Physician staffing is a major challenge for trauma centers today. Many trauma program leaders are finding it harder than ever to maintain a full team of trauma surgeons.
We talk about this issue with trauma medical directors nationwide, and a handful of themes come up again and again:
*1. A shortage of qualified practitioners, particularly outside of urban centers*
Top-notch trauma surgeons are in short supply. And if your hospital is in a non-urban or remote location, the selection can be even narrower. Most surgical critical care fellowships are in larger cities, and recruiting new practitioners to non-urban facilities can be a challenge.
2. Increasing service demands
Trauma programs today are frequently hit with administrative mandates to increase clinical services. Program leaders may push back, but in many hospitals there is strong sense that trauma surgeons are available to cover any service gap. These demands leave the trauma program short-staffed and create an acute need to recruit more trauma physicians.
3. Physician burnout
Physicians in all specialties are facing increased levels of burnout, and trauma surgeons may be at higher risk. Clearly, physicians who are edging toward burnout are more likely to resign and seek other employment. In some hospitals, heavy workloads caused by insufficient staffing have led to the mass resignation of the entire trauma medical staff.
All of three of these problems have the potential to cause a staffing crisis in your trauma center. The solution? Trauma program leaders today need to make physician recruiting and retention a top priority. The key is to pursue a comprehensive staffing strategy. To find out how, download *The Essential Guide to Finding, Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining Trauma Physicians*.