Hospitals Search for More Doctors | VideoMichelle San Miguel | 12/2/2012
"When I first started six years ago finding a doctor, the opening line is you gotta be kidding me. I`m not going to North Dakota," said Carol Lindsey, physician recruiter at St. Alexius.
But now the state`s robust economy is helping recruiters at both St. Alexius and Sanford attract quality physicians.
"We`re getting calls from physicians calling about positions and asking about opportunities and not just us having to go out and look for them. They`re actually calling us as well," said Connie Long, manager of physician recruitment and retention at Sanford.
Still, recruiters say filling specialty positions is difficult. They`re dealing with current needs like finding psychiatrists, rheumatologists, and urologists.
Lindsey said, "We all have our little particular specialties that are tough to fill, but nothing is worse than finding the large number of internal medicine and family doctors that we are going to need in the future."
Last year more than 20 percent of the University of North Dakota`s medical students entered a family medicine residency. That`s nearly three times higher than the national average. Still, some medical experts don`t think the doctor deficit will resolve itself any time soon.
"It won`t get better into the foreseeable future," said Dr. Kent Martin, senior executive vice president at Sanford. "And foreseeable future, I doubt it will get better in eight years because it takes so long to get people through the pipe."
Sanford Medical Center is working to expand its cardiology and orthopedic departments.