Recruiting physicians in rural markets: 3 powerful tips

Published On: Oct 21, 2019
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The doctor shortage has the hardest impact on rural communities, where 20% of the U.S. population lives. On average, the ratio of physicians to patients in these areas is 1 to 2,500.

This situation could become more severe as fewer graduating medical residents want to work in small cities. In fact, only 1% of medical residents say they want to practice in a town of 25,000 people or fewer.

Attracting physician job seekers to rural markets requires a keen understanding of their motivations, as well as a strategy for promoting the benefits of working in the country.


1. Focus on benefits other than compensation


When recruiters focus solely on compensation, they're ignoring many of the factors that physicians consider when choosing a new job. In fact, only 28% of healthcare professionals rank compensation as a top priority.

Physician job seekers are also interested in the level of autonomy they have on the job. The ability to make decisions about how best to treat patients can be a big draw for many professionals. Recruiters can use lifestyle marketing strategies to show candidates what life could be like working in a rural area.

Doctors in rural areas often have more autonomy over the treatment options they recommend. Doctors in rural areas often have more autonomy over the treatment options they recommend.




2. Highlight the benefits of living in smaller communities


The fast pace of working in a populous city can be very draining for physicians. In a study comparing rates of physician burnout between urban and rural doctors, researchers found a stark difference. Urban hospitals placed much higher demands on physicians who had less control of their working hours. Meanwhile, rural physicians were less stressed out. Rural physicians can become trusted community members, which brings its own benefits.


3. Discuss flexible working options


Rural positions can offer greater flexibility than urban roles. Physicians tend to have more control over their working hours in the countryside. For example, rural patients may be more willing to use telemedicine rather than drive long distances for non-emergency situations. Plus, smaller staff sizes can mean more influence with hospital leaders.

Recruiting physicians in rural areas is more challenging than in other metropolitan cities. The rewards can also be more profound. Increasing access to healthcare in smaller communities supports their growth and continued way of life. Not all of the excitement of medical practice is found in large urban areas.

Post your next open position on myHealthTalent.com to reach the extensive network of qualified healthcare professionals. Attracting physician job seekers to rural markets requires a keen understanding of their motivations, as well as a strategy for promoting the benefits of working in the country.