Recruiting Single vs Married Doctors—The Differences You Need to Know

While they were both pursuing medical careers, Dr. Ryan Walsh says he and his wife “learned to juggle their schedules so one or the other was always on hand to take or pick up their little boy from day care. ‘We didn’t get a lot of sleep . . . but it was a learning experience and we grew closer,’ Ryan Walsh says.” Among the many differences between doctors you’re recruiting is relationship statuses. Your potential doctors are married, divorced, seriously dating, single, etc., which means you need to tailor your recruitment methods to appeal to their individual circumstances—whether it’s considering day care schedules or promoting extracurricular activities within the community. Here are some of the key factors to consider when discussing career opportunities with your future doctors.

Priorities differ

Your potential doctors’ priorities will most likely differ depending on whether they’re married or single, so pitch your health group accordingly. This starts with getting to know the doctor’s personal circumstances; ask about these in an initial interview or application. Getting a feel for what is important in their personal and professional life will help ensure you get across what would appeal to their self interest when they ask more about your health group or come visit it in person.

If a spouse works, for example, then show an interest in their career aspirations and how they plan to pursue them in a new area—how will their spouse’s work life coexist with theirs? On the other hand, a single millennial doctor might want to know more about how your health group values work/life balance despite the demanding hours a doctor commits to. Be sure to ask what their priorities are and consider ways your health group can show these priorities matter to you too.

Communities count

Among the many priorities of a hard-working doctor is the community they’ll be joining, but what exactly they value about the community won’t necessarily be the same. A married doctor is going to care more about schools for their children or family-friendly neighborhoods in the area. A single doctor might be on the lookout for a lively social scene and places to visit on the weekend. Becker’s Hospital Review recommends, “From swim teams to soccer leagues, church groups, flying lessons, horse stables, Boy Scouts or even adult tennis leagues, your own employees can be your best sales representatives. Do whatever it takes to help a candidate envision the transition to your community. Remember: You may be recruiting an entire family unit. They are also helping the candidate select the best location.” It also recommends hiring a realtor to show your recruits around the area and see what the community really has to offer. After all, your doctors aren’t just joining a health group, but a community.

Another consideration to think about internally is what kind of support you can build within your health group. “It’s just that no one quite understands the schedule, the frustrations, the sometimes seriously sweet perks like conference trips, and the insane delayed gratification like another resident’s wife,” says Erica McCaleb Camp, wife to a chief resident in orthopedic surgery. Offering spouse support groups or organizing mixers for single medical staff can be a great way to develop camaraderie within your health group and show you value your doctors’ emotional and social well-being.

Career paths adapt

Another thing you’ll want to discuss with doctors you’re considering hiring is what they envision for their career, and you’d better believe this is at least partially dependent on their relationship status. A single doctor might view joining your health group as a career stepping stone, or might not be interested in staying long-term if they decide to get married. A married doctor might be looking to stay long-term in order to provide a constant home for their family, but wants to make sure the research opportunities and ability to increasingly gain new opportunities are present. It might even be a situation where two doctors are married to each other, in which case you’ll want to be aware of if you have other positions available within your health group or neighboring organizations that are hiring. Be straightforward with them and get an idea for what kind of career path they’re looking for.

Of all the differences between doctors, their relationship status is one of the most influential factors when it comes to where they work and why. Take care to approach each candidate differently, and make it clear that their relationships are valued. Ready to start recruiting? Contact PhysEmp today to find out how we can help.

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