physician careers


Why Emergency Medicine Physicians Chose the Right Career

Emergency Medicine Physicians

They work in some of the most stressful conditions imaginable. They treat more than 100 million patients each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent. They never know what types of cases are going to walk or be rolled through the doors. People who cannot speak, hear or see depend on them for life. 

And more often than not they succeed at keeping their patients alive. 

They are emergency medicine physicians, and their careers are as challenging and exciting as they are rewarding. 

Here’s a look at why many emergency medicine physicians don’t hesitate to say they chose the right career:

  • Variety. No two days are alike for emergency medicine physicians. According to the CDC, there are more than 136 visits to emergency departments each year in the United States. Of these visits, more than 40 million are injury related, 16.2 million result in hospital admissions,  2.1 million result in admission to critical care units, and more than 2 percent end in a patient being sent to a psychiatric or other type of hospital. 

    If you are the type of physician who likes variety, you’ll find it in the emergency department. Throughout the course of a single shift, many emergency medicine physicians find that they treat patients who need emergent or urgent resuscitation, interventions, procedures or obstetric care. 

  • Leadership. Emergency medicine physicians are on the front line of medicine. They are often the first in the country to be faced with emergency public health issues, whether related to chemical dependency, disease, or outbreaks and epidemics

    For these reasons, physicians who work in emergency departments are able to play important leadership roles in addressing public health problems. They are often called upon for leadership in the areas of injury and illness prevention, emergency medical services response and legislative advocacy. 

  • Relevancy. According to a study conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians, the number of visits to emergency departments is on the rise. In addition, 44 out of every 100 people in the country visit an emergency department each year, according to the CDC

    Emergency departments are open 24-hours a day; they never close and they don’t turn anyone away. The physicians who work in emergency departments–whether in large, urban areas or smaller communities–are always relevant, in demand and respected for the service and care they provide. 

  • Flexibility. Because emergency departments are such intense environments, most hospitals allow for a great deal of flexibility when it comes to scheduling. The defined shift work makes scheduling more predictable than that of other specialties, and when you’re off the clock, you’re off the clock. 

    Emergency medicine physicians rarely carry pagers, unless they are on call, so they can dedicate their time out of the emergency departments to their families, friends, recreational activities or professional development. 

  • Community. Physicians who practice emergency medicine have created a tight-knit community. Its members have a reputation for being extremely supportive of one another, connecting and collaborating on everything from professional development to research. 

    In fact, there are four professional associations dedicated to advancing the profession, offering professional development opportunities, conducting research and connecting emergency medicine physicians with one another. They include the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association, the Society for Academic Emergency, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine

  • Satisfaction. Physicians, in general, are a hard group to satisfy, but according to Medical Practice Insider, emergency medicine physicians are more contented than those who practice plastic surgery, cardiology, radiology, anesthesiology, orthopedics, urology and general surgery. In fact, the only specialty groups with higher satisfaction rates are pathology, psychiatry and dermatology. 

If you are interested in an exciting emergency medicine provider career, consider working for Elliot Health System. 

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Why Southern New Hampshire is the Perfect Place for Physicians

Southern New Hampshire

There are a lot of reasons to love Southern New Hampshire

People who live in the Granite State like the abundance of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Tourists talk about the quaint towns and brilliant fall colors. 

Physicians who call Southern New Hampshire home have plenty of other reasons to claim that the area is the perfect place to live, practice medicine and play. 

Here’s a look at three reasons why physicians love living there:

Engaged, insured patients

If national studies are to be trusted, the people who live and work in New Hampshire care about two things that directly effect physicians: education and health care.

A 2015 report published online ranked New Hampshire as the seventh best-educated state in the country, with more than 92 percent of adults having at least a high school diploma and 35 percent achieving at least a bachelor’s degree. 

People in the Granite State also value their health. According to an analysis done by Medscape, more than 60 percent of the state’s population has employer-sponsored insurance coverage, which is much higher than the national average. In addition, only about 10 to 12 percent of the population lacks health insurance. 

