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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