The proliferation of primary medicine and urgent care centers in the Coachella Valley might be the area’s hottest — and most noticeable — story of the past few years. In lockstep with the effort to provide greater access is an initiative to recruit and retain some of the brightest talent from around the world.
This is Dr. Joseph Scherger’s focus. As vice president of primary care and academic affairs at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, he has much to offer rising talent. EMC has become a teaching hospital, and its first class of 22 residents has begun a three-year stay en route to becoming board-certified family physicians and internal medicine physicians.
“We have a shortage of primary care doctors,” Scherger says. “Our programs are designed to meet that need and achieve a balance. We hope many of our graduates will stay in the valley.
“At a teaching hospital, the quality of the care goes up,” he continues. “You have a team of physicians belaboring the problem and helping patients. It also helps us recruit a higher caliber of physicians who like to teach while they work.”
Scherger, who had spent 17 years in San Diego and 14 years in Northern California, came to the Coachella Valley for the opportunity, and for the quality of life. “I love living and working in the Coachella Valley,” he says. “It’s a sophisticated resort atmosphere. I enjoy hiking, playing golf and tennis, and going to the music festivals. I’m feeling healthier myself.”