Effective Physician Onboarding: Ensuring Success and Satisfaction

a new doctor being toured around their workplace as part of their onboarding process

A well-structured physician onboarding process not only instills trust and job satisfaction but also sets the foundation for long-term success within the organization. Here are some best practices and common pitfalls to consider during the onboarding process.

Steps to Ensure a Successful and Efficient Onboarding Process

  • Pre-Arrival Preparation

    • Welcome Package

      Send a welcome package including essential information about the organization, community resources, and any required paperwork.

    • IT Setup

      Ensure all necessary IT equipment and access to electronic health records (EHR) are ready before the physician’s first day.

    • Credentialing

      Start the credentialing process early to avoid delays in the physician’s ability to practice.

  • Orientation and Training

    • Comprehensive Orientation

      Provide a detailed orientation that covers hospital policies, EHR training, and introduction to key staff members. All information presented during the orientation should be easily accessible by the physician at any time online, not only with paper copies which can easily be lost.

    • Mentorship Program

      Pair new physicians with experienced mentors to help navigate the new environment and answer any questions.

    • Clinical Training

      Offer specific clinical training sessions to familiarize new physicians with the workflows and protocols of the facility.

Related resource: Overcoming Common Physician Recruiting and Talent Retentional Challenges

  • Integration into the Team and Community

    • Meet-and-Greet Sessions

      Organize informal meet-and-greet sessions with other staff and physicians to foster a sense of community.

    • Team Building Events

      Plan team-building events to enhance camaraderie and integrate new physicians into the team culture and the community. Dinner at a local restaurant or volunteering with a local organization are good practices to have for your team whether or not you’re integrating a new member.

    • Regular Check-Ins

      Schedule regular check-ins during the first few months to address concerns and provide support.

  • Administrative Support

    • Dedicated Onboarding Coordinator

      Assign an onboarding coordinator to assist with administrative tasks and ensure a smooth transition.

    • Licensing and Documentation

      Provide assistance with obtaining state licenses and completing necessary documentation.

    • HR Support

      Offer comprehensive HR support to address benefits, payroll, and any other administrative needs.

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Common Mistakes to Avoid in the Onboarding Process

  • Lack of Preparation

    • Unprepared Work Environment

      Ensure that their work environment is ready and fully equipped by the time they arrive for their first day. 

    • Incomplete Paperwork

      Ensure all necessary paperwork is completed before the physician starts to avoid administrative delays.

Related resource: Creating an Irresistible Job Offer for Physicians

  • Inadequate Orientation

    • Rushed Orientation

      Avoid a rushed or superficial orientation that leaves new physicians feeling unprepared and overwhelmed.

    • Lack of Training

      Ensure adequate EHR and clinical training are provided to prevent frustration and inefficiency.

  • Poor Communication

    • Insufficient Communication

      Avoid poor communication regarding job expectations, organizational culture, and available resources.

    • Neglecting Feedback

      Failing to seek and act on feedback from new physicians can lead to dissatisfaction and high turnover.

Related Resource: Preparing for a Physician Site Visit

  • Isolation

    • Lack of Integration Efforts

      Avoid neglecting efforts to integrate new physicians into the team, which can lead to feelings of isolation and disengagement.

    • Ignoring Social Needs

      Overlooking the social needs of new physicians, such as introductions to community resources and social opportunities, can hinder their adjustment.


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