How to Survive the Talent Shortage in Healthcare

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  • Conflicts between work and family promise to be costly. Women currently make up nearly half of the medical residents who will be tomorrows doctors1. And researchers writing in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education called child care a major stress factor," citing child care breakdowns within a major provider results in the loss of a half-day per employee per year2. Worse, the report says conflicts between families and medical careers are pushing new female doctors out the door, leading some to scale back to part-time hours right after new careers have launched.


    43% of nurses turn over within the first three years4

    25% of physicians quit within the first three years3

    1 The State of Women in Academic Medicine, Association of American Medical Colleges, 2014

    2 The Case for On-Site Child Care in Residency Training and Afterward, Rebecca A. Snyder, MD, MPH, Margaret J. Tarpley, MLS, Sharon E. Phillips, MSPH, and Kyla P. Terhune, MD, Journal of Graduate Medical Education, September 2013

    3 Recruiting Physicians Today, New England Journal of Medicine Career Center, January/February 2015

    4 Nurse Turnover: The Revolving Door in Nursing, Laura A. Stokowski, RN, MS, Medscape. Dec 16, 2014

  • There is an additional reason healthcare organizations should be concerned. Hospitals are notoriously international communities, with employees from around the country and the world. But far from home means far from family and without help when family emergencies arise. We have a lot of employees who come from a lot of different countriesthey dont have relatives or family supports in the area, says the Manager of Work/Life & Recognition at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, calling the circumstance a driving factor launching back-up care.

    We really need our people to be there. Were a 24/7 operation. You cant just call in sick when youre a nurse or a doctor Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

  • Its not surprising that data shows employees are staying in jobs to keep dependent care. And for the hospital, the retention is invaluable. The exit of a single doctor costs an estimated $4,000 $6,000 per day plus replacement costs3; nurses costs up to $60,000 each to replace5. So strategies that keep these valuable

    professionals are literally worth millions in prevented losses.


    88% said child care made them more likely to stay with

    their organization

    91% employees said child care would be important in considering a job change

    15% have turned down a job to keep child care

    the majority for higher pay

    Among healthcare employees with child care at their organization6:

    3 Recruiting Physicians Today, New England Journal of Medicine Career Center, January/February 2015

    5 2016 National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report, Nursing Solutions, Inc., 2016

    6 Lasting Impact of Employer-sponsored Child Care on Healthcare, 2013

  • The upshot is an industry that should feel urgency to act. The scramble for doctors, nurses, and other providers puts power in employees hands; and the most desirable professionals are already gravitating to healthcare organizations where their needs are met with child and elder care. That puts those without it at a disadvantage. As one prominent

    Johns Hopkins doctor said to his administrators about child care, You cannot afford not to have a center.



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