Three Critical Keys Before Opening a Physician Recruitment Search

Hospital physician recruitment can be complicated. Each search transaction has important compliance components to document the need for additional physicians. Economic, market factors, and service area strategic terms must be considered before opening a recruitment search. Preparation before beginning a physician recruitment search is imperative, including the following three steps:

Assessment of Current Documentation for Community Need

  1. Do you know the community and the medical staff’s level of support? Has there been a recent survey of the medical staff’s understanding of the need and support for a search?
  2. Is there a Community Need Assessment (CNA) in place documenting the need for each specialty? Ensure that a formal Community Need Assessment is completed and updated every two to three years.
  3. Is the Community Need Assessment completed and reviewed by an “Objective Party”?


  1. Use a checklist of documentation to confirm that there is a reasonable community need to add a Physician or Advanced Practice Provider.
  2. Based on reliable data (Qualitative and Quantitative), document the need PRIOR to opening a search and committing to financial arrangements. This third-party data that demonstrates a shortage, expected attrition needs, or access to care barriers is essential to document.
  3. Based on current and forecasted population growth projections, ensure that all providers in the hospital’s defined service area are included. Define the hospital’s 75th Percentile and 90th percentile service areas.
  4. Ensure that the leadership and board policies and procedures are approved and current.
  5. Set a comprehensive Recruitment Plan operationalizing the strategic, financial budget, and operational aspects of each search.

Planned Recruitment Procedures for Success

  1. Ensure that recruitment procedures are formalized in writing and circulated among stakeholders. Evaluate each step carefully.
  2. Involve the various stakeholders, including leadership and medical staff, to review the CNA.
  3. Organize your in-house physician team members for each search as well as ancillary personnel, including clinical staff.
  4. Recruit community leaders to participate in the recruitment process.

Success requires planning. The key to success is completing documentation and appropriate preparation prior to opening a physician search. We at Coker Group have been assisting hospital clients for over 40 years nationwide. Please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can help with your Community Need Assessment, Board and Recruitment Policies and Procedures, or other concerns you have around compliant recruitment.

Review our Checklist for Documentation and contact us today for more information on community need assessments and recruitment planning.

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