It's easy to check references, verify clinical skills and training, and see if a physician is in your price range. Cultural fit is harder to ascertain.
You've checked references, spoken with colleagues, and verified the skills and training of your prospective new associate. The next step is making an offer right? Not quite.Assessing cultural fit is a critical, yet often overlooked component of the physician hiring process. How will the new associate and her family fit in with the community and patient base? Are the candidate's financial and practice goals aligned with yours?Obtaining the answers to questions like these is a bit harder than verifying a medical degree, but making the effort is vital to long-term success. That's because physician partnerships are more like marriages than business transactions. Determining culture fit is like pre-marriage counseling.Just as in marriage, it is best for the practice and the candidate to discover important qualities about each other before taking their vows.When you interview for cultural fit and understand the "human" perspectives and behaviors of candidates, you increase the chance of hiring a physician who will become a harmonious addition to the practice for the long-term. Here are four culture fit questions to answer before making the physician offer.Cheryl Wergin, MA is senior consultant with KarenZupko & Associates, Inc. For more than three decades she has advised and guided physicians and practice teams through the complexities of mergers, group formation, organizational realignment, and internal conflict.