community hospitals


How a Hospital Community Can Make or Break Your Career

What matters most to you? 

Is it compensation? Maybe you’re most interested in clinical excellence? Perhaps it’s patient outcomes? 

All play a role in your ability to build a career that is as long-lasting as it is rewarding–but they might not be as important as the hospital community in which you work. 

That’s right, where you work matters at least as much as how much you make, how well you perform, and whether or not patients achieve the best possible outcomes. 

If this sounds far-fetched, consider the study conducted by Press Ganey on the influence of nurses’ work environments on patients, payments, and nurses themselves. 

It found that work environment–the hospital community in which the nurses worked–played the largest role in overall job satisfaction. 

And the study included employees and outcome data from 2,000 hospitals across the country. 

Yes, the hospital community in which you spend eight, 10, 12 or more hours a day for days on end plays a big role in determining whether or not you are a shining star throughout your career or one that eventually burns out

Obviously you want to work in a healthy hospital environment. Here are six key characteristics of a healthy hospital community:

1) Effective communication


Communication is critically important. When it’s effectively executed at an organizational, everyone is aware of the hospital’s values, goals, and challenges. 

On the unit level, effective communication is every bit as important as clinical outcomes. In fact, effective communication can improve clinical outcomes. 

2) True collaboration


Collaboration–true collaboration in which relationships are treated as genuine partnerships–allows physicians to bond, grow professionally, and improve outcomes for patients. 

It ensures that no one feels as if they are an island, isolated from the rest of team, left to fend for her- or himself. 

3) Effective decision making

decision making

Is there anything worse for a physician than working in an environment where decisive decisions are the exception rather than the rule? 

No there is not. 

Effective decision making means that decisions are made collaboratively, with an understanding about how they will affect those at every level of the organization. They are clearly communicated. And they are carried out with consistency. 

4) Staffing

enough people working

Any physician who has ever worked on an understaffed unit knows how important appropriate staffing is to the unit’s ability to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients without putting the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of hospital staff in jeopardy. 

Inadequate staffing often leads to unnecessary stress, which can lead to physician burnout. 

5) Recognition

job well done

Everyone wants to be recognized for the contributions she or he makes to the organization. In fact, research has shown that being recognized for a job well done could be the difference between job satisfaction and becoming disgruntled. 

You may not want to publicly acknowledge the desire for recognition, and that’s perfectly fine. But internally, it’s important to be aware of the important role authentic recognition plays in keeping you satisfied at work–and then finding a hospital community that demonstrates its appreciation for its employees. 

6) Authentic leadership

authentic leadership

The relationship between effective, authentic leadership and a healthcare system’s ability to provide safe and effective care has been well-documented

It also matters to you. 

Lack of leadership creates an environment that doesn’t value communication or true collaboration. You may find yourself waiting for important decisions to be made. You may discover that a lack of adequate staffing and a dearth of recognition have you on the verge of burning out. 

At that point, your compensation will no longer matter, clinical excellence won’t be achievable and patient outcomes will suffer–and so will your career.  

Sound like it might be time for a change? Consider working with us at Elliot Health Systems. We pride ourselves on our amazing community and we’re always hiring. Physician Careers


How to Make a Successful Physician Career Change to a Community Hospital

Community Hospital

As a physician, you belong to a well-respected, very important profession, one which allows you to be of service while performing work that is professionally challenging and personally fulfilling. And you may be happy right where you are.

On the other hand, you may long for a different scenario. Perhaps you no longer want to be part of a private practice or corporate practice and would like to work in different setting instead. If this sounds like you, the following discussion on how to make a successful physician career change to a community hospital may be of benefit to you.

First, let’s briefly examine what working in a community hospital entails. Simply put, a community hospital environment offers many benefits not readily available in other health care settings, primary among them being the sense of “community” itself. A physician career change to such a setting permits you an environment to provide health care built on relationships with coworkers and residents of the community in which you live, people who, like you, are seeking similar things in location, lifestyle and values.

