Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date




Institutional medicine has never been popular with the medical professional group and in the recent years of professional scarcity, even fewer have been drawn to such a practice.

In the state hospitals and institutions of New Mexico, these shortages have been keenly felt. Recruitment has been all but impossible for some specialties. Compounding this shortage and recruitment problem, New Mexico has not paid salaries to an of its workers which are competitive with surrounding jurisdictions.

The state has suffered for years form the same weak economy which has characterized much of the mountain west. The conditions of a weak economy have produced poverty as well as other disadvantages for a majority of citizens. One of these disadvantages is the lack of a good or a fully-completed education.

The State Personnel Office, created by the Legislature in 1963, had no alternative when placing the merit system into effect but to take into account the State’s general level of education and expertise. Job specifications for the merit system had to accommodate the talents available in the population. The result was, particularly in the medical field, the creation of the essential professional positions at the top and the creation of many low level sub-professional positions at the opposite end of the job spectrum. In too many instances, middle management was lacking, and solid middle management is necessary if other than custodial care is to be provided in the State’s medical/institutional facilities.

In time and with sophistication of the merit system, a middle management should evolve, but such has not been the case since 1963. Neither has there been much overt movement to create one through training nor to up-grade the talents of state workers.

The State Department of Hospitals and Institutions is now faced with a fairly high rate of turn-over in its various facilities. In this turn-over there is an almost intolerable dollar cost. This occurs in all levels of employees, but particularly in the lowest levels. Whether or not a trained and reasonably paid staff will provide stability is open to question, but there are instances in which this has been the case.

Based on the premise that a trained staff will be more stable and view their work as a career instead of just a job, and to reduce turn-over to an acceptable minimum, this paper proposes training and education for hospital workers. It is also hoped that this training will, in time, provide for the middle management group which today is generally lacking.

State government and its personnel needs will grow during the 70’s. Government must turn to the young for at least a part of its personnel needs, but the young will not be attracted by low pay and/or jobs without growth potential.

As at least a partial answer to existing problems, this paper proposes grouping major activities in the hospital organization into career patterns. Existing job classes will be used in this career progression grouping. Where necessary, new positions are proposed.

In addition, provision is made to accept the educationally dis-advantaged. They will be accepted at the lowest level, trained, encouraged to gain more education, perhaps with Federal Aid where possible, and to grow into middle management if not into some of the top positions with the Department.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Public Administration

First Committee Member (Chair)

John Mace Hunger

Second Committee Member

Daniel U. Henning

Third Committee Member




Document Type