IHA Members Physician Opportunities
Severe workforce shortages threaten hospitals' fundamental promise of being open at full capacity to care for their communities. Shortages are severe among both clinical and non-clinical workers. During the next few years, the physician shortage will have the most severe impact on care in Upstate communities.
As Upstate hospitals continue to play a lead role in physician recruitment and bear the burden of recruitment and retention costs, IHA is seeking to quantify those costs, as well as bring attention to the growing shortage of Upstate physicians and to illustrate the impact that shortage will have on the ability of our systems to provide readily available health care.
Anecdotally, IHA was aware of hospitals serving as the focal point for recruitment of physicians in Upstate communities; hospitals devote multiple resources to the recruitment of needed physician specialists; hospitals are experiencing cost increases for recruitment, e.g. recruitment agency fees, sign-on bonuses, income guarantees, on-call services, etc.; and hospitals recruit for the hospital and the broader service area to ensure quality of care.
IHA Workforce Center Approach:
With the release of the latest profile of the New York physician workforce and the realization that a national physician shortage is looming, assessing the adequacy of the supply of physicians to meet the health care needs in the state has become a priority. As the state’s population ages, it is unclear whether the supply of physicians will be sufficient to meet growing demand for health services.
There is increasing concern that the changing distribution of physicians in Upstate New York is threatening the ability of hospitals to deliver basic health services in a number of Upstate communities. To more fully understand the scope of this problem and the issues surrounding it, the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University at Albany School of Public, in collaboration with the Iroquois Healthcare Alliance (IHA), conducted a survey of IHA member hospitals in early 2007. The survey included questions on:
- Physician vacancies, both in the hospital and in the community;
- Reasons for these vacancies;
- Variation in recruitment and retention difficulties by physician specialty;
- Resources dedicated to physician recruitment and retention;
- Strategies used for physician recruitment and retention; and
- The relative effectiveness of the recruitment and retention strategies employed.
This report, Physician Recruitment and Retention in Upstate New York: Findings from the Iroquois Healthcare Alliance Member Survey on Physician Recruitment and Retention, summarizes survey findings and considers them in context with other available data about the supply and distribution of physicians in New York as well as the job market for new physicians.
In addition to collaborating with CHWS to quantify physician recruitment and retention strategies and costs, IHA is active in several other activities to create awareness about the physician shortage and assist Upstate communities with their recruitment efforts.
Creating Awareness of the Upstate Physician Shortage
As a leader in health advocacy and workforce, Iroquois held a Physician Shortage Symposium on May 1, 2007 near the Capitol in Albany. The symposium convened physician workforce experts to present Upstate survey data, share perspectives, explore strategies, and raise questions. As we continue to create awareness among stakeholders and to further collaboration among experts to define the problems, strategies, and solutions, we invite you to review this virtual symposium here in an on-line setting. The virtual symposium was produced by Midhudsonmedia and captures the video, audio, presentation materials, and resource links in one place.
For additional information about IHA's physician shortage initiatives, contact Stacy Connors, Vice President, Membership and Advocacy.