If you are serious about making a physician career change to a community hospital, you will need to address the certain factors in order to make a successful change in your professional life including:

1. Is this really what you want?

Although this may seem obvious, that isn’t always the case. The most important question you need to ask yourself is simply this: Why do I want to leave my current situation? Are you unhappy with your job (pay, hours, working conditions)? Tired of the office/care facility in which you work? Does your displeasure stem from your coworkers? More to the point, are you truly unhappy or simply feeling some restlessness? If the former, is your dissatisfaction mild, moderate or extreme?

Understanding your motivation for looking into a physician career change is essential. Failing to carefully examine your reason(s) may set you up for significant disappointment if you subsequently discover that you weren’t really dissatisfied or the grass wasn’t greener on the other side after all.

2. Is your family on board?

Changing jobs can be very difficult, more so if relocation is involved. It can cause discomfort and tension within a family unit, especially if your significant other or children are not in full agreement. Leaving friends, a school, or relatives who live nearby can all be very stressful and make adjusting to a new situation all the more challenging.

3. Do your research.

As the old saying goes, “not everything that glitters is gold.” Look into what the community hospital is offering. Find out if the culture is suitable for you. What about the community in which you will be living? Will you be able to advance your career? Reach out to your professional network to gain as much information as you can about any situation you’re considering. If your contacts don’t have the information you seek, they may know someone who does.  

4. Find a career search firm that specializes in health care.

Making a successful physician career change to a community hospital can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. If you are feeling overwhelmed, a recruiting firm can help you find the placement that’s right for you. It’s what they do.  

5. Be you.

Once you’ve found a desirable opportunity, let them see who you really are. Trying to be someone else in order to fit in is unsustainable in a small hospital setting and will lead to disappointment all around. Remember, this is about making a physician career change, not changing as a physician.

If you are ready to make the switch to a community hospital, take a look at what Elliot Health System has to offer.

Physician Careers


Top Ways that a Community Hospital Innovates


Increasing financial pressures. Patient safety. Government mandates. Personnel shortages. Patient satisfaction. 

These are the most vexing challenges facing hospitals today, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives. They are challenges that are omnipresent, staring administrators and physicians squarely in the eyes, daring them to find a better way, to innovate. 

And it’s likely that the road to responding to the challenges will wind its way through America’s community hospitals. 

While most people associate innovation with large healthcare systems, research universities and med-tech companies, many important advances in hospital care and the business of health care actually stem from work conducted at community hospitals. 

Here is a look at some of the ways a community hospital can not only keep up with the rapid pace of innovation, but actually be a leader.

Addressing financial pressures

It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is facing immense financial challenges. The adequacy and timeliness of Medicaid reimbursements, the inability of patients to pay, rising costs associated with staff and operations, and the overuse of emergency department services affects hospitals large and small. 

And while a community hospital might not have all of the resources of a larger healthcare system, what they do possess is nimbleness. 

Physicians working in a community hospital typically deal with less bureaucracy, which means they have more license to develop innovative solutions to financial challenges. 

For example, they can create hybrid models of multiple service lines and programs that meet their patients needs more efficiently and reduce overhead costs. 

Addressing patient safety issues

As the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) pointed out in its report on patient safety, to err is human–and many chronic patient safety concerns are caused by human error. 

According to the AHRQ, communication (or a lack thereof) is the root cause of many quality and safety issues in hospitals. This is especially true at large hospitals that deal with large daily censuses. 

But at a community hospital, where physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and other staff are more likely to know one another well and work closely together, communication tends to be less of a problem. 

It may not sound all that earth shattering, but community hospitals are on the forefront of making communication a priority by breaking down silos and putting patient safety first. Of the 100 hospitals in the country to be recognized as the best by Truven Health Analytics in 2016, 60 are community hospitals–and all were recognized for their commitment to building a culture of open communication and prioritizing patient safety. 

Addressing the staffing challenges

The healthcare industry is in the midst of a staffing crisis–and it’s affecting the large healthcare system and community hospital alike. 

According to the American Nurses Association, there is a significant shortage of nurses (and it’s not likely to go away any time soon). There’s also a shortage of physicians, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges

Being innovative in recruiting qualified healthcare professionals is nothing new for community hospitals which are often located in smaller communities. 

For years, they’ve been offering healthcare professionals career opportunities that are not likely to be had at large healthcare systems:

  • Opportunities to use expanded functions
  • Opportunities to treat a broader range of cases
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Lower costs of living
  • Fewer quotas
  • Stronger connections with patients. 

