Under the traditional model hospitals use to fill physician roles, they pay recruiters a hefty fee to send mass outreach messages. These recruiting services are not only costly for hospitals, but they also use a “spray and pray” approach that is ineffective at finding the right candidate, flipMD CEO Lauren Hanson said in an interview.
Hanson co-founded flipMD with her husband Gregory in 2020 as an online platform for physicians to find side gigs in consulting. GoodRx acquired the company in February, and flipMD now operates as one of its subsidiaries. On Wednesday, it launched flipMD Hire, a recruiting platform designed to help healthcare providers, drugmakers and digital health companies find qualified physicians to fill a variety of roles — whether they’re clinical, nonclinical, full time or part time.
Before founding their company, the Hansons were closely connected to how the medical community’s career journey works, as Gregory is a physician. They created flipMD to fill a market gap they couldn’t ignore — they knew many physicians seek ways to earn money outside clinical practice by taking up project-based consulting work at digital health and pharmaceutical companies.
Physicians who use flipMD’s job-finding platform for consulting work say they now have an easier way to access additional income streams, according to Hanson. With the announcement the company made this week, physicians now have a job-finding platform they can not only use to land a side gig, but also to find full-time positions. The full-time positions posted on flipMD’s platform include both clinical roles at hospitals and nonclinical roles and digital health and biotech firms.
When traditional recruiters deploy mass messages to physicians to fill positions, it “takes away a lot of the ownership on the physician side of the process and makes it harder for them to negotiate salaries,” Hanson pointed out. She also pointed out that a huge chunk of the messages recruiters send out end up in the inboxes of physicians who are not interested in accepting new roles at the moment.
FlipMD is seeking to address these issues with its new hiring platform by creating an online space entirely dedicated to physician career transformation. Hanson said physicians should think of the platform as a place they can rely on to help them change their career trajectory no matter what their specific goals might be. Examples of these goals include switching to a new clinical role in a different geographic region, exiting clinical practice for a chief medical officer role at a digital health startup, or taking on a consulting role at a biotech company to help pay off student loans.
“With staffing shortages and physician burnout being such big problems, we are laying out a buffet of choices so people have access to crafting their own hybrid physician career for the future,” Hanson declared.
Physicians on flipMD’s platform can also get paid to refer qualified candidates for positions. Hanson said this feature greatly enhances clients’ ability to quickly find the right candidate because “each physician probably knows about 200 other physicians” who are more closely aligned with the requirements of a job posting they may come across.
“We’re incentivizing the community to recommend candidates who are more qualified and more interested,” she said. “We do this with the hope of going straight for the needle in the haystack. I think the referral program is the platform’s secret sauce in a lot of ways.”
FlipMD makes its money by charging its clients fulfillment fees. Clients create a free account, post a job that they need filled and wait for flipMD physicians to apply for the role. They only pay flipMD if their position gets filled on its platform.
These flat fees vary based on the client, though. For example, a seed startup looking for a chief medical officer pays about $7,000, whereas a major hospital pays about $25,000. These fees are cheaper than those paid to traditional recruiters, which are usually 30-40% of the incoming hire’s salary, Hanson pointed out.
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