The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Right Physician Liaison

Feb 20, 2019 | Hiring Liaisons, Start Strong

Finding the Right Physician Liaison for Your Job 

“Recruiting the perfect physician liaison is not about finding the most experienced applicant; but evaluating all the unique levels in the overall hiring process, how they work together, and investing the time to ensure your physician liaison will deliver that competitive edge you need for your marketing.“

One of the most prominent challenges physicians face when building a successful physician relations marketing program is finding the right individual to lead their referral marketing efforts.

Doctor’s understand the value a physician relations marketing program will bring to building their patient base and medical practice. As a medical specialist, you’re a portion of practice is built through local physician referrals, meaning you need to actively market to referring doctors to increase patient referrals.

With the reality that having strong referring physician relationships will increase patient referrals and practice growth; specialist have to concentrate marketing efforts towards local referring physicians.

This means implementing a physician relations marketing program and hiring an effective physician liaison.

Physician Liaison Job Description

A physician liaison is responsible for building relationships between referring physicians and the specialist the physician liaison represents. 
As a physician liaison, their job is to bridge the gap of communication between providers, develop a strategic referral marketing plan, streamline patient referrals, track and measure marketing data and reports, expand the program’s healthcare network,  and increase overall revenue for the practice or program. 
Part of the physician liaison job description is to serve as a business development professional for their practice and providers. 

Identifying the right physician liaison to direct your physician relations marketing can raise challenges for specialists.

In a perfect world hiring a physician liaison would have absolutely 0% of employee turnover and a plethora of qualified candidates lining up for the position. Of course, this isn’t realistic, but there are ways you can improve the hiring process and help ensure you have chosen the perfect physician liaison. “Recruiting the perfect physician liaison is not about finding the most experienced applicant; but evaluating all the unique levels in the overall hiring process, how they work together, and investing the time to ensure your physician liaison will deliver that competitive edge you need for your marketing. “

After over 5+ years helping physicians implement successful physician liaison programs have provided me with the insight to recognize the “red flags” and avoid the hurdles when it comes to hiring the perfect candidate.  Here is what you can do to appoint the most effective physician liaison and help avoid turnover and costly mistakes.

4 Essential Ways To Make Sure You’re Supporting Physician Liaisons Through The Hiring & First 90 Days  

Before I talk about the interview and job posting details, we need to recognize the main reasons where a physician can go wrong when hiring a physician liaison.

Our market research shows that the number one challenge that most physicians face in hiring a physician liaison is avoiding employee turnover.

Physician liaison employee turnover can be detrimental to the physician relations marketing program. This issue can result in stagnant marketing and costly loss of time and resources for the practice.

#1 Create Physician Liaison Jobs Worth Keeping!

I want you to evaluate how invested as the physician or medical practice you are in the physician relations marketing program.

I know this seems like an obvious question, but are you taking shortcuts in time, finances and resources that could affect the outcome of the physician relations marketing program?

To implement highly successful physician relations marketing program, you need the marketing to be a combination of quality visits and quantity number of office visits.

Commit to the physician relations marketing by hiring a physician liaison to focus full-time on building your marketing and relationships with local referring doctors.

Full-time doesn’t have to mean doubling your marketing budget but, what applicant is best for the role and the results you’re looking to achieve.

For example, if you hire a part-time physician liaison with 6+ years with pharmaceutical sales experience that will be the same cost as hiring a recent college graduate as a full-time physician liaison.

Since both physician liaison applicants require training no matter the previous experience, the entry-level college graduate could be the better option.

This is because the cost of hiring them full-time is the same as an experienced part-time medical sales rep, but you are getting the benefits that a full-time employee brings and more likely to retain the physician liaison.

This is my NUMBER #1 TIP for hiring a physician liaison.

#2 Avoid Turnover

Developing a full-time role for your physician liaison will ensure that your applicants are more committed to the position.

A full-time physician liaison position will provide possible applicants with that stability and support they need when looking for employment.

Often time’s physicians and medical practices experience high physician liaison employee turnover because the role is part-time.

Unfortunately, part-time physician liaison jobs have high turnover because they lack the benefits and stability of full-time positions.

This means part-time physician liaison positions are often accepted as “bridge jobs”.

A “bridge job” is when applicants accept the position as a part-time physician liaison to gain experience and income until they find a full-time opportunity that will provide them with greater financial stability and career advancements.

Leaving your physician relations marketing program with inconsistent marketing and a costly loss of resources and time.

#3 Produce Results

Full-time physician liaison employees guarantee you they have needed authority to properly manage, full commitment from your physician liaison, and the time necessary to build the marketing.

It’s all in the name…

Full-time means FULL- AUTHORITY to manage the program as a physician or employer. You have the physician liaison’s FULL-COMMITMENT to the position and program. You have their FULL- ATTENTION & TIME to execute on referral marketing objectives and campaigns. Full-time also means you get FULL- EFFORT AND FULL-RESULTS.

