The Penetrating Point

Bleeding talent: A lesson from industry on embracing physician workforce challenges

Abstract

Abstract

Shortages of both generalist and specialist physicians are intensifying as the US healthcare system confronts an unprecedented confluence of demographic pressures, including an aging population, the retirement of thousands of baby‐boomer physicians, the growth of nonpractice opportunities for MDs, and physician demands for greater work–life balance. This work posits that the medical profession might benefit from recognizing how progressive nonmedical companies systematically approach similar “talent shortages” through a recruiting and retention strategy called “talent facilitation.” It highlights the 4 actions of talent facilitation (attract, engage, develop, and retain) and provides examples of how each action might be utilized to address medicine's recruitment and retention challenges. Although other policy maneuvers are needed to address overall physician workforce shortages (such as the planned opening of more medical schools and changes in the payment system to promote primary care), the talent facilitation approach can help individual organizations meet their needs and those of their patients. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2010;5:306–310. © 2010 Society of Hospital Medicine.