These are just some of the benefits healthcare professionals reap from community hospitals.

Elliot Health System is proud to be an innovative community hospital. Join us!

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How to Build and Maintain a Winning Hospital Community

Hospital Community

It doesn’t matter if you are considered to be a large healthcare system, a community hospital or a solo practitioner. What really matters is what sort of things attract and keeps healthcare talent happy. And, when it comes to career happiness, healthcare professionals want to work in winning hospital communities. 

Here’s a look at nine of the most important characteristics of a great hospital community, according to the the job board,

1) Positive values. All great organizations have a mission statement that clearly outlines goals, demonstrates an unwavering commitment to quality and reflects a positive spirit. 

A positive mission statement reflects a company’s values, which, over time, inform every action and permeate every action. 

2) Relaxed atmosphere. Healthcare is a serious business, but that doesn’t mean the people charged with delivering it can’t look forward to coming to work, feel appreciated once they get there and treat one another with respect throughout the course of their shifts. 

As a 2013 story in The New York Times pointed out, people who work in a relaxed atmosphere perform better. 

3) A shared commitment to excellence. Excellence surrounds itself with excellence. A rising tide lifts all boats. Winning is more fun. These cliches might be a bit tired, but they are also true. When a hospital commits to excellence and accepts nothing less, everyone performs better, has more fun and the hospital community thrives. 

4) Communication. It has been said that there are no secrets to success. And, while there are a lot of ways to interpret the axiom, it’s probably most accurate to infer that organizations that succeed share information in open, authentic and consistent ways. They don’t keep secrets and they actually try to over-communicate. 

5) Empowerment. Employees who feel empowered help build a winning hospital community. The are more likely to make smart decisions and act autonomously, but with respect for the organization’s values when necessary. They are also more likely to go the extra mile, help their colleagues and put the organization’s best interests before their own. 

6) An appreciation for humor. Employees who laugh are less stressed, more productive, willing to be creative and collaborate and also more analytic–if you believe an article published in the Harvard Business Review that quotes researchers out of Wharton, MIT and the London Business School. 

7) Compassion. Hospitals that are committed to treating their employees with the same level of compassion they expect their employees to show patients perform better. It’s as simple as that. Employees–whether physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners or physician assistants–are more likely to go above and beyond for organizations that treat them with respect and compassion. 

8) Recognition. To those who do not work in healthcare every day, working in a hospital seems to come with unlimited rewards. Babies are born, broken bones are healed, cancer is treated. But for physicians, nurses and others, it is still a job–an important job, but still a job. And, everyone who does any job wants to be recognized for exceptional performance. The truly healthy hospital community is the one in which recognition is given to those who do great work

9) Balance. Work-life balance is a big topic of conversation in healthcare. With the shortage of physicians, nurses, physician assistants and other hospital employees, everyone seems to be asked to do more. Mandatory overtime, extra shifts and short staffing take their toll on hospital employees. That’s why the hospitals that truly have winning cultures take care to ensure a healthy work-life balance. 

Elliot Health System is a community hospital that is its own hospital community. Apply to join us.

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Why Community Hospitals are Essential to Strong Communities

Community Hospitals

For many of us, a sense of community is very important. Although the word itself has several different meanings, the most commonly sought characteristics of a community probably include some combination of the following definitions:

  •  A particular area or place considered together with its inhabitants: ‘a rural community’ ‘local communities’ synonyms: groupbodysetcircleclique, etc
  • a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals: “the sense of community that organized religion can provide”

The thread woven through these two definitions (as well as others) touch on the notion of a group or collective the members of which have one or more things in common. The things shared may be location, belief system, some other group identifier, or something tangible that binds people together. In short, something that engenders a sense of community.

Community hospitals are an example of a tangible, physical feature that can contribute to stronger communal bonds. But why are community hospitals essential to strong communities? What is it about a medical facility that can create a sense of commonality and togetherness essential to fostering community spirit? 

To answer the question of why community hospitals are essential to strong communities, we should first agree on what a community hospital is. Although there are many definitions, perhaps the most relevant for our purposes is provided by Joe Lupica, chairman of Newpoint Healthcare Advisors: “A community hospital is a place where care can come to a patient, instead of forcing a patient to drive far away for care.” Perhaps we can put it another way: community hospitals not only serve their communities, their communities are fully aware they are being served. 