Part-Time means PART: effort, partially committed, and partially available.

Part-time physician liaison hires cannot produce the results because they do not have the needed time required to properly execute referral marketing in a number of physician office visits, follow-up, tracking, and reporting.

Developing a full-time position will ensure that your applicants will also provide you with more qualified applicants to choose from.

Develop a physician liaison role that reflects the needed professionalism you want from your applicants and is too good to give up!

#4 Physician Liaison Training

Is your physician liaison marketing equipped with all the knowledge and resources to be successful?

The most successful physician liaisons are those that have the support of their practice through training and resources. Providing internal structures and training will make them feel that the physicians and practice view them as vital assets and trust them with driving the physician relations marketing program.

  • Referring physicians will be more satisfied because the physician liaisons will be capable, professional, and committed to providing value for their practice.
  • You will have to recruit less because your physician liaisons are staying in their jobs after investing in the training process
  • Recruiting will become more accessible as your medical practice or hospital develops the reputation of having a high level of professionalism for physician relations marketing with the best place for physician liaisons to work.

Providing the necessary training specific to the practice alongside resources for structure and organization will improve the marketing and enhance the opportunity for your liaisons to grow their career.


choosing right physician liaison


Choosing The Right Physician Liaison Training Program

After you’ve defined what you want in a physician liaison, you’ll need to decide which physician liaison training program to use.

While exploring your physician liaison training options make sure your training program can fit your needs in accessibility and provides a complete A-Z solution.

You should also concentrate your best efforts on finding a physician liaison training program that is most likely to deliver the best results and provide ongoing management and support.

You should carefully evaluate the costs of the physician liaison training and decide which one is best to use based on your budget, accessibility, and how they can enhance the effectiveness of the marketing in your specific territory.

It’s crucial your physician liaison training program includes learning how to confidently market to referring physicians to convert patient referrals, and how to track metrics of the physician relations marketing program ultimately.

  • Provide a stable orientation for your physician liaisons, where they can meet team members, have a clear understanding of daily responsibilities, set them up on the programs they need and will be their point of contact in the office.
  • Provide a concrete physician liaison training program, so the liaison understands how to execute the marketing initiatives and to report effectively
  • Develop a strong line of communication for physician liaisons between their employing doctors and staff members
  • Reserve time to meet with them regularly to discuss the physician relations marketing and recognize their work.

Is Your Physician Liaison Hiring Process Screening Out The Right Applicant? 

Focus on the characteristics and traits you want aligning it with a strong training system. You can cast a wider net and claim a substantial competitive advantage in hiring.

A common mistake that many physicians make is focusing so highly on experience in hopes that it will save them time and not require training for their new hire.  “You don’t want to miss out on the best candidate who is dependable, organized, a confident interacting with doctors and medical staff; because they do not have years of healthcare sales intreor marketing experience, that would be better gained through specific physician liaison training and certifications in your program?”

The art of physician liaison marketing requires less experience and technical qualifications but committed professionals that have completed the proper physician liaison training specific to your practice.

Are Your Physician Relations Specialist Jobs Posts Getting the Right Attention? 

You need to be insanely clear about the roles and responsibilities of a physician liaison down to daily objectives and logistics.

Your job posting should describe the daily responsibilities and the environment the physician liaison will be working in.  This way your clear about what is expected from your candidates and you can screen out the ones that don’t want and focus on the applicants you do want.

–      Is your job posting grabbing the attention of individuals seeking new marketing opportunities or getting lost in the sea of job listings?

–      Does it clearly define the role of physician relations marketing responsibilities?

–      Does it stress the opportunity for growth and leadership in a marketing role?

–      Does it require applicants to have substantial experience working with digital applications and computer programs?

–      Is there an easy way to find a point of contact or application call to action?

Here are some tips to help you make your job posting attract the right kind of candidates:

Title your Post as “Marketing Director”

This will help you catch the eye of the right applicants and individuals seeking new marketing opportunities.

The term physician liaison or physician relation’s manager is not a commonly-searched term for some applicants and may limit your candidates with other desired marketing qualities for the role.

As the physician liaison for a practice, you are the leading marketing ambassador and have a deep understanding of the patient referral streams and patient experience. This valuable and unique insight will help shape other marketing initiatives.

It will also allow you to reach candidates that have other marketing strengths and skillsets which can be beneficial to the practice and help manage digital marketing initiatives to match that of the physician relations marketing program.


Talk about the Specifics Of The Role and Responsibilities of Physician Liaison

You want to define the goals of physician relations marketing, the daily responsibilities, the frequency of physician practice visits, the “field marketing” environment, working closely with physicians and medical staff, and responsibility of tracking referral metrics.


