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Note to Physicians: Pennsylvania Hospitals Need You!


By Gus Geraci, MD

I’m reminded of the classic recruitment poster that we all know, involving Uncle Sam pointing and saying, “I want you for U.S. Army.”

I’ve been meeting with hospital c-suite types – CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, CNOs, etc. There are a bunch of themes that I keep hearing again and again. This blog post will be about opportunities, and I’ll talk more about the other themes in upcoming blogs.

As a family physician, I get at least two or three e-mails a day offering me positions somewhere in the country. I’m much closer to retirement than I am to a new practice opportunity.

I talked to a young surgeon recently when a job opportunity fell through and he began reaching out to some of those recruiting e-mails. He looked into and was interviewed at a couple of places, but he really wanted to stay locally.

I encouraged him to reach out to some local hospitals, and he was pleasantly surprised at the positive responses he got. I wasn’t surprised.

Every single one of the hospital folks I talked to have mentioned recruiting as a challenge for them. “Hospitals want you to work near them!”

Depending on your specialty, there may or may not be a need at a particular hospital, but I can practically guarantee there will be a need that will meet your desires. Hospitals are not necessarily good at recruiting physicians.

If you are in a primary care specialty, the world is your oyster. Do not settle for a job, find your ideal job.

Having said that, a common theme I hear is about you millennials:

“They want a high guaranteed salary, no call, and easy work hours.”

I know it’s true about some of you. Everyone has a friend who has stated they’re in it for the money, and will take any job that offers them a high salary, light work, and light call, and will move on when those conditions no longer exist. Good luck with that.

But for those who want to work, accept that some call is part of the job, and have a realistic expectation of a salary based on real income generated … there are lots of hospitals out there that would love to talk to you.

What I have been surprised at is the number of hospitals where primary care physicians still admit their own patients, have a thriving practice, and are involved actively in the community. I thought that was dead. Well, it is alive and well in some places here in Pennsylvania.

My advice to you? Figure out what you want: rural, urban, suburban, university, community or very small hospital, or practice. Then call around. Don’t wait for a headhunter letter, or e-mail.

Job postings are great, but they don’t tell the whole story. And they are never complete.

The worst that will happen is you’ll make a call and they’ll say, “no.” But you might get a “yes” at a place that is exactly what you want.

Heed my cautions about signing that contract and find a good employer!

And please, tell me about your experience as you begin employment for wherever you did sign.

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