community hospitals


Why a Community Hospital is a Great Career Choice

Community hospital

They don’t tend to make many TV medical dramas about community hospitals. 

“ER,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “St. Elsewhere,” “House” and “Chicago Hope” have all been top-rated television shows. All feature physicians working to save and improve lives. And, all are set in large hospitals located in some of the country’s largest cities. 

No, they don’t tend to make many TV medical dramas set in community hospitals–but perhaps they should. 

While large hospitals located in densely populated urban areas tend to get all of the attention, community hospitals offer an array of benefits that simply shouldn’t be overlooked by any physician who is considering their career options. 

Here’s why:

Quality of Life

In today’s world, quality of life simply can’t be overlooked–and community hospitals offer physicians an incredibly high quality of life. If you find an opportunity at a community hospital, by all means consider the professional opportunities it will afford. But also be sure to look at the personal opportunities. Is the community hospital located in an area where you can live on several acres? Is it near areas where wildlife is abundant and the great outdoors are easily accessible? Will you be able to easily get to work every day, without fighting traffic? These are all important–but frequently overlooked–quality-of-life benefits that community hospitals offer. 

Unmatched Focus on Patients

Time. It’s a physicians most valuable resource. Unfortunately, too many physicians are finding that they have too little time–especially when it comes to spending time with their patients. Bureaucracy and quotas are taking their toll on physicians at large healthcare systems, where the average time of office visits continue to shrink as doctors work to meet quotas set up by administrators. This isn’t the norm at a community hospital. At a community hospital, physicians typically have more time to focus on their patients. They get to know patients on personal levels. Physicians typically have more information about their patients’ health histories and lifestyles because they get to spend more time with them. 

More Opportunities to Gain Experience

It might seem counterintuitive, but community hospitals often offer physicians with more opportunities to gain valuable experience. Physicians who work in community hospitals typically have to become “Jacks- and Jills-of-all-trades.” There are fewer physicians, so naturally there are fewer specialists. This means that community hospital physicians need to be proficient in a wide range of areas that would likely be passed on to specialists in another hospital setting. The result is that physicians at community hospitals get more opportunities to explore areas of health care they might not otherwise get to explore. 

The Community Hospital and You

Just because Hollywood seems to ignore the community hospital doesn’t mean you should. If you are looking for a career opportunity that offers a high quality of life, the time you want and need to provide every patient with exceptional care, and opportunities to explore all that health care has to offer, consider community hospitals. They just might be great settings for you. 

Elliot Health System is a community hospital. Join us!

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Why a Community Hospital is the Right Place to Practice Medicine

community hospital

Article Written by “Dr Deane” Waldman, MD MBA and Curated by Jill Stagner

Horace Greeley is often credited with admonishing adventurous Americans, “Go West, young man, Go West!” A modern healthcare paraphrase might be, “Go Community, Young Doctor—You Will Be Glad You Did!”

Physicians finished with training have many options where to practice, but limited understanding of where to achieve the best balance. The answer is a community hospital.

Doctors from generalists to subspecialists all seek a proper relationship between professional life and personal life. The more they work, the better they do financially and the more time they have with patients. But…the more they work, the less time they have with family and the fewer opportunities to enjoy the benefits of those financial rewards.

Community hospital practice offers the optimal balance of personal and professional.

Start with respect. To the 1000-bed University hospital, the doctor is a fungible commodity. To patients, doctors are faceless, nameless impersonal entities among a myriad of providers. Doctors have to park four blocks away from the hospital and have to pay for the privilege.

At a 75-bed community hospital, the doctor has a parking space near the Doctors’ Entrance. At one community hospital, hospital staff used to wash all the cars in the doctors’ parking lot, automatically. Sadly, they stopped doing this years ago but to this day the food in that community hospital’s doctor’s dining room is a three-star restaurant—the antithesis of hospital cafeteria food.

At the community hospital, everyone knows the doctor’s name (and other personal details) from the CEO and CMO to the patients. They care for and about the doctor—make no mistake. At the University Hospital, they couldn’t care less.

Financially, doctors do better at a community hospital. The doctor is a prized asset. At the major medical center, doctors are simply one more cog in a massive bureaucratic machine.

Being a valued person at the community hospital carries another advantage of which the newbie MD may not be aware: protection. There are a host of federal mandates that govern physicians’ professional life from reporting functions to medical liability. Large, impersonal medical centers simply pass on all these onerous, unnecessary duties. When lawsuits come, hospital Risk Management is concerned with the institution, not the individual doctor.

The community hospital wants to make its doctors happy and to keep them there. Thus, they try to relieve to reduce the hassle as much as they can and defend their doctors vigorously when the medical negligence lawyer comes calling. 

Finally, community hospitals are outside of city center congestion or frankly rural. The lifestyle reflects that difference. Back in Chicago, a physician colleague and friend wanted the advantages of suburban living but practiced in a huge medical center in the downtown area. He had to plan his daily commute—90 minutes on a good day—around the traffic patterns and thus had to leave his beautiful home in Northfield at 5:30AM to minimize the driving time and the stop-start traffic he faced.

True, living near a community hospital makes it harder to use the amenities of the big city, but my friend in Northfield had the same disadvantage along with wasting all the time in his car that he can’t spend with family or with patients.  

Probably the greatest advantage of choosing a community hospital is connection with patients. The primary reason that people become doctors is the psychic reward. Doctors (just like nurses) feel good about themselves when they help others. The more time and closeness a care provider has with patients, the greater one’s professional satisfaction. The place to get the maximum psychic reward is a community hospital.

Elliot Health System is a community hospital. If you’d like to learn more about opportunities within their system, click the button below!

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