5 Recruiting Tips for Your Rural Clinic

The concern over the national physician shortages isn’t a new one. The AAMC’s 2017 report addressing physician supply and demand continues to paint a grim picture. The U.S. could be short 100,000 physicians by the year 2030. This is especially true in rural communities that have difficulty attracting skilled medical providers.

Pending immigration reform under the Trump administration is a new factor that could adversely impact healthcare in rural areas, as reported recently by the New York Times. Foreign-born doctors make up about 25% of all physicians practicing or training in the U.S., and many rural areas rely on these medical providers. Changing visa policies are expected to slow the process for foreign-born doctors who serve inner cities and rural communities being able to secure medical positions.

TinkBird Healthcare Staffing recruits clinical practitioners for positions in rural communities across NC, TX, FL, SC, PA and TN. We can help rural hospitals, clinics and medical practices build the right set of incentives to attract top medical talent. For starters:

Get creative!

As is often the case for rural areas, the lack of quality health services is a concern for everyone in the community. Pull together all your great thinkers, and you’ll be surprised at the terrific ideas that come.

For example, Colorado’s Clear Creek County believes its new rural clinic is an opportunity for economic expansion. In addition to the town’s 9,000 residents who have lacked adequate healthcare services for the past five year, more than 40,000 motorists pass through each day on the nearby interstate. And still others are attracted to the area for outdoor recreation. The community will open a new clinic in May with hopes of serving this larger population of patients – locals, travelers and visitors.

Sell your strengths

What your small town lacks in trendy restaurants and cultural venues, it can make up for with other attributes. Does your region boast fresh air, wide open spaces, a low cost of living or outdoor recreation? Perhaps yours is a tight-knit community where people share a culture that would appeal to the right physicians – family values, low crime rate, laid-back pace of living. Recognize your community’s positives, and recruit healthcare providers from that place of strength.

Sweeten the deal

Offering a competitive salary is a given for small towns hoping to recruit top medical talent. Beyond that, consider alternative ways your community can add economic value. Offering attractive living accommodations and student loan forgiveness are obvious places to start. How about “physician share” opportunities with nearby hospitals or clinics? This allows doctors to collaborate with their peers and expand their resources to cover patient demand. Oftentimes, communities can tap into state and federal programs to help fund these types of incentives.

Become a training ground

Studies have shown that physicians who train in a rural community are more likely to stay there to build a practice. Consider developing a program where your trainees find career satisfaction while having the opportunity to recognize the quality of life that your community offers. Your senior physicians and community leaders can play an active role in mentoring and making them feel a part of the community.

Consult with a professional medical recruiter

A company like TinkBird that specializes in recruiting primary care doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners can be your biggest ally. We know how to put a package together that’s appealing to recruits and to present your rural community in the best light. Ultimately, our goal is to find best-fit providers who want to establish roots and become a part of your community. Call Tinkbird’s regional office nearest you to find out how we can help you.

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