Well-educated, well-insured patients often make the best patients. 


If you are a physician interested in innovating and working to improve the quality of the healthcare industry, Southern New Hampshire is the perfect place for you. 

Hospitals in the area are involved in some innovative and incredibly interesting areas of medicine, including aeronautics and aviation medicine, child protection, improving pre-hospital healthcare and more.You don’t have to live in a large, urban area or work at a large research or teaching hospital to find opportunities to innovate. 

You can do that at a community hospital in Southern New Hampshire, where you’ll be challenged professionally and enjoy an incredibly high quality of life. 

Quality of life

There are two primary ways to measure the quality of life offered by a particular city, state or region. You can ask those who live in the area or you can refer to studies that measure such things as family well-being, tax climate, health, per capita income and education. 

Whatever your preferred method, you are likely to draw the same conclusion about Southern New Hampshire: It offers an unmatched quality of life. 

New Hampshire consistently ranks among the best places to live in the United States. It has ranked as the safest state in the country. It has delivered the lowest poverty rate. It is in the top 10 for several metrics, including per capita income, tax climate and the overall health of its residents. 

And, it has ranked as the number one most livable state in the country. 

All of these variables are measurable and easily compared to those of other states. But, perhaps the best endorsement of life in Southern New Hampshire comes from those who call it home and rave about the lakes, the wilderness, the hiking, the ocean, the lack of a sales tax and all of the charm and charisma that comes from living in a state with the motto “Live free or die.” 

Yes, there are many reasons to love New Hampshire–especially if you are a physician.

Would you like to find out more about what sort of adventures are available to you in and around Southern New Hampshire?

Outdoor Adventures


3 Reasons a Community Hospital is Solid Place to Start Your Career

Community Hospital

The United States is in the midst of a physician shortage. According to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges, the country will need between 60,000 and 94,000 new physicians by 2025. 

While the shortfall is generally bad news for both healthcare providers and patients, it does present a unique opportunity for newly minted medical doctors who now have more options than ever when it comes to deciding where to start their careers.

Many will seek employment with healthcare systems with large hospitals in heavily populated urban areas. Others will opt for teaching hospitals, where they will be involved with research and shaping the future of health care. Then there are those who will find their first physician jobs at community hospitals, where they will cut their teeth on a variety of cases, build strong connections with the community and have extensive opportunities for growth. 

In fact, the majority of all doctors who work in hospital settings are employed by community hospitals. Some start their careers in other areas, most start in a community hospital and stay there. Here are three reasons why:

1) Opportunities

At first glance, it may seem counterintuitive, but a community hospital often offers new physicians more opportunities than a hospital in a large, urban area. 

The community hospital physician often needs to become a “jack- or jill-of-all-trades” because there are fewer specialists on staff. This means that you’ll be responsible for providing direct care to patients with a broad range of illnesses. 

Physicians who get their first jobs at a community hospital often see cases they didn’t come across in medical school or during their residency sooner than those who start with larger healthcare systems. 

2) Connections

In many communities across the country, the community hospital is the only game in town. People depend on it for all of their healthcare needs–from primary care to acute care to specialty care. This allows community hospital physicians to build deep connections with the patients they serve and the communities in which they live. 

In addition, there is often less bureaucracy at community hospitals, meaning physicians often have more decision-making authority, fewer quotas and are able to have a role in shaping the future of the organization and its role in the community. 

These connections often lead to opportunities to play important leadership roles in the community–from serving on philanthropic boards to partnering with the business community to supporting arts and culture in the area. 

3) Quality of life

Cost of living, commuting, crime and recreational opportunities all combine to create a quality of life, which is important when it comes to choosing where to begin your career. 

While it’s true that physicians practicing in urban or large suburban areas often earn slightly higher salaries than those who practice in community hospitals, it is also generally true that community hospital physicians enjoy lower costs of living, shorter commutes with less traffic and lower rates of stress. 

It is also true that earning a slightly lower salary at a community hospital can actually leave you with more money (and far less stress) at the end of each year because of the lower cost of living and lower cost of real estate. 

