Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Two ways to hire doctors: Part 2

The following is a guest post from Will Lessons, retired RRT:

Last week I wrote about the two ways of hiring doctors.  Basically you have large hospitals that have a large pool of doctors to choose from, and they get to pick the best of the crop.  Small town hospitals don't have a large crop, and they pretty much get the leftovers.

 Many small towns, therefore, tend to hire any doctor that is available, and this sometimes results in doctors that otherwise never would have been hired.  This often results in doctors who are power control doctors who want things done their way or the high way.  

They tend to frown upon respiratory therapists as ancillary staff who do what they are told.  This often results in RTs who have low morale and a bad working relationship with these physicians.  Now there are exceptions to the rule, yet for the most part this is my observation. 

Again, I must say that most doctors are awesome, yet the 10% of doctors who are generally your rejects tend to work for your small town hospitals.  That's just how it is.  And, again, this is my speculation.  

So that's the problem.  Now what can be done about it?  It's almost a no brainer here.  I think the best way to remedy this dilemma is for hospitals to hold doctors to the same standards as when hiring any of their other staff.  Doctors should take the same personality test.  Doctors should be asked the same questions.  Whomever is doing the hiring must make sure the doctors hired fit the personality of the hospital.  

A second thing I think would help is to involve other people in the hiring process.  If you're hiring a urologist, ask the other urologist to participate in the interview process.  If it's an ER doctor, ask your nurses or doctors or respiratory therapists their past experiences with this doctor.  Often you can get a feel for how a doctor will fit in by simply talking with the people who already work for you.

Surely there's no way to fool proof the hiring process.  You can have the best interview, and it may seem you're hiring the best person for the job, and still you you could hire a buffoon.  I've seen it happen by the best of interviewers.  When I was Supervisor for an RT department once I hired a couple people on the same day who looked to be very fine RTs, and they both flopped.  Yet on the other side, I hired one against my better judgment and on a recommendation from a fellow RT, and this person turned into an elite RTs.  

So perfection is not possible.  Yet still you could come up with a technique whereby you can pick out most of the weeds.  

Thanks again Will.

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