In the more rural parts of the United States, there is a healthcare crisis that many are not aware of. In smaller towns, hospitals and medical clinics are closing for a variety of reasons. Some rural hospitals are closing because they can’t make enough money to remain viable. Some other hospitals are closing because they can’t find enough doctors who are willing to come and practice in out of the way places.
In order to attempt to stay afloat in today’s healthcare environment, some rural hospitals and health clinics are finding new and innovative ways to recruit physicians to come to their small communities. Rural health administrators know that they have to work hard to get and keep physicians in their areas.
In some communities such as Arco, Idaho, physicians and healthcare workers are being recruited based on the great outdoor environment found in central Idaho. Many younger doctors want to come to an area with hiking, camping and fishing opportunities. The hospital in Arco has also had success by recruiting doctors who are semi-retired and only want to work on a part-time basis. They can work a little and also enjoy the natural world.
According to NPR.org, some other rural areas aren’t as blessed in the area of outdoor activities and scenery. These rural hospitals have had to seek other ways to recruit doctors. One such community is Lakin, Kansas. In this small community, the hospital administrator has had success in recruiting physicians by offering them 10 weeks of sabbatical time each year. Doctors are able to use this time to go on overseas medical missions trips. This program has been so successful, the the hospital in Lakin has had doctors calling them to take advantage of the sabbatical program.
These are just a few of the ways that rural hospitals are having to find new ways of recruiting doctors to their areas. Those who can find ways to bring in doctors will have a chance to stay in business in an environment that is hostile to rural healthcare.