By: Sarah Snyder
MIDLAND - They've pulled out the stethoscopes, suited up in the white coats, and they're headed straight for the Tall City. Midland Memorial claims they've tripled the amount of doctor-recruits so far this year - something they say will benefit the entire community.
16 new physicians from all across the U.S. have landed at Midland Memorial Hospital. That's triple the amount they recruited last year. Eight more are in negotiations and the hospital hopes to bring them on board by the end of the year.
"The new tower, the new structures, the new facilities that are forthcoming will have a great baring on recruitment going forward," Prentice Bryant, Vice President, Physician Services and Planning at Midland Memorial, said.
They've reeled in all types of physicians: everything from heart doctors to bone doctors, pediatricians and gynecologists, including many we've never had before - like dermatologists.
"A huge difference," Bryant said. "There's a huge deficit of physicians in nearly every area of medical specialty in Midland, most of it due to the fact that so many of our staff members are currently reaching the age of retirement."
Hospital officials say as the population grows in Midland the demand for healthcare is skyrockettng and it's hard to keep up.
"We're trying to make up for what has been lacking as well as look forward to the future and make sure we have those gaps filled," Bryant said.
They say the best part about having new doctors in town is that it keeps West Texans from traveling outside our area for medical care.
"Always surprised," Bryant said. "It's an exciting time when you can recruit in new physicians and find good matches for the community and know that it's a long-serving benefit not only to the health and vitality of the hospital but for the community as well. It's a win/win situation."
NewsWest 9 also spoke with Medical Center Hospital. They say last fall they also brought on quite a few new physicians. Medical Center says the biggest need right now are extra primary care doctors and specialists in Urology. They're teaming up with clinics and area schools in an effort to find more physicians willing to call West Texas home.