Make a Great Catch

When hiring a colleague, it's not enough to respect clinical skills and have similar philosophies about caring for patients. You have to connect on that hard-to-define level called "fit."

By Christine Hinz | 411 | May/June 2004


It didn’t take Fredric Serota, MD, and Jo Ann Serota, a pediatric nurse practitioner, long to realize that they hadn’t hired the right person for their Ambler, Pennsylvania pediatrics group. On paper, the physician certainly looked impressive. With a PhD in microbiology, he’d obviously honed his scientific skills before going off to medical school. But the ink had barely dried on their one-year contract when the Serotas saw a spoiler in their midst. Instead of feeling his way and learning their system, he came in with his own agenda, ready to make change. “He alienated everyone,” says Jo Ann Serota. “He felt he knew more than the rest of us.”

Perhaps you’ve had the same chilling realization. Hiring competent professionals who will be the right “fit” for your practice is the most challenging management task you’ll ever face. You want colleagues adept in their clinical skills and attuned to your philosophy of medicine. But they should also mesh with your group. Obviously, there’s no foolproof system for selecting the professionals—doctors, physician’s assistants (PAs) or nurse practitioners (NPs)—on your staff. Gut instincts may give you a heads-up, but letting intuition alone drive your decision-making could hook you a misfit who knows how to ace an interview. As Fredric Serota observes of the doctor he hired: “He was more of a laboratory type. He really didn’t have the fiber to be a general pediatrician.” more »


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