect this new reality. Most hiring managers assume that successfully recruiting a physician comes down to the employment package. While that is paramount, another element of the recruiting process, which is just as vital, often gets overlooked: recruiting timeline.


Start Your Search Earlier: Simply stated, the vast majority of practices are not realistic about the time needed to source and vet a suitable candidate. Very rarely, if ever, will a physician be able to start within the month. Almost every working physician will be required to give some notice and that could range from 30 to 120 days.  If you’re in a rural or highly competitive area, it could easily take 4-6 months to hire and onboard a suitable physician. If you wait until you really need the physician, you could be looking at 3-4 additional months beyond when you want them to start, which puts a significant amount of strain on your practice. This could include extra financial strain, as you may have to utilize a temporary locums solution or reduce new patient admissions.

Benchmark Projections are Key: So you know you need to start your efforts earlier, but how much earlier? Your best tool for figuring this out is a mix of projections and local considerations. To begin, you should create an internal growth benchmark that, when achieved, triggers the search for a new physician. For instance, if your providers currently see 500 patients per month, find a way to start the search when you hit 100 new patients in a month. It may seem too early, but if you’re growing by 100 patients a month, you’ll have just 4 months before you need another physician - leaving just 1 month for the recruitment process, if the physician has to give a 3-month notice. If you’re located in a rural or competitive area, you may need to adjust even further to acknowledge those hurdles.

Financial Planning: As we get closer to 2025, it will be critical for practices to not only understand their growth trends, but also to have some idea of what their revenue looks like going forward a year or two. If you don’t offer a robust benefits package, or are on the low end of salary expectations in your area, you’ll need to parse those projections to see if you’ll be able to adjust to a more competitive place and, if not, decide what changes you’ll need to make to get there. To give you an idea of how the market has changed: in 2013, the average mid-level provider sign-on bonus was $3,000 and only 11% of providers received one. One year later, as the physician shortage grew and mid-level providers became more in demand, it had more than doubled to $7,500 with an increase to 50% receipt. On top of that, 78% required relocation assistance, with the average relocation package coming in just above $9,000.  These demands are even higher for physician candidates and are creating a more competitive market across the board. By configuring your compensation adjustments and options ahead of time, you’ll provide clarity to your recruiting team and ensure the financial stability of your practice.

Admittedly, projections aren’t fun and they can be time consuming. But, as with all things in life, the more prepared you are, the more successful you will be. By dedicating some time now to knowing when you should truly begin your physician search and ensuring that you’ll have the resources to successfully recruit your ideal candidate, you’ll save yourself the anxiety, and possible financial hardship, of the last-minute physician placement.

Kick-Start Your 2018 Recruiting

As we wrap up the month of January, many of our clients, whether they’re small privately-owned practices or large multi-facility health systems, are feeling the pressure to hire providers.  Here are some ways in which you can kick-start your recruiting efforts for 2018.


It goes without saying that you can’t plan for growth if you don’t know what kind of growth to expect.  Forecasting can be a great way to get a handle on what’s coming in the future.  The more information you have, the more accurate your forecasting will be, but even at a basic level, planning ahead for growth can save a lot of headaches down the road.  

Part-Time Hires

Another way to scale your business is by hiring part-time providers.  As a healthcare recruiting firm, we’ve worked with many clients to bring on part-time physicians and mid-level practitioners to help scale their capacity for care as their patient volumes increase.  Sometimes these part-time roles evolve into full-time jobs and, other times, they stay part-time, but might start at 1 day per week and turn into 2-3 days per week.  Another advantage to hiring a provider on a part-time basis is that we offer lower recruiting fees.  We realize that a part-time provider will bring in less revenue than a full-time provider, so we have scaled our fees to reflect this.

New Graduates

Many physicians, as well as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, start looking for opportunities a few months before they finish their training programs.  If you know you will be hiring in the near future, new providers can make ideal candidates as their timeline is known and they are often open to relocation.  Starting the conversation early allows both sides to communicate their needs with plenty of time for negotiation.


When it comes to attracting healthcare providers, a good mix of compensation package and schedule can make your opportunity look much more attractive than the competition’s.  It’s also important to be flexible with your schedule and package, as some providers will place more emphasis on certain benefits or what their start time is over others.  

We hope your recruiting efforts for 2018 are off to a great start, and hopefully these tips have given you some helpful food for thought.

The Holidays Can Be A Great Time For Recruiting

Many businesses give up on recruiting during the holidays, but this can actually be a great time of year to increase talent acquisition efforts. As a contingency healthcare recruiting firm, we’d like to offer up a few reasons why we think recruiting during the holidays can be beneficial.  


Less Work = More Time To Interview

Offices all around the country take a huge productivity hit during December. On the plus side, this means that candidates have more availability to interview - taking a long lunch is easier to do when half the office is missing. That extra free time also allows qualified (and otherwise very busy) professionals to take a more proactive job-seeking approach; they’ll be more likely to respond to job ads and recruiter inquiries.

End-of-Year Reflection

On a personal level, the holidays are a great time for goal-setting and career evaluation. Of course, recruiters will always have the early-January rush that comes due to New Year’s resolutions of finding better careers. But the slower pace of the holiday season itself also provides a sizeable candidate pool that wasn’t available a month earlier. During the hustle and bustle of a busy year, employees rarely have time for reflection. The holidays provide a much-needed break, during which candidates may decide to pursue new job opportunities.

