Physician search firms can be costly, use them wisely

The use of search firms—generally an approach used by larger practices and clinics with sufficient financial resources—is the most costly way to find a new physician for your practice because these firms receive compensation based on commission (often a month's salary of the newly recruited physician, paid out when the physician starts working).

Usually, the fee comes with a 90-day guarantee: If the physician leaves within the first 90 days, the fee is applied toward finding another candidate for the practice. Request, in writing, an agreement stating that if the candidate does not work out, you will receive a refund of a guarantee and that the search firm will find a replacement.

To locate successful recruitment firms, search on the Internet or speak to colleagues from other practices who have gone through this process.

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