Yes, quality of life should be an important consideration when choosing where to start your career–and the quality of life at a community hospital is often higher than it is at a hospital that is owned by a large healthcare system. 

Being a doctor isn’t all about the money. It’s also about opportunities, connections and quality of life, all of which you’ll find at community hospitals. 

At Elliot Health System we believe in outstanding physician career opportunities and a positive work-life balance, which is why we created a free Outdoor Adventure Guide for anyone considering relocating to the area. Check it out!

Outdoor Adventures


Top Reasons to Become a Family Medicine Physician

Family Medicine Physician

Health care is becoming an industry that is increasingly fragmented and specialized. Big paydays (and sometimes rock-star status among patients and colleagues) are hard for newly minted medical doctors to resist, so a growing number are choosing to pursue careers in orthopedic surgery, cardiology, oncology and radiology. 

But, there is one area of medicine that has always attracted a group of caring and talented professionals who are dedicated to treating the entire patient: family medicine

The nearly 125,000 family medicine physicians practicing across the United States don’t focus on a specific type of patient, organ or disease. Instead, they provide integrated care for millions of patients of all ages, genders and overall health. 

If you are currently considering what type of medicine you would like to practice, consider becoming a family medicine physician. 

Here’s a look at the top reasons why family medicine physicians are indispensable to our nation’s healthcare system–and why you should join their ranks:

Job security

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, family medicine physicians account for one out of every five office visits in the United States and treat nearly 200 million patients. 

That’s almost 50 percent more than the next most-visited specialty area, meaning that physicians who specialize in family medicine are in high demand and enjoy incredible levels of job security. 


Few physicians have the ability to positively impact both the health of individuals and the country as a whole like those who deliver primary care. 

Primary care physicians are called upon to address a wide range of medical issues–from the acute to the chronic to the preventative–involving a wide range of patients. They are trained in pediatrics, obstetrics, internal medicine, psychiatry, surgery and community medicine, and the more their patients see them, the lower the cost of their patients’ health care. 

In addition, family medicine physicians provide the majority of care for Americans who live in traditionally under-served urban and rural areas of the country. 

But, to truly understand the impact that primary care physicians have on the country’s overall health, you only need to know that the American Academy of Family Physicians says that increasing access to primary care by one family medicine physician per 10,000 people can result in:

  • a 5 percent decrease in overall outpatient visits
  • a 5.5 percent decrease in inpatient admissions
  • a nearly 11 percent decrease in emergency department visits
  • a 7.2 percent decrease in surgeries. 

Yes, if you truly want to make an impact as a physician, you should consider a career in family medicine. 


Cardiologists focus on the cardiovascular system. Oncologists focus on cancer. Urologists specialize in diseases of the urinary tract. 

Physicians who work in the area of family and primary care medicine may deal with any and all of these issues and areas of the body on any given day. 

If the challenge of working with a wide range of specialty areas sounds appealing, a career in family and primary care medicine might be the right career path for you. 

You will work with a patients from all walks of life who present with a wide range of diseases and healthcare concerns. You will also be able to develop deep, meaningful relationships with your patients that allow you to truly understand and manage their health care over long periods of time. 

This type of variety makes you indispensable to both your the patients you treat and the hospital for which you work. That’s why many family and primary care physicians are able to set their own schedules, decide where they want to work and greatly enjoy the profession.

Elliot Health System has primary care opportunities available for dynamic providers like you. Learn more below.

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Why Honesty is Necessary to Make a Smooth Physician Career Change

Physician Career Change

As you are all too aware, becoming a doctor takes hard work and dedication. Being a doctor requires the utmost skill. Almost everyone respects and admires you. Your job allows you to have a life-changing (and even life-saving) impact on others. And of course, the income can be lucrative as well. 

As it turns out, however, many doctors find themselves less than enamored with their career choice. For some, this realization comes early on. For others, it arrives later, perhaps not until they reach their 40’s or 50’s. Then there are doctors who have had long, satisfying careers but are simply ready to try something new. 

