Health reform expected to hurt recruitment of rural doctors

Recruiting doctors to rural hospitals will get harder in the next few years as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act reaches full implementation and the demand for healthcare services increases, a new report suggests. An Association of Staff Physician Recruiters report, “In-House Physician Recruitment Benchmarking,” says interview-to-hire ratios in rural areas are much higher than in urban, and rural recruiting officers are often responsible for several things, not just hiring new doctors, making them overworked. Both factors make it harder for rural hospitals to recruit, the authors concluded.

ASPR Benchmarking Committee Chair Shelly Tudor told John Commins of HealthLeaders Media that the cost of recruitment is rising, making it hard for rural hospitals to compete with their urban counterparts. “In lots of respects, the process favors urban providers. Physicians are coming to urban areas and they are looking for jobs, whereas rural providers have to go out and target physicians that are likely to come to their area,” Tudor said. Rural recruiters have to “filter through a lot of people to find the right one who is willing to come in and even look at the opportunity,” she said. (Read more)

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