Surgeon recruitment is top of mind for many ASCs, both to bring new cases and partners into the business.
Here are six factors that can give ASCs an edge in attracting talented surgeons right out of training based on interviews with several physicians and surgeons:
1. Surgeons just embarking on their careers are looking for formal mentorship to help them build relationships with referring physicians and a reputation in the community. The mentorship can also branch into showing new surgeons how to effectively manage their clinical and operational staff and gain financial competencies to run a practice.
2. ASCs that offer a track to promotion and equity ownership are very attractive to surgeons just starting out. The lack of autonomy and ability to increase pay at hospitals is often cited as a point of frustration for surgeons. Surgery centers are well-positioned to recruit these surgeons with a strong track for leadership and promotion over time.
3. Flexible work schedules are extremely attractive to surgeons with young families. ASCs that offer block scheduling based on the individual surgeon's needs, such as early mornings, late afternoons or middays so they can still drop off and pick up their kids from school, capture the attention of potential surgeon owners. Surgeons can also complete charting from home after hours and conduct virtual follow-ups with patients, and surgery centers that capitalize on these efficiencies will be extremely attractive.
4. Transparency is essential for surgeons joining a new ASC or private practice. Surgeons want transparency about how they'll be compensated, path for promotion, financial health of the organization, contractual obligations and the center's strategic growth plan.
5. Surgeons searching for the right landing spot out of fellowship are looking for more than just a paycheck; they also want partners who will grow with them. It's increasingly important for surgeons to have partners they enjoy spending time with professionally and socially as they build their business together.
6. The ability to control the surgical environment is highly valuable to surgeons. ASCs are focused facilities with the same staff performing the same types of surgeries every day, and have become really good at it. The consistency is attractive to surgeons who are used to the hospital setting, where operating room staff are constantly rotating, and where they often rely on traveling nurses and techs who are unfamiliar with the hospital and specialty.
ASCs can also cater more to physician preferences for implants, instruments and other items that are standardized at the hospital. ASCs must guard against any element that would change surgeons' control of the surgical environment, especially as the centers grow and take on private equity investors.