The clinicians may use that time as they wish. However, Ashland Health makes it clear in the recruiting process that the hospital encourages and supports using that time to provide care for the poor and destitute in the world's most impoverished countries.
Ashland Health CEO Benjamin Anderson believes that the opportunity to make the world a better place is what has brought clinicians on board and kept them there.
"The program was born out of desperation," he says. "Two years ago we had no doctors living in this community. Furthermore, the facility had been through 11 providers in 18 years. The approach that was taken previously wasn't effective, and we knew we had to try something different."
Ashland Health Center needed a recruiting tool that would set it apart from the scores of rural hospitals in small towns in every state that were looking for clinicians.
"There are a thousand communities in America that boast good schools with small classrooms and low crime and people help each other and [there are] beautiful landscapes and a low cost of living. These physicians get four or five mailings a week on opportunities like that," Anderson says.