Let’s consider this point for a moment. If individuals (whether they be residents of a neighborhood, a district, a small town, or a rural area) are provided a service available to all, those folks certainly know they have that service in common, that they share in it communally. They can then take great comfort in knowing that they have the health care they need when they need it and that it’s available locally. 

Another compelling reason that a community hospital is important: it offers motivated individuals opportunities to become more involved in their community by participating in the facility’s volunteer program. Among the volunteer activities that exist at many hospitals

  • Desk Lobby Information
  • Mail/floral Delivery
  • Gift Shoppe
  • Nursing Units
  • Complimentary Patient Bingo
  • Making Heart Pillows for Cardiac Patients, beanies for Neonatal Babies and Surgical Caps for Children
  • Floral Arrangements for Gift Shoppe
  • Social Services
  • Same Day Surgery
  • Medical Library
  • Education

Regardless of what activity is chosen, many community hospitals offer nearby residents a chance to provide vital support and engage in many of the services that contribute to the quality of care and comfort of patients. This arrangement enhances the relationship between health care facilities and the communities they serve. 

Once people consider a hospital to be a “member” of the community, they learn to rely on it, to trust it. If we accept that trust is the cornerstone of any successful relationship, we can safely say that the mutual trust between community hospitals and the people they serve is a foundation upon which the sense of a strong community can be built. It should go without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that this is a healthy scenario for all involved. 

Would you like to contribute to a community hospital? Consider a provider career with Elliot Health System.

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5 Hospital Characteristics Necessary for Success 
10 Things Successful Hospital Boards Do 
Is the Community Hospital a Dying Model, or is it the Future of Healthcare? 
What Are Community Hospitals 
Community Hospital
The modern definition of a community hospital 


Pay Off Physician Loans with a Career at a Community Hospital

Pay off physician loans

There are many reasons to consider starting your career as a physician at a community hospital

Deep and meaningful connections with patients. Opportunities to use your expanded functions. The ability to play a direct role in shaping the way health care is delivered. 

Small town life, a lower cost of living and the ability to quickly become a civic leader in your community.  

Yes, there’s a lot to love about being a physician at a community hospital, not the least of which is the ability to more quickly pay off your physician loans. 

A daunting amount of debt

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, most newly minted physicians face $183,000 in student loan debt once they graduate from medical school. And that doesn’t even include loans associated with their undergraduate education.

That’s a daunting amount of debt. It’s a figure that can affect the choices new physicians make–especially about where to work and how to best address the debt. On a 10-year repayment plan, which is pretty standard, monthly payments are likely to be as much as $2,000. 

Many medical school graduates make the decision to chase the giant pay checks at a large, urban hospital. Most put their student loans into forbearance while they complete their residencies. Some choose another route, one that’s located along the road less traveled but often turns out to be a shortcut to debt-free living and long, rewarding careers.

Why a community hospital makes sense

Many new physicians find that starting their careers at a community hospital is not only a practical way to address physician loans but also a great long-term investment in their careers. 

Many states, New Hampshire included, offer loan repayment and forgiveness programs. In New Hampshire, the program is run by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. It provides funds to health care professionals who work in areas that have been designated as being medically underserved. To be eligible to participate in the loan repayment program, the physician needs to sign a three-year contract to work full time, usually at a community hospital. It’s a program that is open to doctors of allopathic or osteopathic medicine, psychologists, general surgeons and others. In return, the state offsets graduate and undergraduate loans by contributing up to $75,000 towards the debt. That sort of option can make a big dent in the overall debt burden new doctors face, but that’s not the only financial benefit of working at a community hospital. 

Beyond physician loans 

In addition to the debt repayment programs, community hospitals offer many other financial benefits. 

Most community hospitals are located in smaller cities or towns where the cost of living is less than it is in large, urban areas. This means physicians can enjoy a higher quality of life–nicer vehicles, larger homes, more time for travel. 