Perhaps you recognize yourself in one of these categories and you’ve been thinking about doing something other than practicing medicine. But, how can you make that happen?

You already know that change can be hard, especially when it involves moving from one career to another. It can be done, however, if you’re prepared to engage in some soul-searching and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Taking an honest inventory of who you are, what you want and what you consider important are critical if you hope to make a smooth physician career change.

1. Why is it that a physician career change appeals to you at this time in your life? Reasons commonly expressed by physicians include:

  • “It’s just not what I thought it would be” 
  • Stress and/or burnout
  • Concern that the practice won’t be successful
  • Health (of either self or a loved one)
  • Worry about medical malpractice 
  • Increased administrative and regulatory burdens
  • The simple desire to do something else. 

Be completely honest with yourself. For this exercise, think only about what’s true for you, not what others think or what you believe they might think.

2. Is a change really what you want?

It is unwise to make a physician career change until you have identified your real motivation for doing so. After all, perhaps all you need is simply a change of scenery, not a complete overhaul of your professional life.

A new office might be in order or maybe a different field. Some physicians find that they want to move into management or the business side of health care (pharmaceutical sales, consulting, research and development, just to name a few options). 

3. What would you like to do instead?

So you want to be a rock and roll star? Paint? Teach at a college or med school? Get an MBA? Clarity regarding your intention is critical. Basing a decision on “what you want to be when you grow up” on a whim will not serve you well. 

4. What skills do you need to acquire in order to make the desired change? 

If you don’t know what it will take to to commence a new career, you cannot possibly hope to get there. Research the jobs/professions that interest you to ascertain the barriers to entry, whether you believe you can overcome them and, if so, how to do so. Then start doing what needs to be done. When it comes to changing your career, inaction is not action. 

5. What is preventing you from making a physician career change? 

Considerations that can impede a physician career change are varied. Among the most significant? Other people. Consultant Celia Paul explains: “Once you’ve become a doctor, you’re supposed to have it made. It takes real courage to break with everyone’s expectations.” 

No matter the reason, if you don’t believe you can overcome it, your physician career change will not go smoothly. 

Perhaps you’ve been considering a move to a community hospital. If so, consider the opportunities within Elliot Health System.

Apply to Elliot Health System


What You Need to Know About Introducing New Physicians

Introducing New Physicians
Bringing new physicians into the fold is usually an exciting time for a medical practice, whether it’s a small country practice, a large urban care center or anything in between. However, onboarding a new practitioner can also create the fertile ground for frustration, missed opportunities, and even failure.

Integrating new physicians into any health care environment requires diligence, patience and foresight. While recruiting the right candidate sets the foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship, the ability to retain that candidate is the brick and mortar that will largely determine whether the relationship is ultimately successful.  

According to the Medical Group Management Association, the turnover among new physicians has been estimated to be 25% for the first three years of employment. MGMA further reports that the cost of lost revenue, recruitment fees, signing bonuses, the cost of interviewing and relocation and other start-up costs for a new physician can total as much as $750,000.

At first blush, this might seem hard to believe, perhaps even ridiculous. After all, we expect a well-educated professional to hit the ground running, so to speak. Consider, however, that effectively incorporating new physicians into any practice can be “a 90 to 180-day process that requires attention to hundreds of details.” One simply cannot expect a doctor to intuit the ins and outs of functioning in a new environment.

“Trial and error” is not the way to onboard new physicians. There is just too much at stake. On the other hand, well-structured onboarding can actually work on two fronts:

  1. By helping the doctor successfully acclimate to a new working environment;
  2. By providing existing personnel the ability to integrate that new physician in a manner that isn’t disruptive to the existing operation of the practice or facility.

Meeting those two objectives will go a long way towards creating a lasting relationship between the doctor and employer, one which leads to a stable environment in which patients are likely to feel comfortable.

The following steps will help demonstrate that a new physician is a welcome and valuable asset to the practice and not just simply a necessary addition.

