Cary Sullivan has worked in the health care industry for nearly 30 years and has served with the Guthrie Clinic for ten. She lives on the New York side of the Pennsylvania border and discovered her love for physician recruitment via a somewhat roundabout way—starting with a patient-centered HMO. Sullivan has always believed that where a person lives should never be a factor in the quality of health care they receive, or the type of physician that cares for them. Because the Guthrie Clinic is a large system in a rural location, it’s highly unique. Sullivan works to affect the region where she lives by recruiting talented physicians that embrace the same core values.
Sullivan believes that physician recruitment is about establishing good connections, discovering commonalities, building trust and making the physician candidates completely comfortable about taking a new position and moving to a new community. She’s also all about the metrics (know your numbers!), teamwork, and helping physicians overcome the doubt, fear and uncertainty that comes with taking a new position and moving.
“Getting doctors to work in rural locations—really rural locations.”
Cary Sullivan puts this widespread issue into clear perspective: To pipeline a family medicine physician candidate for an opportunity with the Guthrie Clinic, Sullivan first looks at the metrics. There are 89,030 licensed family physicians available to work in the U.S. right now, but only 12% of them are willing to move; of those 12% a mere 13.8% are actually open to working in a rural community. That means her pool of candidates is only 1,474 total. That’s fewer than 30 family physicians per state!
“Physicians have long had their own societies by specialty,” says Sullivan.
“I wanted to find a way to interact with those specialties and Doximity has helped me with just that.” Before she does anything, she uses Doximity Talent Finder to see if physicians have any immediate connections to the Guthrie or their staff. “The quality physician candidates I get because of that is really astounding,” says Sullivan. “Plus, it means I already have a warm introduction.” The other priority for recruiting a physician is what Sullivan calls the Elmer FUD Factor. “You have to help them overcome their Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt about taking a new position and moving their family to a new place—two of the most significant changes we can make in our lives,” she says. “It’s up to me to give physicians what they need to make an informed decision. You can’t force fit physicians with positions. They have to be confident about his/her decision to make a change or he/she simply won’t stay.”
Senior Director of Physician Recruiting
The Guthrie Clinic
The Guthrie Clinic
The Guthrie Clinic is a non-profit, physician-led, integrated health care delivery system that is dedicated to providing high-quality care that is accessible to - and meets the needs of - the entire family. In fact, they serve and manage more than one million patients every year. The Guthrie organization supports primary care and specialty physicians, a tertiary trauma center four community hospitals, a research institute, and even home and health care services. The Guthrie Clinic has over 280 physicians and 170 mid-levels as well as 32 regional provider offices in 23 communities.