5 Tips on Physician Relocation

As the physician shortage becomes more acute, healthcare organizations are rethinking their recruiting practices. And that means they’re rethinking their physician relocation benefits, too! In such a competitive market, what’s worked in the past is no longer enough. When wooing prospective doctors, how can employers sweeten the pot?

Here’s the thing: for many medical professionals, it’s not about the money. In the wake of COVID-burnout, quality of life has taken center stage. Like everyone else, doctors are seeking a healthier work/life balance and more positive, caring work environment. 

In short, they’re looking for an employer that truly values its people—and has first-class programs and benefits to prove it. 

That’s why a stellar physician relocation program is such a powerful recruiting tool. Thoughtful relocation benefits demonstrate that you truly care, while providing a competitive hiring edge. 

But what do those relocation benefits look like? And what can you offer incoming physicians to set your relocation program apart?

1. Give Them Choice 

Most physicians are leaders, not followers. They want to call their own shots. For this reason, traditional, overly-rigid relocation policies aren’t going to work here. Rather than dictate how they can spend their relocation allowance or which mover to use, your relocation program should offer them the flexibility to make their own decisions. 

Similarly, give them the choice of planning their move themselves, relying on relocation specialists for the heavy lifting, or somewhere in between. The more physicians can personalize their relocation plan, the more positive their experience will be.

2. Give Them Relocation Technology

Physicians are highly-skilled professionals who use some of the most advanced technologies on the planet. What do you think they expect from a relocation program: a laborious, old-school, manually-driven process or a cutting-edge relocation portal where they can plan and manage their move on their own terms?

If your healthcare organization has yet to upgrade to a tech-based relocation solution, now is the time. You’ll not only save time and money, you’ll project a modern, tech-savvy image. It’s where the industry’s headed; why fall further behind?

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3. Give Them Back Their Time

Physicians are very busy people at the best of times—but perhaps never more so than when they’re transitioning between two practices, two homes and two cities. 

Relocation involves myriad moving parts: packing and transporting household goods, selling a house, buying another, learning a new city, helping the family acclimate. The best relocation benefit plans don’t just provide a moving allowance, but simplify the entire process—another reason to turn to relocation technology. In just a few clicks, doctors can request quotations from multiple movers, lock in an agreement, and explore their new city online—all while tracking their expenses and progress in real time.

4. Give Them Tax Gross-ups 

Many professionals—medical and otherwise—are shocked to learn that relocation benefits are now taxable, but unfortunately, that is now the case.

Fortunately, there is a workaround, one that many top-tier employers use—that is, “grossing up” new hires’ relocation benefits to cover the cost of incurred taxes. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive for employers, but from a good will standpoint, relocation tax gross-ups are worth every penny.

5. Give Them Peace of Mind

Moving is one of life’s top most stressful experiences—and the last thing you want is for your new doctors to show up for their first day exhausted and distracted. 

In short, your physician relocation benefits should ensure that your new hires are treated to a smooth relocation experience. That no detail falls through the cracks. That all your recommended vendors are thoroughly-vetted, proven performers. And that relocation experts are always on stand-by to assist with any unexpected eleventh-hour crisis.  

When your relocation program provides employees with peace of mind, they not only arrive focused, rested and eager to get to work. You also set the stage for a long, mutually-beneficial relationship that will drive retention rates upward and pay for itself many times over. 


Could your physician relocation program benefit from an update? To see how healthcare organizations like The University of Vermont Health Network and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have reinvented their programs, download our ebook, What Healthcare Professionals Want

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