The Woodlands expects to bring in more physicians and medical staff as the community becomes a bigger hub for health care in the shadow of a nationwide doctor shortage.
According to a study by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the rising population of older Americans has intensified the demand for physicians, which has resulted in doctor shortages that have become apparent in some communities across Montgomery County. The study predicts by the year 2025, the U.S. will face a shortage of between 61,700 to 94,700 primary and specialty care physicians.
However, hospital administrators in The Woodlands are not expecting a physician shortage anytime soon even as two new hospitals—Texas Children’s and Houston Methodist The Woodlands hospitals—open their doors in the next year along with an expansion at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital.
“We’re in a fortunate place, and we’re probably blessed to have an easier time recruiting,” said Josh Urban, CEO of Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital. “Today we’re not experiencing any shortages, but I’m sure other parts of the county are.”
Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital is expanding to a 350-bed facility and will then have 900 total physicians by next year.
Michelle Riley-Brown, president of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, said she believes the new location will attract even more physicians to the area.
Riley-Brown said the new hospital plans to have approximately 650 employees, which includes physicians and mid-level providers.
The health care boom is not expected to slow down soon, according to Woodlands officials, as large corporations like ExxonMobil inspire growth in two other sectors: health care and education.
“With the addition of large employers at big corporations, the next biggest growth area is health care,” said Laura Lea Palmer, vice president of business retention and expansion at The Woodlands Economic Development Partnership. “The new hospitals are going to bring in about 1,100 new jobs combined. Health care will continue to grow, and there are some new projects on the horizon for sure.”