Baylor provides career development support for residents to keep talent

Each year, more than 500 residents complete their training at Baylor College of Medicine and move on to their next jobs, many of them leaving Baylor to do so. The Office of Academic Integration is working to retain more of this top talent by connecting graduating trainees with job opportunities within the CommonSpirit Health system.

“Baylor is on a mission to create a learning health system, and part of that mission includes creating pathways for graduates of our outstanding clinical training programs to practice in the extensive health network of our partner CommonSpirit Health,” said Dr. Ashok Balasubramanyam, vice president for academic integration at Baylor. “We want to populate our learning health system with the highly skilled physicians who train right here at Baylor.”

The retention efforts begin with providing more career enhancement support and professional development opportunities to trainees. Balasubramanyam’s office created a professional development speaker series to help prepare trainees for post-graduate employment. Throughout the year, speakers have covered topics such as financial planning, negotiating contracts and the physician recruitment process.

“We have heard from trainees that there is confusion about the vision and scope of CommonSpirit, and how it’s related to Baylor,” said Jose Negrete, business strategy and development associate in the

Office of Academic Integration. Negrete is helping lead the retention efforts. “Our office is working to reduce that confusion by providing more opportunities for residents to learn about career opportunities and engage with CommonSpirit representatives.”

Part of that engagement process includes connecting trainees with the CommonSpirit recruitment team and sharing any career plans and where they would prefer to establish a clinical practice. Over time, divisional and national recruiters connect with trainees to identify job openings. A new CommonSpirit web tool allows a user to search all available job openings within the network, with filters to sort jobs by location and specialty.

“CommonSpirit Health is one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the U.S. and offers physicians the flexibility to practice medicine in a wide range of specialties at locations across the country,” said Lily Santiago, system vice president of provider recruitment at CommonSpirit Health. “We are seeking to recruit the best and brightest physicians, which is why it’s so important to us to connect more Baylor-trained doctors with career opportunities within our health system.”

In addition to these career-focused engagements, the Office of Academic Integration also organizes social events for residents to network with each other and with CommonSpirit leaders. At a recent resident and fellow appreciation event hosted at Cidercade Houston for Thank A Resident Day, trainees were invited to eat, drink, play games and socialize with their peers, as well as learn more about the health system.

This retention initiative is being conducted in consultation with the Graduate Medical Education Resident Council and GME faculty leaders to ensure that resident trainees have access to resources they need. The Office of Academic Integration will work with department chairs to assist in recruitment needs and permit smooth placement of their resident and fellow graduates. Balasubramanyam hopes these efforts will make the hiring process easier and improve clinical and academic integration with CommonSpirit.

“It’s hard to recruit physicians. Having our own internal pipeline makes it easier for us to recruit top-notch physicians to Baylor and our health system partner,” Balasubramanyam said. “We see our trainees in action, know their high quality, dedication and team spirit, and believe they are critical to the success of our learning health system.”

By Molly Chiu