A Big Career in a Small Town: The Profession and Prospects of a Small-Town Doctor

Doctors who work in big cities tend to earn equally big salaries, have a huge patient base, and earn the respect of everyone in the community.

They might work at a large private practice or a major metropolitan hospital, and might even get the opportunity to treat famous and influential patients. And they may become pretty high profile themselves, perhaps even writing books or serving as a medical consultant for movies or television shows. After all, Dr. Phil and Dr. Drew had to start somewhere.

Why, then, would anyone want to be a small town doctor? Why give up the possibilities for glitz, glamour and professional influence that come with a big-city practice?

The answer to this question lies in the very core of the medical profession; a core that takes a form of a doctor's heart. The medical profession is all about caring, and you can treat and nurture patients just as easily in a small-town environment; perhaps even more so. Small towns are known for their wholesome, nurturing atmospheres; people may be more likely to appreciate your efforts, earning you friendships that last a lifetime.

Indeed, a small town physician often becomes a part of a patient's extended family. These doctors may receive invitations to weddings, graduations, and even holiday celebrations; and gifts that range from apple pies to friendly hugs. They will be warmed by the love and endless gratitude of their neighbors and patients. And they will play an integral, irreplaceable role in their communities.

At this point you may be wondering, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's all well and good. But show me the money!" The fact is, though, that the position of small town doctor carries a number of financial benefits as well.

Every community, large or small, is in need of a doctor's services. And in a smaller community, you may be able to score a monopoly on the town's populace. You'll probably have more patients than you can handle; your patients will refer their siblings, spouses, children and grandchildren to you, ensuring you of a diverse and long-lasting practice. And while you may not be able to charge top prices in a small town economy, your constant, steady workload will pay off in the end.

Much like doctors in larger communities, small town docs have their choice of specialties. Just as every town needs a doctor, every locale—whether it's large or tiny in geographic size—is also in need of a veterinarian, a pediatrician, a school nurse, pharmacists, an obstetrician, an oncologist, doctors at walk-in clinics, surgeons and company physicians. Flexibility is a definite advantage of a career in healthcare, regardless of where or in what capacity you practice.

Small town doctors have the potential to make big money in their chosen communities; and, just as important, to make a big difference in the lives of their patients. Check out a career as a small-town doctor today!

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