Starting your career at a community hospital also allows you to get involved sooner in a wider array of cases, which can significantly benefit your career as you grow older and decide which areas of medicine provide the greatest sense of career fulfillment. It can also make you more attractive as your career progresses and you look for other opportunities–either at another hospital or as a leader within your community hospital. 

Explore your options, pay off your physician loans

Community hospitals have a lot to offer, including leadership opportunities, real-world experience and the ability to quickly pay off your physician loans. 

And you don’t necessarily have to move to a rural area of the country to take advantage of community hospital benefits. 

Explore your options. Choose wisely. And make a sound financial decision. 

*Note: Make sure to check with individual hospitals regarding loan forgiveness or repayment policies. Every institution is different and the details in this article are not specific to any one community hospital.

 Would you like to start a physician career at a community hospital? Start by learning with Elliot Health System has to offer.

Physician Careers


What Exactly IS a Community Hospital?

community hospital

Community hospital. For many people, the term conjures up images of a small, local, well-run quaint health care facility complete with friendly staff and kind doctors who all possess a folksy bedside manner. Reasonable sounding, isn’t it? But is there a formal definition, a generally accepted standard of what constitutes a community hospital? 

The American Hospital Association defines community hospitals as all non-federal, short-term, general, and other special hospitals including academic medical centers or other teaching hospitals. Interestingly enough, the definition included college and prison infirmaries prior to 1972. But, does this rather sterile definition truly explain what a “community hospital” is?  

The AHA also 
breaks down community hospitals further, distinguishing between rural community hospitals and urban community hospital. 

Or should we rely on Becker’s Hospital Review list of 100 Great Community Hospitals which only includes those that have fewer than 550 beds and minimal teaching programs?

Perhaps we should look at Medicare, which defines such a facility as any hospital: 

  • Located more than 35 road miles from another hospital
  • That, by reason of factors such as the time required for an individual to travel to the nearest alternative source of appropriate inpatient care…location, weather conditions, travel conditions, or absence of other like hospitals…is the sole source of inpatient hospital services reasonably available to individuals in a geographic area who are entitled to benefits under Medicare or, 
  • Designated as an essential access community hospital under Medicare. 

Clearly, then, there is no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes a community hospital. There are however, certain characteristics some would argue they all share. These likely include:

1. Communication: Prioritization of managing patient expectations.

In order for a community hospital to truly be a part of the community it serves, it must establish open, honest and clear communication that is conducive to a dialog between it and the people it serves. People should have a complete understanding of what the facility provides (and doesn’t provide), what the policies are regarding access, treatment protocols, payment requirements and other issues associated with health care. The hospital board and staff should welcome questions, suggestions, concerns and general comments for the stated purpose of ensuring that the community is provided the best care and treatment the facility can provide. 

2. They follow the money, but they ensure the money follows the health care needs of the community. 

Clearly, no healthcare facility can operate at a financial loss for any significant period of time. Donors must be courted, other funding sources secured. However, a community hospital must ensure that it attends to the needs of its patients in addition to focusing on the bottom line. Making financial decisions that maximize the resources of the facility and the staff that work there should be a top priority. Reputation is built on more than fundraising success and sparkling new equipment for its own sake – spending should have a specific, care-based focus.  

Local governance.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the hospital is completely governed by the community in which it is located, simply that local facility management has meaningful input into how the hospital is run rather than being dictated to by the corporation that owns the hospital. 

Location, location, location. 

Joe Lupica, chairman of Newpoint Healthcare Advisors, succinctly sums up the point: “A community hospital is a place where care can come to a patient, instead of forcing a patient to drive far away for care.” The community must not only be served, it must be made to feel that it is being served. 

Elliot Health System is a community hospital. If you’d like to learn more about provider careers with us, click below.

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What Do Community Hospitals Offer Physicians Career-wise?

Community Hospital

What if there was a hospital that was large enough to allow you to grow as a medical professional, but community-oriented enough to ensure that you don’t get lost in the shuffle? A place where physicians have the full support of the administration — because most of the hospital’s leadership are former providers. 

If this sounds far fetched, you probably haven’t worked in a community hospital

Many physicians aspire to work in country’s largest hospitals. They’re attracted to the complex cases, large paychecks and opportunities to conduct cutting edge research. 

But, if they took the time to examine community hospitals, they’d likely find all those things and more. 

