I live in Martinsville, and, I have to admit, I have often wondered why any doctor would want to come and work in our small burg when they could instead get a high-paying job in the “big city”. I recently discovered that there is evidently some skill and planning involved in “luring” a doctor to small towns, particularly if, like Morgan Hospital, you have been bought by a much larger health organization such as Indiana University Health.
So how could the big boys entice doctors to the small towns? Avoid saying anything specific about the town, and instead tell doctors-to-be they can live somewhere else or go somewhere else.
Morgan Hospital and Medical Center in Martinsville, the latest acquisition by Indiana University Health, tried those tactics in a recent online posting seeking an internist.
“Enjoy a Norman Rockwell-like community with close access to more cosmopolitan environments for cultural events, concerts, museums, shopping, sporting events and dining,” the ad says.
And while it mentions a few things about the job itself and hospital itself—“great practice growth opportunity” and “one-stop primary care hospital!”—it spends most of the time talking about the attractions of Martinsville or, more precisely, not too far outside of Martinsville.
One big advantage a large health organization might have—something not mentioned in the advertisement—is the ability to pay higher salaries. Primary care physicians draw annual pay of about $170,000, but generate at least 10 times as much in revenue for a hospital by referring patients to the hospital for the more expensive surgeries and specialty care. Padding the pay a bit upfront can, therefore, be lucrative down the line.
As a resident of this “Norman Rockwell-like community”, I am hoping that this method of hiring works and that we get talented, quality medical staff in our hospital. I remember when I was a kid and we had to go to Bloomington to have my broken wrist set because they didn’t have the capabilities to do it at Morgan County Hospital. I’d like to think the hospital has come a long way since then…