Thorough orientation is key – Although most employers do more than provide keys to the facilities and show a new hire where the washroom is, most orientation procedures are woefully inadequate because they do not address such things as:

  • H.R. Practices (personnel policies and procedures regarding vacation requests, sick time, parking, benefits, etc.)
  • Office procedures (ordering supplies or scheduling a board room, for example)
  • I.T. connectivity, access, permitted/prohibited use and technical support
  • Financial practices of the office (revenue expectations, accounts payable/receivable, bonus structure)
  • Workflow in the office/staff responsibilities
  • Insurance and licensing requirements, credentialing (coverage, who is responsible for payment, deadlines, etc.)
  • Chain of command/complaint

Marketing – Have the new doctor create a bio to which other relevant information can be added such as focus of the practice, availability, etc. The following should also be considered: 

  • Website update
  • Postcards/mailings to existing patients
  • Announcements in industry publications/advertising

Staff integration – More than a simple introduction on the doctor’s first day of work.

  • Onboarding is a two-way street. Much as doctor’s offices and care facilities should make new physicians comfortable in their new work environment, the same applies to making office staff comfortable with new hires.
  • Both admin and medical staff will want to know why the doctor has been hired and what they can expect from that individual.
  • The more a practice provides early opportunities for relaxed and informal interaction, the greater the likelihood of creating a working environment comfortable for all involved and conducive to providing the best medical care and treatment available.

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The Practice of Accepting a Physician Job Offer

physician job offer

Obtaining a physician job offer is a great step when it comes to your long-term medical career path, but really, it’s only part of a much more in-depth process. Due to the stress of finding the ideal opportunity, some doctors tend to jump a the chance to take any offer, but that may not always be the best decision. Here are some of the things recruiters should consider before offering a position and some of the items physicians should consider before signing on the dotted line.

1. Before offering a job to a physician

Before you offer a medical job to someone with the right credentials and proper pedigree, make sure the physician fits the job requirements as a person. As Buckingham and Harter wrote in First, Break All the Rules, “people don’t change that much.” Choosing an extrovert as a pathologist may not be the wisest selection.

If you hire a doctor who is temperamentally ill suited to the position you are filling, the result will be either a disgruntled employee or a turnover. Doctors and nurses are not fungible commodities. Each one is unique so make sure the person inside the white coat fits the specific job requirements.

2. Before accepting a physician job offer

  • Have written, detailed quantifiable expectations of both the work process and the outcomes expected using acronym SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time limited)
  • Be quite sure you understand the corporate culture and that you fit in, or that you want to fit in. The elements of corporate culture include: business environment; values; heroes; rites and rituals; and contact network. Do you feel comfortable with these elements? You are going to have to live with them if you accept the job.
  • You spend more time with your coworkers than with any patient. Find out if you want to work with these people before you have to.
  • Be clear and precise about support factors: salary, benefits, pension including vesting schedule, insurances especially liability (do not assume that hospital legal counsel will “have your back”), etc. Make a list and check on it before you sign on.
  • If the position carries a level of authority such as Chief or Chair, you must also consider the following before accepting a physician leader job: personnel, lab space, clinical facilities, how much budget control, and do you have authority commensurate with your responsibility? Do not let them judge you for outcomes over which you have no control.
  • What recourse do you have if you are dissatisfied or if they fail to honor the employment contract? It is not lack of good intent, but rather wise and prudent behavior to plan for the end at the beginning.

Useful reading

The readings below contain helpful management information for both the hiring facility and a physician-employee thinking about accepting a job.

  1. Buckingham M, Coffman C, 1999. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, Simon & Schuster: New York, NY.
  2. Deal TE, Kennedy AA, 2000. Corporate Cultures—The Rites and Rituals of Corporate Life, Perseus: Cambridge, MA.
  3. Collins JC, Porras JI, 1997. Built To Last, HarperBusiness: New York, NY.
  4. Waldman JD, 2010. Uproot U.S. Healthcare, Second Edition. ADM Books: Albuquerque, NM.
  5. Waldman JD, et al. 2004. Changing the approach to workforce movements: Application of net retention rate in healthcare. Journal of Applied Business and Economics. 24(2): 38-60.

