Outside of Texas, Houston is thought of as a business center with a focus nearly entirely on oil. However, they know better inside the Lone Star State. People who live and work in Texas know that Houston is one of the leading cities in America for healthcare delivery, research, and biomedical technology. They know there are more medical jobs open in Houston than any other single kind of employment.
According to the Houston Business Journal, the city’s five hospital systems take the top five spots for the number of open positions currently available in Houston. Among the top 20 companies with the most available job postings, the vast majority are in the healthcare delivery or research field. Houston Methodist has 1,600 openings all by itself. Nevertheless, it gets better.
The Greater Houston Partnership says Houston is home to “more than 190 life sciences and biotechnology companies as well as academic partnerships; more than 130 cutting-edge hospitals and health clinics, and some of the country’s top research facilities.” Indeed, a city made famous by oil and computer technology has embraced healthcare in a big way. So how are they doing it?
One Step Ahead
They say that everything is big in Texas. Where business is concerned, going big or going home is the mindset. Nonetheless, going big requires a certain way of thinking. It requires a proactive mindset rather than one content to deal only with today. That is the difference with Houston. For decades, they have been planning to have more medical jobs; they have been planning to expand facilities and improve infrastructure; they have been planning to compete to bring new medical technology companies to their area.
Nowhere is Houston’s planning strategy more evident than in facility construction and infrastructure. Houston Methodist’s Willie French explained to the Houston Business Journal that when his company builds healthcare facilities, they are built in such a way as to make adding new floors easy. As a facility’s needs grow, they simply add upward space. There is no disruption of current service or land-use issues to worry about.
It is that sort of thinking that has helped Houston become one of the most important medical centers in America. It is also that sort of thinking that has recruiters looking outside of Houston, and the entire state of Texas for that matter, in order to fill all of the available medical jobs with the best talent.
Learning from Houston
There is a lot to love about the American medical system. However, there is also room for improvement in many areas, not the least of which is bringing the business side of healthcare out of the reactionary mindset of the 1970s and 80s and into the visionary mindset of the 21st century.
The healthcare industry as a whole could learn a lot from what they are doing in Houston. Texas’ largest city is a model for medical jobs, healthcare delivery and research because it has created an environment that is not dominated primarily by insurance companies and government interests. It is a consumer-driven market in which patient outcomes genuinely matter. That is the direction the entire country must go in if we are to continue to have the best healthcare system in the world.
As for job hunters, Houston is the place to be if you are looking for cutting-edge medical jobs in research and technology. Jobs involving direct patient care are in large supply as well. It is hard to beat Houston as one of the leading healthcare markets in the country and a great place to live and work.