Rural Kansas Hospital Recruits Physicians with a Mission

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , June 6, 2012

"Before, this community focused on those things. But what the clinicians really want to see is opportunities to serve," he says. "They want to know that there is an unmet need and that by choosing to come here that unmet need will go away. So we are focusing on the things that a traditional recruiting approach would avoid."

Anderson, who will make his third service trip to Africa later this month, worked in physician recruiting before becoming a hospital administrator. He says there are "four types of providers" in rural healthcare. "The first one is the local kid who grew up there and is coming back to practice. The second one is the problematic doctor who doesn't work well with others. It maybe a character flaw or a personality issue so he can't make with his colleagues and he goes out to a small community where he is the only physician."

"Then you have the J1H1 foreign doctors. I don't want to discount them, but trends show they fulfill their obligation in an underserved area for three to four years and then get to an urban area as quickly as they can, so it is not a long-term fix," he says.

"And the fourth is the missionary doctor. The further away from Starbucks, the better it is for these doctors. They aren't going there for gourmet coffee, or Nordstrom's, or fine dining, or gated communities. They are going there to serve."

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