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Making the Best Decision for Your New Practice

Posted by VISTA Staffing on Sep 16, 2015 11:59:00 AM

The facts aren’t too pretty and even seem to loom: 25 percent of all physicians will leave their new practice after three years.  If a physician is fresh out of training, the odds are even worse (sometimes as much as double).  If his or her number one criterion is geography-based, opposed to the practice and community-based, they are even worse.


How do you turn the odds in your favor?  By understanding the main reasons physicians leave their practice and ensuring these are non-issues with the choices you are considering.There are many factors that affect physician turnover. The following two items represent a huge portion of the most influential aspects of physician turnover. If you focus on just these two influencers, your odds of making the right choice for you and your family increase significantly.

The most stated reason physicians leave their practices revolves around the lack of chemistry with the other physicians in the group and poor cultural fit. If you aren’t walking away from the interview, truly excited at the thought of practicing with the physicians you just met… keep walking. It’s easy to get distracted by other influences, such as specific geography, a piece of high-tech equipment, money (and recruitment incentives).  Although chemistry is hard to define or to put your finger on, these are the questions to ask yourself:

    1. Will I “click” with them?
    2. Will I respect them as excellent clinicians?
    3. Will I enjoy (even have fun) practicing with them?
    4. Will our practice styles and philosophies mesh together?
    5. Will I be able to support and defend the organization’s philosophies on (patients, quality, etc.)?

The longer it takes for you to answer these questions, the less likely the answers are yes.


The second most stated reason for physician turnover is in fact, related to spouses and significant others. They have much more influence than you may think. Here are the main things to do and consider:

  1. Is your spouse or significant other engaged in the process?
    1. Make sure he or she is an active (and proactive) participant
      1. Did he or she help conduct research on the community and items of interest?  (Or are they disengaged, disinterested, and feel as if they are being dragged to the interview?)
      2. He or she  should talk to the point of contact at the practice (or Realtor) to discuss:
        1. Career plans
        2. Family considerations
        3. Potential housing options
        4. Schools, if applicable
        5. Higher education options
        6. Anyone of interest they want to meet while there
        7. Hobbies and interests
  2. After the interview, talk with each other.  Have a real conversation.  I know this sounds strange but you would be surprised by the number of couples that never seem to get there; then listen.  Get a sense of if they will be able to be happy living there.  If they say “Well, I’ll give it a try for a year,” keep looking.  This scenario rarely works out.

  3. Ask yourselves:
    1. Will the community give us the things that are important to us? E.g., housing we like, good schools for our children, things we like to do for fun.
    2. If your spouse has a career outside the home, will they have employment options?
  1. After all the extensive conversations with your spouse or significant other… after waking up in the middle of the night rehashing and rethinking the good and the bad of each of your options…  Finally, ask yourself, what does the “little voice” tell you?

VISTA Workforce Optimization Blog

Topics: Facilities & Practices


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About VISTA Staffing Solutions

VISTA Staffing Solutions has over thirty years of experience providing award-winning customer service to clients and providers alike. Headquartered in Salt Lake City with additional offices in Atlanta and Houston, and employs approximately 1,000 people between corporate staff and field clinicians and contracts with over 2,500 physicians across 60+ specialties and subspecialties. VISTA helps U.S. hospitals, medical practices, and government agencies optimize their physician staffing, ensure quality and continuity of care for patients, and maintain financial stability. As a leading provider of U.S. Locum Tenens and Permanent Physician Search Services, VISTA also operates VISTA Select, a first-of-its-kind technology and services solution utilizing advanced data and analytics to provide healthcare organizations with customizable workforce optimization solutions.