List Required Skills and Education

Make a list of the skills and strengths that you require of your physician liaison applicants.  


Mention the Opportunity of Growth and Leadership

Physician liaisons are in charge of building strong physician referral relationships and offer a unique opportunity for candidates to lead their marketing department.


Make Sure the Basic Details Are Listed

Eliminate time wasters and list the necessary details like, full-time, pay, benefits, location etc.


Where Are You Recruiting For Physician Liaisons? 

Casting a wide net to get the opportunity to interview and meet with applicants.

Online Recruiting

Make sure you utilize some of the popular recruiting websites to post your physician relations job this will allow you to reach a large audience.

There are also ways to post about the job using social media sites like Facebook, and LinkedIn.  Social media platforms will provide word of mouth recruiting or referral recruiting as well as, sponsored posting to target your specific audience better.

Hiring A Recent College Graduate

A recent college graduate as your physician liaison may be an excellent option for your practice or hospital organization.

You can recruit your candidates that are passionate to begin their marketing careers and eager to learn. Recruiting based on their majors and GPAs will allow you to request interviews with highly accomplished students.

Another advantage to a recent college graduate as your physician liaison is affordability and affability.

A recent graduate can be hired as a full-time physician liaison with an entry-level career pay, saving your practice a considerable amount of cost and also providing the full-time commitment needed for marketing.

Concentrate on finding physician liaison candidates that reflect the high-standards you expect in the qualities that cannot easily be taught like: disciplined, dependable, charismatic, organized, eager to learn, ambitious, prompt, and experience with digital platforms.  Specific training for learning how to effectively market to referring physicians will be gained on the job.

Career Fairs and University Recruiting Opportunities

Universities often have career fairs or events for recent alumni and students to meet with employers looking for young talent. This can give you the opportunity to meet with applicants in person and promote your medical practice or hospital system. is a program that allows companies to connect with universities and create profiles to list jobs, interview candidates, and alert them of upcoming job fairs.

Is There An Opportunity To hire A Physician Liaison Within the Practice?

Sometimes the perfect candidate for physician liaison may already be a staff member in your practice.  If you have the opportunity and a promising candidate to hire from within it can be a significant advantage.

Their experience and knowledge of your medical practice can give them a considerable advantage and strength as a physician liaison.

Consider all your options and the capabilities of the practice, if you are hiring within hire because of merit and not in attempts to save cost by adding additional responsibilities to an existing role. This will spread your employee thin, lead to a lackluster marketing, and distract them from previous responsibilities.

If you think you may have an existing member that has potential allow them to apply and discuss the reality of assuming a new role as a physician liaison. Make plans for a replacement for their current position so the practice is not short handed. 

Schedule Multiple Interviews

Don’t rush the process, schedule more than 1 interview and ask other team members to participate. Evaluate the promptness of your potential candidate it’s important they are not late.

Adding other team members will help you evaluate the dynamic of how well your potential physician liaison hire will work with your current staff, physicians, and management.

Physician Liaison Interview Questions

Intro Questions:

1. Tell me what makes a good physician liaison, or why do you think you would be a good PL?
2. Why do you want to work at this practice? 
3. What are you looking to achieve in this position? 
4. What are some of your goals, and how do you plan to achieve them?
5. What is your proudest or biggest accomplishment at this point professionally?
6. What Aspects of this job do you find most exciting?
7. what are you looking to achieve in this role?
8. What is the biggest challenge for you when working as a pl, and what did you do to overcome it?
9. Tell me what makes you most excited about working with physicians?
10. How do you feel about working in an untraditional work environment or “field marketing”?

Experience Questions:

11. Tell me about your experience working with physicians or in the healthcare industry?
12. Why did you leave your last position?
13. What was the most rewarding part of your last job?
14. What level of education have you accomplished & how can you apply those skills to this position?
15. How has your education & experience on your resume help you gain the necessary skills to be a good physician liaison

Be realistic about the demands of the position so they have a full understanding of what will be expected. Ask about their career journey and ideally where they would like to be this provides insight on if they are individual looking to put down roots or easily move on.

Prepare targeted questions that will help you better measure their strengths and how they fit in your physician relations marketing program.

The most important factor in recruiting a physician liaison is to have high standards in the qualities you are looking for in an employee. Other specific physician liaison training and marketing can be gained on the job. Invest in your new physician liaison time to provide physician liaison training, structures, and communication to show your support for your new hire and don’t be afraid TO BE PICKY!



Kelley Knott is an expert Physician Liaison Trainer and consultant. Her passion is the help liaisons and practices maximize their effectiveness to improve patient care and revenue new revenue streams for their practice or hospital system. She is one of the first people in the US to develop online courses specifically geared toward physician liaison marketing. She is a published author, entrepreneur, and speaker.

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