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Old 06-21-2009, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
74 posts, read 304,340 times
Reputation: 45

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I am a primary care doctor in Florida currently, but have been wanting to relocate out of state, and I have been very interested in Oregon since I visited there a few years back. I really only got to see a small corner of the state (did a 2 day whirlwind of Portland, and a drive to the coast to Tillamook and then up to Astoria). I really enjoyed what I saw, and recently have been reading this forum and exploring sites on different places in the state.
I am not sure I could take the grey gloominess and rain of winter along the coast, but wouldn't rule it out altogether. I am kinda torn with wanting to have some nightlife/activity nearby (nightlife for me includes movie theaters, good selection of restaurants, maybe a few retail chains such as Target, Walmart, BestBuy in the area, couple of gyms since I like to workout). I do want to explore some of the west side of the Cascade towns such as Eugene (college towns are usually great places to live), Salem, maybe even down towards Medford. I think though I am a little more interested in areas such as Bend, due to the higher degree of sunny days, more apparent seasons, and it seems there are a lot of outdoor activities there...from the pictures I have seen looks more like a "mountain" town if you know what I mean.
Not sure there are any other medical professionals on this forum or not, but for anybody in the know, how is the climate for primary care jobs out there? Seem to anybody like there is a demand? Usually in my field I can find something almost anywhere if I look hard enough. I kinda like that Bend is slightly smaller/more rural (compared to Portland that is).
One thing that bothers me a bit when I have looked online to get an idea for housing prices out that way is the number of foreclosures and for sales listed in Bend. What the heck is going on in that community? It sounds like maybe a lot of what was going on down here in Florida was happening up there, i.e., people bought properties to invest/flip and the bottom fell out. Doesn't appear to be too much in the way of industry in Bend, so there probably really isn't anything to fuel the growth that it has had in real estate. Is there a mass exodus going on in that town? Is it a big California refugee/retirement haven? Those factors can have a big impact on my line of work (if people are leaving en masse, doctors may become over-represented in that town or not have enough business to keep them going). Would be good to know what the socioeconomic pulse is for that place.
Another town I was interested in checking out was Klamath Falls. Haven't seen really anything on the Oregon forum about that town. Other than fewer people, how does it compare to Bend? I heard it gets more snow. I know Crater Lake is not too far away. Is there much to do in Klamath Falls (other than outdoors activities)? How is it doing economically? What kind of people do you find there?
Outside of Portland where I know they are pretty progressive, how tolerant are most Oregonians to alternative lifestyles, especially in areas I am looking? (I am happily involved in a same sex relationship...we are both friendly, conservative, straight-laced kind of people with very normal interests, definitely don't push the envelope around anybody). Just don't want any crosses burning on my front lawn! Any advice appreciated.
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Old 06-21-2009, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Oceanside and Chehalem Mtns.
716 posts, read 2,683,521 times
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Bend is in a death spiral right now. The town experienced high growth over the last decade or so which was driven a lot by Californians cashing out and sinking their equity into Bend real estate.

This fueled a huge growth in the construction industry and other related business.

The housing bust put an instant stop on the influx of newcomers to Bend. That in turn dried up the Bend construction industry. In addition Bend depends a lot on tourism but that's also dried up since it's based discretionary spending which is being cut back. Lastly Bend really has no industrial or manufacturing base.

It remains to be seen when Bend will hit bottom because it's still in a freefall. However it also remains to be seen if it will ever see much of a recovery or just flatten out and remain stagnant.

P.S. In general Oregon is pretty tolerant to alternate lifestyles.
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Old 06-21-2009, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,166 posts, read 37,786,594 times
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Bend has been a tourist destination so the only economy was tourism, which is in the toilet. If was a retirement haven because it does get more sun there than the valley. I think unemployment is in the 17-20% range out there. Bend is in bad shape.

I also agree that generally speaking Oregonians are pretty tolerant to alternative lifestyles, but the smaller the town gets...generally the more conservative. I know the Salem area is short about 150 physicians for our population. They can't get enough of them out here and it is a real problem. You'd have no trouble here.

Salem does not have the nightlife that Portland or Eugene have because we only have small private universities here but we would meet your general criteria. You should make a trip out because Portland, Salem, Eugene, and Bend are all very different.
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Old 06-21-2009, 04:49 PM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,785 posts, read 17,596,494 times
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I don't think there is a town on the east side of the Cascades (including Bend) that isn't underserved by primary care docs, in many places to the point of crisis.

