Practicing Rural Medicine – 4 Things That Make it Worth it!
Physician shortages in rural medicine is something that most of us are well-aware of now. Small towns often have trouble recruiting physicians away from large urban centers.
A lot of physicians may not realize that there’s a actually lot perks that come with rural medicine practice! Positions in rural areas can offer physicians great job stability and incredible growth whilst living and working amongst incredible natural scenery.
At the core of our values here at Locumunity is empowering physicians to make the most informed career choices. Today we’re shedding some light on Providence St. Mary Medical Center, a hospital located in the scenic town of Walla Walla, Washington and four things that make rural practice worth it.
1. Quality of life
Located in southeastern Washington, Walla Walla has consistently been ranked as one of the top places to visit in America, as the scenic town offers hundreds of wineries, boutique restaurants, and outdoor activities. It goes without saying that quality of life is one of the most promising aspects of practicing in a more rural area. Physicians not only can receive higher pay, and have a cost of living much lower than cities, thus allowing money to go a lot further. Healthcare providers can expect a lot more space and comfort when living in a smaller town, and appreciate that day-to-day life includes a scenic backdrop.
2. Opportunities for Growth & Expansion
In recent years, St. Mary Medical Center has expanded and risen to the forefront as Walla Walla’s prominent medical facility. It first opened all the way back in 1880, and used to be only two express care clinics. The center then expanded its primary care, hematology, and oncology services to provide more outreach to communities even outside Walla Walla. Further propelling the hospital’s growth is Walla Walla University’s pre-med program, which has students engaging with the hospital early on.
3. Long term, experienced support staff
St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla offers the perfect combination of growth fostered through stability. As a physician serving a tighter-knit community, physicians are better able to experience the stability of a rural placement, ultimately forming stronger relationships with patients and other medical staff members.
While St. Mary has also made a commitment to continued growth, turnover among staff is extremely low at the facility. Hospitalists stay long term, and the faces of support staff remain familiar. There’s often the misconception that as a doctor practicing in a more rural community, you’ll have less support readily available, while in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Support staff carry years of experience, anchored to the facility and patients by their shared conviction to providing community care. At the forefront, the staff of a small town hospital really take their mission to heart.
4. Trusting and warm patient relationships
Moreover, rural family physicians are often able to follow patients throughout their lives, fostering a stronger doctor-patient relationship. Patients feel that personal connection to their doctors, and trust that they know the health background of them and their families. Along with the comfort and openness fostered, having patient continuity allows doctors to provide better quality of care over time.
Acknowledging their duty to ensure rural communities continue to receive direct access to quality care, Providers like Providence St. Mary continue to do all that they can to grow and thrive.
Currently, there are several opportunities open for physicians who are interested in joining a growing team of healthcare professionals who take delivering community care to heart. Check out the following jobs and inquire or apply online with Locumunity: