The Search is On for Doctors in Madison County

Hospital administrators say since losing their full-time doctor in the early part of the year, they've also lost some patients. Administrators are hoping the many attributes of small town living will attract the right candidate to the area. Officials say low crime rate and friendly neighbors are just a few reasons anyone including a potential employee should move into the area.

Madison County is known for its historical buildings; it's also known as a small knit community, but those attributes hasn't attracted doctors to the area. In fact, hospital officials have been searching for a full-time physician for its clinic since summer, but to no avail.

"A lot of times its extracurricular activities that are not just available in a small rural community and sometimes physicians are there just by themselves and you don't have a specialist or group practice to pull from," says Kathy Bass, director of public relations.

Still, employees say access to specialty medicine may be the reason they haven't found a physician.

"We don't have access to a lot of high tech equipment and things like that, which physicians when they do their residencies they are used to having those things at their fingertips and I think it makes it difficult when you have to go backwards in time so to speak," says Edna Pleasant, a physician's assistant.

Pleasant says her patient load has nearly doubled and hopes hospital officials will hire someone in the next few months.

"Our patient hasn't suffered we have some very qualified staff members, Physician Assistant that is taking hold and we're working her to death, but the quality of care is still the same," says Kathy Bass.

Quality care they hope will be enhanced with the right person willing to move into this rural community. There are no major department stores, shopping malls or any type of entertainment in the community and administrators believe that is a major hindrance.

Hospital officials say so far a physician completing his residency in Tallahassee has been the only person interested in the job and they have their fingers crossed.