Physician Hiring Tips: How Employers Can Prepare for Physician Site Visits

If you have experience with physician hiring, you are likely aware that physician onsite visits are a very important component of the physician candidate’s interview and your overall physician recruiting process. If you are new to this process or looking for additional tips, it is important to understand that the physician will not only be touring your healthcare facilities and your community, but they will be interviewing you and your practice just as much as you are interviewing them. In refining your preparation process for a physician site visit, which will include preparing accommodations and developing contingency plans, you’re bound to make a great impression for your top-tier candidate. To help with this step in the physician hiring process, follow along with our helpful checklist below.

Physician Site Visit Checklist for Medical Employers

Travel and Accommodation Items

  • Cell phone number(s) to call in case of emergency or travel difficulty
  • Travel itinerary with flights, room accommodations, and airline and hotel phone numbers clearly listed
  • Instructions for other transportation arrangements such as shuttle, limo, or the person driving the physician candidate – ideally you will have someone pick them up to maximize face-to-face time and offer a thoughtful touch to the visit 
  • Hotel check-in details: is the room prepaid, or will the physician candidate be putting it on their credit card for reimbursement? 
  • Even if you are picking up the physician candidate and transporting them to each location, it is helpful to send the following information in advance in case of last-minute changes: 
    • Rental car confirmation and instructions on how to obtain the rental car: where the rental agency is located and how to get there
    • Directions on how to get from airport to the hotel and/or interview location
    • Hotel confirmation number, name of the hotel, location, phone number, and the name the reservation is under

Interview Schedule Items

  • Indicate who will escort the candidate from meeting to meeting and explain their role in the practice or system or formulate clear instructions on who to meet, where to meet them, and when to meet them
  • Note any key decision makers whom the candidate will not meet, why they aren’t meeting, and how they can communicate with them
  • Inform the full staff of the candidate’s arrival but be thoughtful when selecting staff to participate in the actual interview process- involve those who will best represent the practice and who are the most engaging and authentic in conversations
  • A schedule of meetings, indicating:
    • when each meeting will take place
    • with whom the physician candidate will be meeting
    • each participant’s role in the organization
    • where each meeting will take place
    • directions on how to get there, if needed
    • specific types of practice questions this person can address
  • Keep meetings relatively short, no longer than an hour
  • Share how you will collaborate and support their success if they join your practice
    • Setting up the practice and how they will grow patient volume
    • Shadowing a physician with the same or similar workload
    • How to market the practice
    • Hiring support staff
    • Be transparent with expectations
  • Ensure the main details of the position are shared including compensation, hours, call, etc.

Family and Community Planning Tips

  • Inquire if the physician candidate will be bringing family members
  • Establish activities for family members while the physician is interviewing
  • Arrange child care
  • Center your community tour based on the physician’s specific interests and the interests of their family including options for: 
    • Shopping, dining, sports, arts, faith groups, schools, etc.
  • Showcase any unique aspects that your community offers
  • If a local realtor is giving the community tour, provide realtor contact information
    • Be sure to have an alternate realtor in case your primary contact is unavailable 
  • Do not forget to schedule meals between the family and staff as the connections established over dinner can be the most compelling parts of a site visit
  • Be sure to factor in some downtime so the family can relax and explore at their leisure

The Next Step

  • Be sure the person concluding the visit knows what to tell the physician to expect as the next step in the process—a call within a certain time frame, a contract to review, and so on
  • Do not offer a contract on site, instead allow the family to process the visit and the decision before extending an offer

Going Above and Beyond

  • Consider having a gift ready for the candidate and their family in the hotel—many local visitors bureaus are able to assemble and deliver baskets filled with locally made items
  • After the visit, follow up with a handwritten note thanking them for their time, interest and expressing your desire for them to join the team
  • It’s important to customize the experience based on the physician candidate and not the position that is available
  • If the candidate doesn’t intend to bring their spouse or family, politely suggest rescheduling when the spouse can attend the tour as they are also a decision-maker

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