Pacific NW Offers Career Opportunities to Thrive as a Physician
June 8, 2015
As Residents and Fellows ponder where to launch their medical careers, employment and housing aren’t the most important factors anymore.
Doctors, specifically, place high value on the quality of their living environment. In one survey, 69 percent of physicians prioritized having a “comfortable, enjoyable” place to live with amenities such as alternative transportation or a top-notch foodie culture, overlooking other factors such as abundant job opportunities. The consensus among young professionals: The lifestyle offered by Pacific Northwest cities like Portland, Oregon, remains a huge draw.
Oregon made headlines in 2013 as the nation’s top moving destination, with significantly more people moving in than out, and Portland consistently shows up on annual rankings of the best cities for people 35 and under. While the region’s appeal isn’t limited to any particular field, the Pacific Northwest does offer qualities healthcare professionals find especially alluring, prompting Medical Economics to name Oregon one of America’s top 10 places to practice medicine.
So what makes the Pacific Northwest such a great place for young physicians? Here are just a few of its benefits:
For those who want to cultivate a health-conscious lifestyle, the Pacific Northwest offers thriving communities that cater to a wide range of health and fitness needs. Trends in sustainable living, buying local and human-powered transportation all have deep roots in Oregon and Washington, where urban planners and entrepreneurs alike take thoughtful measures to support healthy living.
When it comes to exercise, the Northwest offers far more opportunities than many other regions. For example, 81 percent of Oregon residents have ready access to exercise, compared to the national average of 52 percent. With a worldwide reputation for bicycle friendliness, Oregon ranks fourth in the nation for commuter bicycling and walking levels. The state also has the second-highest percentage of people who get their recommended amount of physical activity, while Washington ranks in the top 15 for both walking and bike friendliness.
Humming with vibrant farmers markets, the Northwest also offers plenty of delectable options for a natural, healthy diet. Loaded with more vegetarian restaurants than any other city, Portland consistently takes the prize as America’s most vegetarian- and vegan-friendly town. The birthplace of many natural food companies, Eugene, Ore., also ranks high in healthy eating among the nation’s smaller towns.
Home to some of the world’s most scenic hiking trails—including parts of both the Pacific Crest Trail and the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail—the Northwest remains a top destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers.
Oregon and Washington boast 17 national forests, nearly 400 state parks and hundreds of miles of public coastline between them, offering year-round outdoor recreation opportunities such as hiking, fishing, rafting and mountain climbing. Thanks to this diverse array of options, at least 68% of Oregon residents and 63% of Washington residents participate in outdoor recreation each year.
Physicians who choose to start their careers in the Pacific Northwest will benefit not only from the healthy living but from some of the highest patient satisfaction levels in the nation.
As one of the top healthcare providers in the Northwest, Kaiser Permanente plays a key role in helping health-conscious individuals and families maintain their vigorous lifestyles. Of the region’s health plans, Kaiser Permanente consistently ranks highest in member satisfaction, while nationally it receives top marks for quality and effectiveness of care.
With 34 medical offices and two hospitals in Portland, Salem, Eugene and southwest Washington, Kaiser Permanente has plenty of opportunities for new physicians who crave the Northwest lifestyle. Are you one of them?