Through her recruitment efforts, Freed has helped bring stability back to the ASC. In her first three years at the ASC, she grew the medical staff by about 30 percent—no easy feat consid- ering the local market. “We are in a really saturated mar-

ket,” Freed says. “ASCs are everywhere in South Florida. There are five ASCs located less than one mile away from us and a major hospital across the street.” Such recruitment success stories

Recruiting and Retaining Physicians

Develop a long-term plan, be responsive to your doctors’ needs and make sure staff is happy BY ROBERT KURTZ


etween November 2014, when Jennifer Morris became the ad- ministrator of Surgicare of Wichita in Wichita, Kansas, and May 2017, the ASC added 26 physicians across seven specialties. She says that part of the reason for that is because she is always working on physician recruitment since it is vital to sustaining an ASC. “Physicians move, retire and leave

unexpectedly,” says Morris. “You do not want to put yourself in a situation where a physician leaves—particularly a high-volume provider—and you are scrambling to fill a void.”

When Maria Freed, administra- tor for Coral Gables Surgery Center in Miami, Florida, joined her ASC in 2014, the facility lacked a long- term recruitment plan. Recruitment was not a concern to the ASC’s own- ers as the surgical schedule was close

When recruitment becomes a more urgent matter, an ASC will find itself in trouble as there is a significant lag from when you start recruiting to when you see the fruition of your efforts.”

— Carter Griggs Regent Surgical Health

to full, but Freed quickly learned that was about to change.

“I started researching the age of

the ASC’s physicians and their future plans and found some were planning to retire and others would soon move out of the area,” she says. “We went from a very secure situation with our medical staff to one that was soon to be quite the opposite.”


are becoming less the norm these days, says Carter Griggs, director of physi- cian recruitment and development for Westchester, Illinois-based ASC man- agement and development company Regent Surgical Health. “Today’s current recruitment cli- mate is probably as competitive as it has ever been,” he says. “There are a lot of options for physicians out there. Physi- cian recruitment must always be on the forefront of any ASC’s plans. If it is not, then recruitment will take the back seat to the most pressing matters of the day. When recruitment becomes a more urgent matter, an ASC will find itself in trouble as there is a significant lag from when you start recruiting to when you see the fruition of your efforts.”

Leverage Your Assets An ASC’s most effective physician recruitment resource may be its cur- rent physicians, Griggs says. “You can spend all the money in the world on marketing and advertising but it often comes down to peer-to-peer, colleague- to-colleague referrals. When your phy- sicians brag about their experience at the ASC, that is the best endorsement you can get.” When Freed began her


ment efforts, she made sure to speak with all her ASC’s physicians. “I took the time to visit them and ask if they could recommend any physicians we could pursue. If someone came to mind, I would ask our physicians to at least make a phone call introduc-

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