Future growth in the Crossroads means more health care professionals

Feb. 23, 2013 at midnight
Updated Feb. 22, 2013 at 8:23 p.m.

Bringing in health care professionals to the Crossroads area is a task that recruitment specialists are charged with.

Considering that Victoria is a hub for health care hospitals in the region, finding adequate medical professionals is essential, said Omar Rachid, a physician recruiter for Citizens Medical Center.

"When you look at recruitment, they (candidates) want to make sure they go somewhere where it will be a successful practice," he said. "It's attractive to doctors when a community grows."

At DeTar Healthcare Systems, Lana Cooley, director of medical staff services, said the hospital has recruited about 10 to 12 physicians in the past several years. Their specialties depend on the need in the Crossroads.

"As a hospital, we only recruit with the endorsement of the medical staff, and we have a mechanism for their involvement," Cooley said in an email. "We sell the fact that we offer amenities of a larger city but without the hassle of being in one."

As the region grows, so will the need for more specialties in oncology and primary care, Rachid said. Due to the increase in age - 13 percent of the Victoria County population is above the age of 65 compared to 10 percent of the rest of the state's population, according to the 2011 Census estimate - more physicians may be needed to treat the area.

Crossroads residents may travel two hours away to major cities with multiple medical institutions, but that travel may be eased as more physicians are brought to Victoria.

"The last thing a patient has to do is go outside the area to seek help," Rachid said. "We have become more aggressive with recruitment. We are already anticipating the need before it happens."

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