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    Ryan Reaves
    Ryan Reaves

    In this episode of the MGMA Member Spotlight podcast, host Daniel Williams interviews Marie Eslick, Director of Human Resources at Apex Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center in Ohio. Sharing her strategies for managing HR within a rapidly growing dermatology practice, Eslick discusses her focus on developing a strong organizational culture through recognition, clear communication of values and enhanced employee benefits.

    Organizational culture and employee engagement

    Marie Eslick created an HR department from scratch at Apex, focusing on employee experience and recognition that translates into better patient care. Apex’s engagement strategies include a swag store and sponsorship of charity events like Miles for Melanoma, where Apex covers entry fees and provides branded event apparel for participating employees. In addition to a regular newsletter that focuses on key initiatives and values, Apex created a Team’s feed that recognizes employees who embody any of the practice’s key values.

    Competitive benefits and compensation

    A benefits and compensation package that is both robust and competitive can go a long way in improving employee retention in healthcare. Eslick highlights Apex’s competitive benefits package, which she improved by negotiating lower rates with carriers and adding voluntary benefits. Upgraded HR systems along with discount platforms have also enhanced benefits for employees in the expanding dermatology practice. Eslick also mentions how Apex even offers discounts on aesthetic services for associates, friends and families. “Retaining key people is a full package,” Eslick says. “It’s not just the compensation, but it is everything else that is offered.”

    Promoting culture in the interviewing process

    To stand out in such a competitive industry, it’s important to showcase your organization’s culture and values from the initial application state. Apex has revamped its interview and onboarding process to streamline the candidate experience and align with the company's growth strategy. They also emphasize cultural fit as a top priority for potential candidates. Eslick shares how Apex assesses cultural fit through phone screens and on-site interviews, focusing on questions aimed at finding candidates who understand and share the practice’s mission and values.

    Streamlined onboarding process

    The first 90 days are crucial in evaluating a new employee’s fit within a medical practice. Eslick shared actionable items for practice managers to streamline and optimize the onboarding process. Have practice managers go through the onboarding script and checklist with new hires. Complete the training checklists within the standard three-month period, but be flexible based on individual skills.


    Eslick's insights on HR strategies for engagement and retention at Apex Dermatology offer valuable lessons for healthcare organizations seeking to enhance their employee experience and bolster retention rates. She underscores the importance of a holistic approach to talent management using  Apex's innovative initiatives. Promoting culture early in the employee life cycle further highlights the significance of aligning candidate values with those of the organization from the outset, ensuring a cohesive and productive workforce.

    New MGMA Book

    Unlock the secrets to success in medical practice HR management with "Advanced Strategy for Medical Practice Leaders: Human Resources Management Edition. "Empower your team, optimize your organizational culture and chart a course toward excellence in HR management. Be sure to get your copy when this book comes out May 2024 and embark on a transformative journey toward building a stronger, more resilient medical practice. Foster a thriving workplace culture and unlock the full potential of your medical practice with this essential guide.


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    Let us know if there's a topic you want us to cover or an expert you would like us to interview, or if you'd like to appear on the member spotlight podcast, email us at If you have a question for our Sr Advisor, Cristy Good, email

    Ryan Reaves

    Written By

    Ryan Reaves

    Ryan Reaves is content coordinator at MGMA. He is a seasoned content professional with a background in both community journalism and sports apparel eCommerce. Ryan is skilled in proofreading, image editing, and writing online content in a fast-paced environment. At MGMA, Ryan develops and edits content for books, podcasts and consulting.

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