He earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska and then a master's in health administration from the University of Missouri. He worked in the HCA hospital chain, primarily with psychiatric hospitals. He was the CEO of HCA Peninsula Hospital in Hampton, Virginia and of HCA DePaul Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana before accepting a position as senior vice-president of the Tulane University Hospital and Clinic in New Orleans.
He was recruited to UAB in 2000 to administer the Kirklin Clinic and Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital. In 2002 the position of chief operating officer of the entire UAB Health System was created for him. The position was eliminated when he succeeded David Fine as CEO in 2004.
Hoidal announced his resignation in December 2007 in order to move closer to his parents in South Dakota.
- Velasco, Anna (December 14, 2007) "UAB chief of health system resigning." Birmingham News.