Old-fashioned village will hire doctor, payment in traditional kind

A small German village community left in the lurch after their local doctor retired in September has pulled together to try and attract a new GP — by offering free bread, meat, flowers, haircuts and accommodation.

Niko Ringhoff, who runs the butcher’s shop in the northwestern village of Lette, is offering a doctor willing to move to the 2,200-strong community free meaty lunches and a complimentary sausage-themed feast when the new surgery opens.

Everybody wants to do something to help get a doctor,” he told Reuters on Tuesday. “We all want to give him a warm welcome and make sure he feels at home here. We desperately need a doctor, but it’s difficult to attract one to the countryside.”

Marion Funke, who runs the local hotel with her husband, is offering a doctor a place to stay for free until he or she finds permanent accommodation.

Other services with which the community hopes to entice a doctor include haircuts on the house at the local salon, complimentary bread rolls from the local baker and free flower arrangements for the surgery from the local florist.

This is my kind of town. The problem is a silly reflection of cultural differences between many cultures – and youth cultures in the United States.

The ideal living situation in Europe is overwhelmingly urban. Rural areas are for picnic visits, a rare well-serviced holiday. Just as thoroughly for non-conformist, student youth as plodding accountants.

For a number of reasons, there is a whole segment of independent young people in the United States who build ideals apart from mainstream urbanity – and that includes picking up the whole family and moving to the boonies. Modern-day communications, digital entertainment streams, make it possible to have as rich a cultural and learning environment as might wish for – while doing as I do – trekking into town once a week for supplies.