Rural health professional recruiters at an April 20 Rural Recruitment Summit were advised to know who they are recruiting and what they are selling.
A panel of medical and dental residents and students committed to rural practice said they largely delete mass emails, but would read personalized recruitment offers. They suggested recruiters get to know them through social media (although most said they keep their Facebook and Instagram accounts private) and residency program websites that provide resident descriptions. Top-tier factors learners said they consider in deciding among job opportunities include flexible schedules, salary, and loan repayment guarantees and opportunities.
Rural recruitment researchers from North Dakota shared a Community Apgar process that can identify each community’s unique recruiting and retention strengths and challenges based on 50 factors related to geography, economy, scope of practice, medical support, and hospital/community support. They showed how the Community Apgar helps recruiters and their community collaborators address deficiencies and highlight the positives in their recruitment planning, marketing, and interviewing.
A panel of rural providers said they grew up rural, had a calling for rural, wanted long-term relationships with their neighbors, patients, and multi-generational families, and have valued being able to see the differences they are making in their small community.
Pennsylvania AHEC Program Director Dr. Ben Fredrick summed up the day and helped participants think of things they could do support students in pursuing health careers, promote open positions, advocate for policies and programs that support rural health care, and accentuate the positives of rural living.
The Rural Recruitment Summit was sponsored by PA AHEC, PA Association of Community Health Centers, PA Office of Rural Health, PA Academy of Family Physicians, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.