Less Is More

A lot of recruiters are less active during the holiday season due to budget limitations and the slackened work environment around them. This means there is less competition for qualified candidates, as long as the recruiter/hiring manager is willing to put in a little extra effort during a time of year that is largely regarded as an “easy month”.

FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

Most businesses give year-end bonuses. An employee is more willing to entertain the idea of switching jobs if they know they’ve got an entire year before their next bonus. It can be difficult to engage a candidate who’s going to miss out on a bonus check in a month or two if they leave their current company, but much easier when the bonus has recently been given out.

These are just a few reasons why you shouldn’t give up on recruiting during the holidays. It might be a new approach to think of December as a prime work month, but stepping outside of the box could lead to some great new talent in the new year. So get out there and give the gift of employment!

Keep Your Options Open

There’s an old saying that goes “don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched” - and it definitely applies to recruiting!

It’s important to keep your options open in an industry where those options are extremely limited.  If you find yourself in a situation where you have multiple physician or mid-level provider candidates, it’s important to keep them all actively engaged through the entire process.


We’ve seen this scenario time and time again:

A client has two or three finalist candidates and, when they choose one to hire, they ignore the others and stop communicating, thinking their first choice is a sure thing.  The problem, though, is that sometimes the first choice turns down the position, has a life change before their start date and rescinds their acceptance, or turns out not to be a good hire and the client quickly wants to replace them.  But because the runner-ups were treated poorly, none are willing to come back in the process, the client is left with zero options, and the lengthy recruitment process must be restarted from square one.

Instead of falling victim to this pattern, we recommend keeping an open line of communication with all finalist candidates until someone signs an employment contract, and making sure that all rejections are issued in a timely manner with appreciation for the candidate’s interest and respectful feedback on why they weren’t selected.  Whether this communication happens through us - Creative Healthcare Solutions - or comes directly from the practice, it’s essential to keep candidates in the loop and show them that their interest and time are appreciated.  

Communication and professionalism go a long way in keeping candidates engaged and willing to reconsider a position after being turned down.  If your first choice candidate does say “no”, it’ll be much easier to go back to the runner-up if you ended things in a respectful, positive manner.

So remember - keep your options open, don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched, don’t burn any bridges, and abide by all old-timey sayings.

Top 5 "Doctor Villains"

It’s Halloween tomorrow (YAY!) and we thought it would be fun to put together a “Top 5 Pop Culture Doctor Villains” list (in no particular order).  If you think we got it wrong, drop us a line at and we’ll give an honorable mention to your pick in next month’s newsletter.  

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Dr. Eggman (also referred to by his full name, Dr. Ivo Robotnik) debuted in the 1991 Mega Drive/Genesis platform game Sonic the Hedgehog.  Dr. Eggman is a rotund mad scientist who plans to conquer the world in order to build his own Eggman Empire.  He has appeared in almost every Sonic the Hedgehog video game since 1991 and is also a prominent character in other media, including comics, novels, an animated TV series, and an original video animation.


Dr. Hannibal Lecter was introduced in the 1981 thriller novel Red Dragon as a forensic psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer.  Lecter does not fit any known psychological profile.  He has no conscience and tortured animals as a child, but does not exhibit any of the other criteria traditionally associated with psychopathy; psychiatrists refer to Lecter as a sociopath because they don't know what else to call him. Dr. Lecter is intellectually brilliant, cultured, and sophisticated, with refined tastes in art, music, and cuisine.  He is well-educated in anatomy, chemistry, and physics, and also speaks several languages, including Italian, German, Russian, Polish, French, Spanish, and, to some extent, Japanese.  He is deeply offended by rudeness and frequently kills people who have bad manners.

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Dr. Octopus (Otto Octavius) is a highly intelligent mad scientist and typically portrayed as a stocky, myopic man who utilizes four powerful, mechanical appendages and is obsessed with proving his own genius and destroying the superhero Spider-Man.  Otto became a brilliant and respected nuclear physicist, atomic research consultant, inventor, and lecturer. He designed a set of highly advanced mechanical arms controlled via a brain-computer interface to assist him with his research into atomic physics.  During an accidental radiation leak that ended in an explosion, the apparatus became fused to Otto Octavius' body. It was later revealed that the radiation (or possibly his own latent mutation) had mutated his brain so that he could control the movement of the arms with his thoughts alone.  Though Dr. Octopus himself is portly, in poor physical shape, and near-sighted, with his harness attached, he is physically more than a match for Spider-Man.

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Dr. Evil is Austin Powers' nemesis and routinely hatches schemes to terrorize and take over the world.  He is typically accompanied by Number Two: an eye-patch wearing goon who fronts his evil corporation (Virtucon Industries), his cat Mr. Bigglesworth, and his sidekick Mini-Me, a dwarf clone of himself.  He is an internationally-known criminal genius cryogenically frozen in 1967 and reawakened in 1997.  He went to evil medical school at age 18 and also attended the British Intelligence Academy with Austin and is angered that Austin won the "International Man of Mystery" award while he, the academy's best student, was overlooked.

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Orin Scrivello, DDS, is portrayed from the start as a troubled man who is likely insane, yet has managed to become a successful dentist.  He takes delight in his job, where he is free to abuse staff and customers alike without care.  "I am your dentist! And I enjoy the career that I picked. I'm your dentist! And I get off on the pain I inflict!" - Orin Scrivello, DDS

Well, there you have it!  Our top 5 picks for “doctor villains”.  Remember to have a fun and safe Halloween tomorrow!