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Physician Spouses are Critical Resources in Recruitment and Retention

As a physician recruiter, you’ve found the perfect candidate for the position and are sure your offer will be accepted. You’ve completed the lengthy interview process, conducted the on-site visit, introduced the candidate to the rest of the staff, and negotiated benefits and salary. Everything seems to be in place, but there is one factor you didn’t consider: the candidate’s spouse.

Fundamentally, a physician’s spouse should be involved in the recruitment process from day one. Studies suggest that early involvement of the spouse, including the careful consideration of his or her preferences and needs, can result in better physician “fit” and retention. Because spouses have such an influential role in the decision making process, making sure he or she is comfortable with the details can prove to be one of the most effective strategies for successful recruitment and retention of a physician.

Considerations for physician spouses should include:

  • Introductions to other physician spouses within the practice or hospital
  • Possible career opportunities and connections within the spouse’s field
  • A meeting with a local realtor
  • Community tour that highlights local ammenities such as schools, libraries, shopping, entertainment, and other resources

Consider setting up a social media outlet where spouses can go to gain more information and connect with other physician spouses. The Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, WI includes a section for spouses on their physician recruitment facebook page.

Bottom line: if your candidate’s spouse is apprehensive about the decision, the recruitment process is less likely to go in your favor. If the physician accepts the offer, but later discovers his or her spouse’s unhappiness related to the career change, retention may suffer.