According to the American Hospital Association, there are more than 5,600 hospitals in the United States. Most are community hospitals. Many are the largest hospitals in the region and have cutting edge technology, specialty centers and opportunities for physicians to participate in research. 

They also provide opportunities to lead, shape the future of healthcare and enjoy a high quality of life. 

Here’s a look at what community hospitals offer physicians and why a community hospital might be a good fit for you. 


No, not the efficiency that is required by insurance companies and hospital administrators who are entirely focused on the bottom line. The type of efficiency you’ll find at many community hospitals comes in the form of streamlined performance and coordination between providers. 

This is far too often be chalked up to proximity; the distance between wards or operating rooms is often shorter in community hospitals. But in reality, the increased efficiency is a product of less bureaucracy, which can be quite pervasive in large research-based hospitals but less so at community hospitals. Smaller hospitals typically have fewer administrators forcing paperwork on physicians. As a result that makes doctors much more efficient–especially during emergency situations. 

Not dealing with unending bureaucracy is an intangible benefit of working at a community hospital

Financial Health

Most newly minted physicians have accumulated more than $180,000 in student loan debt by the time they graduate from medical school, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. It can take decades of $2,000-a-month payments before physicians can finally enjoy the financial rewards of their hard work. 

However, if physicians find their first job at a community hospital, they may be able to enroll in a student loan repayment program that pays $75,000* or more of their loan balance simply for committing three years to a community hospital. 

Quickly reducing student loan debt while gaining valuable hands-on experience is one of the biggest benefits of working at a community hospital.

*Note: Make sure to check with individual hospitals regarding loan forgiveness or repayment policies. Every institution is different and the details in this article are not specific to any one community hospital.


The best physicians possess practical wisdom, which is best described as the ability to leverage theory and practice to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. 

The only way to gain practical wisdom is through experience and community hospitals offer ample opportunities to get real-world experience sooner rather than later. 

Many physicians at community hospitals are presented with complex cases they are not likely to come across in medical school or during a residency at a large urban hospital where there are layers of specialists and longtime physicians ready to provide care. 

Because the hospitals are smaller and typically don’t have as many specialists, community hospital physicians get to be “Jacks and Jills-of-all-trades.” They get to treat patients with a wide variety of symptoms and illnesses who otherwise might be passed off to specialists in larger hospitals. 

This experience often proves invaluable and makes physicians in community hospitals indispensable, which is why so many decide to build long, rewarding careers for themselves at community hospitals–long after they have paid off their student loans. 

Would you like to investigate community hospital careers within Elliot Health System?

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5 Reasons Why a Community Hospital is the Right Long-term Career Move

Community Hospital

Community hospitals play an important role in American’s everyday life. 

They are anchors, often holding towns, cities and communities together in times of challenge and adversity. They are safe havens for patients during medical emergencies. They are beacons of health and hope for families in the throes of some of the most trying and confusing moments of their lives. 

They are also great places to build long, fulfilling and rewarding careers. 

According to the American Hospital Association, there are thousands of community hospitals across the country–and not all of them are located in rural areas and small towns. You can find them in suburban areas and even larger cities. Each year, America’s community hospitals serve millions of people from all walks of life and employ thousands of physicians.

While some physicians prefer large teaching or research organizations, others have made the decision to build their careers at community hospitals–and enjoyed long-term success. 

Here are five reasons why choosing a community hospital is the right long-term career move:

1) Opportunities

Large hospitals typically deal with a greater number of patients, but unless you are a hospitalist, how many will you actually get to treat? 

At a community hospital, there is a greater likelihood of you getting to treat patients from the moment they present to the time they are discharged or the medical condition is addressed. In addition, you will be less likely to have your position as the primary physician usurped by a specialist. 

And, if you are a specialist, say a surgeon, you will probably get to do more in the surgical suite–conduct C-sections, set screws in hips and perform a below-knee amputation, for example. 

It might seem counter-intuitive, but many physicians find they actually have more opportunities to gain valuable experience at a community hospital.   

2) Connections

In a healthcare world that’s largely driven by quotas, time with patients is at a premium. However, many physicians find that they get to build stronger connections with patients at a community hospital because they are smaller and they often have a lower census. 

