Physician recruitment and retention: A rural-suburban comparison

Leiyu Shi, Michael E. Sarnuels, Steven S. Lazarus, Lisa Pieper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the recruitment and retention experience of medical group practices (MGPs), based on a 1991 national survey of all administrators of MGPs who are members of the Medical Group Management Association. Specifically, we compared rural (n=269) and suburban (n=169) MGPs regarding their recruitment and reten tion experience to assess the relevancy of physician recruitment theories that focus on the characteristics of the physician, practice, or community. The results indicate that, in terms of physician personal characteristics, rural MGPs were more likely to view rural background and exposure to rural practice as important to both recruitment and retention than suburban MGPs. The finding that both rural and suburban MGPs needed family practice physicians most and found it difficult to recruit them suggests the need for more primary care tracks in medical schools and the enhancement of primary care physician reimbursements relative to other specialties. In terms of practice characteristics, our study shows most rural and suburban MGPs were concerned about the financial aspects of the practice environment and provided generous recruiting benefits. In terms of community characteristics, physician's spouse and family was identified as an important factor particularly by rural MGPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1341-1365
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Public Administration


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