S. Shiraz Hyder, MD; Mary Amundson, MA
Introduction: Recruitment of hospitalists and primary care physicians for Critical Access Hospitals and tertiary care hospitals in North Dakota is difficult. To address this challenge, 2 programs were implemented in Bismarck, North Dakota.
Methods: St. Alexius Medical Center created a hospitalist fellowship training program in collaboration with the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences and physicians willing to work in Critical Access Hospitals were offered a joint appointment to teach hospitalist fellows and obtain a clinical academic appointment at the university.
Results: Since it was created in 2012, 84 physicians have applied for 13 fellowships. Of the 11 fellows who have completed the program, 64% (7/11) remained in North Dakota to practice.
Conclusions: Physicians are more likely to work in a rural Critical Access Hospital if they spend time working at a tertiary care center and have clinical academic appointments. Where recruitment is challenging, hospitalist fellowship programs are helpful in meeting the health care workforce demand.