What role and value-add service can physician recruiters play in helping AMCs to build their brand and their faculty?
Without out delving into the weeds of the Academic Medical Industry, the first absolute of sustaining the Academic Medical market is the need to define their brand and that brand’s value. While no two Academic Medical Centers are alike, they all face these similar thematic issues, and addressing the notion of brand value is first. Value is of particular importance to the AMC healthcare model because of the higher costs associated with a higher level of care and expertise. Why would consumers choose to pay more to have access to an AMC? In fact, most would not, according to a PwC Health Institute Consumer Survey from 2011 (Figure 11). But, most consumers will when the quality of care needed exceeds the relative difference they would pay at another medical institution. The Academic Medical Center’s value is expertise that comes primarily from their ability to attract and retain faculty who participate in ground-breaking research in the lab, and then can translate that research into practice for the benefit of the patient.
If value equals expertise, then it is presumed that the Academic Medical Center will have that expertise. Otherwise, they would have no value to the consumer. AMCs who can provide that expertise will thereby benefit from a definition of their brand’s value. Although this proof is easier to theorize than implement. Demand for highly specialized physicians vastly outweighs their supply, thus AMCs struggle to fill positions with highly qualified subspecialists who can leader the division of a department or are on the cusp of groundbreaking research.
The demand for these physicians necessitates the physician recruiting industry. Specialty firms who can understand the culture and needs of the client, in this case, an AMC, and can add tremendously to the ultimate value of that AMC’s brand. AMCs will continue to make difficult choices regarding where to allocate their resources, as they fight to continue to pursue their tripartite mission. If an AMC chooses to allocate its resources to the department(s) with the most expertise, it only behooves them to bolster the expertise of that department. The services of a physician recruiting firm can help AMCs find these “needle in a haystack” physicians who bring the skills and therefore, the value to an AMCs brand.