Lake Tahoe Hospital Attracts Top-Notch Physicians
Physicians are in high demand, but not just from patients. With an impending physician shortage and more job competition, medical administrators and recruiters will spend hours attending meetings, networking, and recruiting to hire top-notch physicians.
In a 2012 study, the Association of Staff Physician Recruiters (ASPR) estimated that physician recruitment costs between $75,000 and $90,000 per doctor. This does not include the time and effort to set up a medical practice and then to retain a physician.
Barton Health has been fortunate to attract highly regarded specialists from across our country. An example of this is seen in our Tahoe Center for Orthopedics which is internationally recognized in delivering orthopedic excellence. Several of our physicians have been selected as medical providers for the Olympic Games as well as the US Ski, US Snowboarding, and US Free Skiing Teams.
Part of what attracts and retains physicians is Tahoe’s splendor and outdoor lifestyle, but Barton physicians have also invested in the community by giving back. Many physicians volunteer at community events by providing medical support for local races and sporting events. Others offer free pre-participation physicals for local youth athletes.
Some doctors have given their time to help the underserved. For example, Gregory Bergner, MD, has provided science education to students at Bijou Community School. Doctors Leigh Wayne Miller, Daniel Norman, Scott Southard, and I volunteer in a monthly mobile medical clinic to deliver free care to the uninsured in and around our region.
For some physicians, their community connection stems from deep roots within the region. It has been fantastic to see locals return to their hometown and join Barton Health. Doctors Michael Fry, Kyle Swanson, and Targhee Oeveraas, Dr. Terry Orr’s daughter, all hail from the South Shore. This summer, Tahoe native Monika Mehrens, DO, returns to the area to become one of Barton’s new hospitalists, a physician specializing in the care of patients admitted at the hospital.
As the community’s needs expand, Barton Health continues to stay on top of recruitment and retention. It is well documented that there will be a scarcity of physicians in the next ten years. One estimate from the Association of American Medical Colleges foresees that there will be a shortage of 91,500 doctors in 2020 and that this number will increase to 130,600 in 2025.
Recruiting top-notch physicians is highly competitive, and particularly challenging for rural hospitals. As one local doctor indicated, the instant you are employed in a small community, another rural hospital is inspired to call, email, and hound you for their attention and employment. Larger, urban health care facilities also challenge rural contenders with higher pay and competitive benefits.
Barton Health continues to be an independent non-profit hospital that strives to meet the diverse needs of our community. Barton Health recently recruited Bradley Anderson, MD, the first full-time Urologist in the Tahoe Basin, and we have a new pediatrician Jonathan Halem, DO and family medicine doctor Nichole DeLaPlante, DO coming on board this month. Dr. Alison Ganong, MD, a physiatrist specializing in sports medicine and spine care, will join Barton in September. We are proud to offer a breadth of physician services in our rural area and will continue our mission to provide consistently exceptional care to our area.