Are you looking for a new opportunity? 

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The Lost Art of Bedside Medicine

bedside medicine

Is the physical exam dead? 

Clinical observation has been part of medicine for thousands of years, ever since Babylonian, Chinese and Indian physicians first examined bodies. Lately, however, the practice has become a rarity as technology has enhanced physicians’ ability to see and hear things that were previously hidden. 

But that doesn’t mean bedside medicine should be put to sleep. 

The value of the bedside exam

While advancements in medical technology have improved doctors’ ability to diagnose and treat certain illnesses, they have their limitations. 

CT scans and X-rays can’t feel where an abdomen is tender. They can’t perceive pained facial expressions when a particular area of a patient’s body is touched. And they can’t ask questions about a patient’s diet, physical activities and lifestyle. 

These factors can often only be examined and evaluated by a physician who understands and values bedside medicine. In fact, an effective bedside exam actually allows physicians to make better use of technology. Doctors who are skilled at bedside exams are often able to gather more and better information about their patients’ conditions, allowing for more selective use of medical technology. 

Unfortunately, the financial realities of the healthcare industry have pushed bedside medicine to the wayside. 

From the bedside to conference tables

The end of bedside medicine as a common practice can almost certainly be linked to the push for greater efficiency. 

There used to be an expectation–from patients as well as insurance companies–that doctors would spend quality time with their patients. It was, after all, the way medicine had been practiced for centuries. Physicians were trusted to take the time necessary to get to know their patients and make the best possible decisions. 

Then the bottom line got in the way. 

Insurance companies called for greater efficiency. Physicians were pressured to keep exams brief, see more patients and shorten hospital stays–all in the name of decreasing costs and increasing revenues. 

Hospitals, too, played a role in moving doctors away from the bedside and into the conference room. After all, it’s much more efficient for physicians to meet and discuss patient care and make treatment decisions around a conference table than it is to have them doing it during rounds. 

Reviving bedside medicine

There is no question that the dizzying array of high-tech, sophisticated and expensive tools and tests has put bedside medicine on the ropes and some patients have suffered as a result. 

A simple search of the Internet reveals many documented cases of patients whose conditions went untreated for long periods of time because doctors were led down the wrong diagnostic road due to their reliance on technology. 

These cases, along with calls for patients to spend more time with their doctors, are reviving the lost art of bedside medicine. It could be considered a move away from high-tech and back to high-touch medicine. 

Medical schools and teaching hospitals are working to help aspiring physicians understand both the value of bedside exams as well as how to perform them. 

They’re getting back to the basics, which include:

  • feeling lymph nodes and differentiating benign enlargement from possible malignancy,
  • evaluating patients’ walking for signs of neurological or musculoskeletal impairment,
  • inspecting the tongue for the presence of infection,
  • feeling the thyroid gland to check for enlargement,
  • evaluating knees for pain and movement,
  • listening to patients and their family members.  

The goal is to ensure that doctors rely less on technology and more on their ability to walk down the hall, evaluate a patient and then use the right tools at the right time–for the right reasons. 

Elliot Health System cares about their physicians and the patients they treat. Explore the career possibilities we can offer you today. 

Apply to Elliot Health System


Physician Relocation—What You Need to Consider When Relocating

Physician Relocation

Physician relocation involves all the usual considerations plus a particular concern. “What are the three key success factors for a restaurant?” The answer applies with even greater force to a doctor who is moving: location, location, and location.

Physician relocation requires consideration of real estate values, schools for your children, back yard to play or entertainment, a community where your family fits in, religious involvement, property taxes, even parking (viz., New York city), etc.

But a doctor has a special problem—not unique in type, but certainly unique in scope. Persons with commercial or political authority often have more demands on their time than there are hours in the workday. Thus, by that logic, a doctor has more time demands in a day than their alotted twenty-four hours.

