6 ways hospitals can improve the workplace for female physicians

With a looming physician shortage and a rising number of women entering medical schools, hospitals will need to plan ways to recruit, hire and engage new physicians — particularly women, according to a report from Jordan Search Consultants.

Kathy Jordan, CEO and founder of Jordan Search Consultants, offered six best practices for hospitals to improve the workplace for female physicians:

1. Offer more leadership and growth opportunities. Women in healthcare leadership can mentor younger women physicians and bring attention to potential workplace discrimination.

2. Use non-physicians. Having a larger team with physician assistants, certified nursing assistants and medical assistants can be a cost-effective way to distribute work. These employees can relieve physicians of burdensome busywork and create more flexible scheduling.

3. Commit to salary transparency and less pay disparity. Pay gaps tend to shrink when companies are transparent policies about compensation, which could help female physicians financially and highlight areas with unconscious bias. 

4. Foster supportive professional communities. Providing residents and new physicians with access to professional organizations can give them more support from peers and mentors. These communities also give women opportunities to connect with others about workplace issues.

5. Increase scheduling flexibility. Providing flexible schedules and alternative work arrangements can help physicians find better work-life balance and boost physician satisfaction. One strategy is physician "job-sharing," where two or three part-time physicians fill the role of a full-time position, giving part-time staff greater flexibility.

6. Incorporate flexible child-care options and parental leave policies. Revising leave policies for new mothers and fathers also can help physicians achieve a better work-life balance. On-site child care can relieve overworked physicians and residents.

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