What’s the Average Length of Hiring a Physician?
If you are fresh off the graduation line, finally ready to leave the library behind and enter the doctor’s office, you might wonder how long this is going to take. You might have heard rumors that hiring takes time, but how much time exactly? Physician recruiters Masc Medical can make the process as smooth and fast as possible, but it will still take time. And in that time, there are things to consider. Take a look at our guide to make this last step in the hiring process easy.
So, give us a number
Well, the overall physician hiring process can take 3-6 months on average, but time frames vary by speciality, location, and employer. It might interest you to know that primary care hiring tends to be faster.
What is the breakdown of this number?
Getting further into it, recruiting and attracting candidates can take 1-2 months. This involves job postings, networking, contacting residency programs, and physician referrals. Interviews and candidate evaluations often span 2-4 weeks depending on schedule availability. These evaluations may require phone screens, panel interviews, site visits.
Onboarding and credentialing verification after an offer is made can take 4-8 weeks. Involves license checks, DEA registration, and hospital privileges. Contract negotiation also adds time, around 2-4 weeks typically. The process can stall overcompensation, bonuses, healthcare, and call schedules. Additionally, rural and smaller practices may hire faster (6-8 weeks) while academic centers tend to be slower (4-6 months).
However, the variation comes in the aid that can come. Steps to expedite hiring include streamlining interviews, credentialing in advance, speeding offer approval, and flexible contracts. Trends like virtual interviews, AI for background checks, and online credentialing may continue accelerating post-pandemic hiring.
Why is the process so long?
Three to six months is a long process. In that time, you’ve got to pay rent and go about your life, so why does it take so long? Well, one obvious answer is that it’s a big role and a big job and any medical recruiter is going to want to make sure it’s filled by the right person.
However, contributing factors include a shortage of physicians, competition for talent, and bureaucratic HR processes. COVID made hiring more complex and success depends on clearly conveying workplace culture and values early on and maintaining candidate enthusiasm throughout the lengthy process.
What can you do in the meantime?
The best step is to start looking in your final year of medical school. In fact, for competitive specialities like dermatology or plastic surgery, you may need to start searching 12-18 months out. Start networking and making connections early. Reach out to practices, attend medical conferences, and join professional associations. This lays the groundwork for future job searches, which have to be broad for the best chances. Browse online job boards and hospital employment pages to get a sense of openings. It might help you to schedule informational interviews, shadow experienced physicians, or do elective rotations at facilities you may want to work at. Get a feel for various workplace cultures.
And remember that newly trained physicians may not get their first choice job but build experience.