Klamath Falls is a very outdoors-oriented town, but it's much smaller and more rural/ag oriented than Bend. In Bend the recreation is skiing/snowboarding, mtn bikes, hiking, in K Falls it's hunting, fishing, hiking, if you see the difference. If nightlife and shopping are important to you, Klamath Falls not the right pick - we have one small theater that shows only the big blockbusters, no Target, no Costco and, with the country-wide closure of Gottschalks, no department store: for those you go to Medford or Bend.
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Old 06-21-2009, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
74 posts, read 304,340 times
Reputation: 45
Well, just booked my flight for a trip out around Labor Day. Unfortunately I can't get enough time off of work to go any longer than the 3 day weekend, but I am going to try to fly out a few more weekends whenever I can in the fall to check some more areas out in detail. I am going to try to do a driving loop from Portland over to Bend, back to the eastern Cascade range cities up and down I-5. I know it's not long enough to really see anything, but I can at least get a quick glimpse to start with of a few towns/cities.
Thanks for the heads up about Salem, although, like I said, not sure about all that rain. Always good to look for an area you are in demand/wanted though. Not sure how the salaries for primary care compare to down in Florida.
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Old 06-21-2009, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,166 posts, read 37,786,594 times
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Welcome. I am sure you will find a city that works for you and they will be happy to have a primary care physician on board...
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
9,859 posts, read 11,196,414 times
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Exactly. I don't imagine there is a city, with the possible exception of NYC, where a physician would not be in demand. So it is down to what the FloridaMD wants. Me, I would pick Portland or its close suburbs but that's me. Given the druthers outlined in the o.p. I would think its the FMD as well. Sometimes doctors move where they are needed because of that fact and deal with the lack of sophistication of their surroundings. Maybe for awhile, maybe for longer than that. It's not an area where we can advise. The physical and social characteristics of Portland vs Bend vs The Coast vs Ashland are well documented on this site and others. The effect of the clouds and rain though are heavily overrated IMO. Unfortunately there is only one way to find out if that is true in your personal opinion.

H
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Old 06-27-2009, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Oregon
53 posts, read 257,730 times
Reputation: 55
If you can get a job as a doctor anywhere in Eastern OR you will live like a king......Unemployment is high, housing in freefall.....You'll soon be able to get a 4000 sq ft Mac Mansion in Bend for less then 200K....Read the BendBubble II blog.....He's lewd, crude & sarcastic but he's on top of the Bend RE Market & social scene.......
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
74 posts, read 304,340 times
Reputation: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Exactly. I don't imagine there is a city, with the possible exception of NYC, where a physician would not be in demand. So it is down to what the FloridaMD wants. Me, I would pick Portland or its close suburbs but that's me. Given the druthers outlined in the o.p. I would think its the FMD as well. Sometimes doctors move where they are needed because of that fact and deal with the lack of sophistication of their surroundings. Maybe for awhile, maybe for longer than that. It's not an area where we can advise. The physical and social characteristics of Portland vs Bend vs The Coast vs Ashland are well documented on this site and others. The effect of the clouds and rain though are heavily overrated IMO. Unfortunately there is only one way to find out if that is true in your personal opinion.

H
Well I have done some preliminary searching on some of the physician recruiter websites, and the jobs seem to be scattered around the Portland area, but also lists some areas looking in Coos Bay, Bend, Hood River area (patient population 50% hispanic though...must be a big agricultural area? I don't speak Spanish, so that's out), and Klamath Falls area. i am taking a trip over Labor Day weekend to check some towns out. Granted these are just jobs posted on the recruiter sites, I bet if I talked to the medical staff offices at various hospitals I could find out if there are any unpublished openings. A lot of times things can be had just by word of mouth and calling around. I have noticed some of these remote towns do offer some nice incentives to lure practitioners there. I really despise areas with a lot of traffic, so that's why I am not sold on the Portland area. Plus i would rather not get into a practice that demands you see 30 to 40 patients a day, because you just can't practice good medicine running around like that, which is quite often what you get around the bigger cities. I think I like the slower paced places to live, just as long as it's not too far of a drive from things like movies, shopping, etc. I don't know about weather. I think it would be nice to be somewhere I can see some snow part of the winter. Actually miss that being in Florida.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:02 AM
 
Location: where the moss is taking over the villages
2,182 posts, read 5,269,586 times
Reputation: 1252
Dr:

Here are some direct websites for the Willamette Valley & WA:

Mission Statement (http://www.peacehealth.org/apps/jobsonline/default.asp - broken link) <- this page is the gatekeeper to the job pages - locations in Eugene, Cottage Grove, Springfield & WA (other names for the hospital: Sacred Heart & Riverbend)

Home - Job Opportunities - McKenzie-Willamette Hospital

Eugene is has quite an actively out gay population. It's a friendly town. Very liberal for the most part. I don't know much about the alt lifestyles anywhere else in OR.

Southern Oregon may give you more sun than Portland to Eugene, with less severe winter than Bend, from what I've read on these forums.

Good luck in your quest!

Kate
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