Building meaningful connections with patients can increase job satisfaction, improve outcomes and make a tangible difference your professional life and the personal lives of your patients. 

3) Support

Physicians and administrators sometimes don’t see eye-to-eye. After all, physicians are trained to be individualists and make important decisions while on the front lines of patient care.

These traits–combined with the bureaucracy of large, complex organizations–tend to create tension. Over time, the tension can create an atmosphere in which it is no longer fulfilling to practice. 

You are simply less likely to run into these types of issues at community hospitals. They’re smaller, have less bureaucracy and often have physicians or former physicians in key leadership positions. They tend to make supporting their physicians part of their missions. Over the course of a long career, this can make all the difference in the world.  

4) Quality of life

Work-life balance is hard for doctors to achieve, but it’s often easier when you work at a community hospital. 

Commute times tend to be shorter, the cost of living is lower and there are many opportunities to get away from it all that are located closer. The lower stress that comes with working at a community hospital tends to lead to longer, more fulfilling careers. 

5) Community

Cities that rely on community hospitals look to physicians for more than just healthcare. They look for civic leadership, philanthropy and ideas about arts and culture. 

Yes, at a community hospital, you can join the ranks of the thousands of physicians who have enjoyed long, rewarding careers while playing important roles in their communities.  

Would you like to join a strong community hospital? Consider a career with Elliot Health System.

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3 Reasons a Community Hospital is Solid Place to Start Your Career

Community Hospital

The United States is in the midst of a physician shortage. According to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges, the country will need between 60,000 and 94,000 new physicians by 2025. 

While the shortfall is generally bad news for both healthcare providers and patients, it does present a unique opportunity for newly minted medical doctors who now have more options than ever when it comes to deciding where to start their careers.

Many will seek employment with healthcare systems with large hospitals in heavily populated urban areas. Others will opt for teaching hospitals, where they will be involved with research and shaping the future of health care. Then there are those who will find their first physician jobs at community hospitals, where they will cut their teeth on a variety of cases, build strong connections with the community and have extensive opportunities for growth. 

In fact, the majority of all doctors who work in hospital settings are employed by community hospitals. Some start their careers in other areas, most start in a community hospital and stay there. Here are three reasons why:

1) Opportunities

At first glance, it may seem counterintuitive, but a community hospital often offers new physicians more opportunities than a hospital in a large, urban area. 

The community hospital physician often needs to become a “jack- or jill-of-all-trades” because there are fewer specialists on staff. This means that you’ll be responsible for providing direct care to patients with a broad range of illnesses. 

Physicians who get their first jobs at a community hospital often see cases they didn’t come across in medical school or during their residency sooner than those who start with larger healthcare systems. 

2) Connections

In many communities across the country, the community hospital is the only game in town. People depend on it for all of their healthcare needs–from primary care to acute care to specialty care. This allows community hospital physicians to build deep connections with the patients they serve and the communities in which they live. 

In addition, there is often less bureaucracy at community hospitals, meaning physicians often have more decision-making authority, fewer quotas and are able to have a role in shaping the future of the organization and its role in the community. 

These connections often lead to opportunities to play important leadership roles in the community–from serving on philanthropic boards to partnering with the business community to supporting arts and culture in the area. 

3) Quality of life

Cost of living, commuting, crime and recreational opportunities all combine to create a quality of life, which is important when it comes to choosing where to begin your career. 

While it’s true that physicians practicing in urban or large suburban areas often earn slightly higher salaries than those who practice in community hospitals, it is also generally true that community hospital physicians enjoy lower costs of living, shorter commutes with less traffic and lower rates of stress. 

It is also true that earning a slightly lower salary at a community hospital can actually leave you with more money (and far less stress) at the end of each year because of the lower cost of living and lower cost of real estate. 

Yes, quality of life should be an important consideration when choosing where to start your career–and the quality of life at a community hospital is often higher than it is at a hospital that is owned by a large healthcare system. 

Being a doctor isn’t all about the money. It’s also about opportunities, connections and quality of life, all of which you’ll find at community hospitals. 

At Elliot Health System we believe in outstanding physician career opportunities and a positive work-life balance, which is why we created a free Outdoor Adventure Guide for anyone considering relocating to the area. Check it out!

Outdoor Adventures