Physician relocation forces you to ask: Will I be there for my husband or wife? Can I get to my child’s soccer game? How can I make myself available for my patients when they need me? How many dinner dates will I miss or cut short because of a patient emergency? How will I find time to exercise? Is there such a thing as time for me?!

Reality is this. You cannot expect to see your child play soccer in between patients. Your marriage will suffer if your spouse always comes last. You will become overweight and unhealthy if you don’t exercise. And of course, you cannot say, “Call me in the morning,” to a patient with chest pain.

If you carry a beeper, your time is not your own.

What does this have to do with physician relocation? Answer: the one factor over which you have control is wasted time, especially travel.

Physician relocation requires you to find a place to live that minimizes the various (wasted) travel times, not only from home to work but from home to exercise or from work to child’s school or other activity. This may require negotiation with your spouse. The key is explaining how your location choice can benefit him or her.

Which lifestyle do you want? That’s the real question. 

Elliot Health System is located in beautiful New Hampshire where the recreational opportunities are incredible. Would you like to learn more about them? If so, please download our free guide. 

Outdoor Adventures


Keeping Physicians Engaged – Top Tips for Maximum Job Happiness

Keeping Physicians Engaged

Who cares for the caregivers?

That’s the question many in the healthcare industry are asking in response to a recent study conducted by the Commonwealth Fund and the Kaiser Family Foundation that shows that 47 percent of physicians have considered retiring early. This might not be so alarming if the reasons for early retirement included fulfilled goals and financial health. Sadly, those aren’t the reasons nearly half of all doctors have at least contemplated getting out of the profession. 

Instead, the reason most commonly cited is dissatisfaction with the current state of the modern healthcare industry. Slow Medicaid and Medicare payments, bureaucratic red tape, unyielding reliance on quality metrics to assess performance and seemingly arbitrary financial penalties for missing metrics have physicians feeling less engaged. This is a scary prospect for physicians, healthcare organizations and patients alike. Keeping physicians engaged is critically important to patient outcomes, an organization’s culture and overall financial performance, and the doctor’s own health. 

Here is a look at how some healthcare companies are keeping physicians engaged:

Implement Effective Incentives

In most physicians’ minds, volume should not equal value. While financial incentives are important and effective ways to remove barriers to physician engagement, they need to be clear, concise and easily understood. However, they cannot be tied to productivity, which conflicts with value-based health care. Instead, financial incentives and compensation models should be designed to promote patient satisfaction and the best possible outcomes. When physicians feel they will be rewarded for taking time to connect with patients and deliver improved outcomes–which is why many become doctors in the first place–they are likely to be much more engaged. 

Develop Leaders

It is difficult to disengage when you are part of an organization’s leadership team. Keeping physicians engaged and developing leaders go hand in hand. Everyone wants to be considered an important part of their employer’s future. It’s when they don’t feel valued or that they play a role in helping the organization move forward that they disengage. 

Keeping physicians engaged through leadership development can be as easy as developing a model for joint decision making among physicians and administrators, providing governance roles for physicians and offering formal leadership development opportunities for physicians. 

Another way to keep physicians engaged? Give them ownership opportunities. 

Demand that Doctors Delegate

By their very nature, physicians have difficulty when it comes to delegating. Often, they are expected to–and expect to–dictate every aspect of their offices. However, smart doctors and organizations hire smart staff members–and those employees should be trained and trusted to do the jobs for which they were hired. Of course, this only works if staffing levels are at appropriate levels, so proper staffing is critical to keeping physicians engaged and allowing them to delegate. When doctors effectively delegate administrative tasks, they have more time to focus on patient care, staying current with the latest research and even taking time off to recharge and refocus. 

Keeping physicians engaged is the key to success

There are many barriers to keeping physicians engaged–from red tape to traditional tension between doctors and administration. Ultimately, no healthcare organization can achieve its patient outcome and financial goals if it can’t figure out a way keep its physicians focused on building a brighter future–for their patients, their employers and themselves. 

Elliot Health System believes that a positive work-life balance helps to boost overall career satisfaction. Consider a career with a healthcare system that cares about their physicians on a personal level. 

Apply to Elliot Health System