Gretchen Price, D.O., signed a three-year contract last week with Texas County Memorial Hospital. She is pictured with Wes Murray, chief executive officer.

Texas County Memorial Hospital inked a three-year deal last week with an internal medicine physician.

Gretchen Price, D.O., will join TCMH as a full-time employed physician in September 2010 after her residency program ends at Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville. She plans to relocate to Texas County next summer.

Price grew up in Ellsinore and sought post-residency employment at a hospital near her southeast Missouri family. She interviewed at TCMH in June.

“I was impressed by the friendliness of everyone at TCMH,” Price said. “From the moment I walked in the door, I was warmly welcomed.”

Price also based her decision to join TCMH on the need for internal medicine physicians.

“I want to make a difference – an impact – as a doctor,” Price said, adding that she knew at TCMH she wouldn’t just “disappear into a crowd” of physicians.

Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, is excited about the opportunity to bring an internal medicine physician to TCMH.

“Recruiting physicians that fit our needs has always been a challenge,” Murray said. “We also know that internal medicine physicians are the No. 1, most highly sought physicians in the U.S.”

Although the need for internists persisted at TCMH, Murray and the hospital’s administrative team had changed their focus from internal medicine to family practice due to the dearth of internal medicine candidates.

“We are the envy of rural hospitals across the country today,” Murray said. “We have signed a highly skilled internist that wants to practice in rural Missouri.”

Price has a strong interest in critical care, and she does procedures such as endoscopy and bronchoscopy. She will see patients in the hospital and clinic.

Price has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Missouri State University. She attended Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine at A.T. Still University.

“Dr. Price brings skills and services to the hospital that have not been available in recent years,” Murray said. “She is a key addition to the hospital as we continue to move forward with our strategic planning.”

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