CHCs as Training Grounds for Primary Care Physicians

Cora Nucci, for HealthLeaders Media , October 27, 2010

Retention: "Large proportions of graduates" either stay where they trained or migrate to other CHCs, the report says. The report adds that well-run training programs can be a draw for specialty physicians. It spotlights four health centers that have built successful physician residency training programs in Worcester, MA; Waco, TX; Santa Fe, NM; and Yakima, WA.

But even with the HHS cash spigot wide open —$11 billion more is slated for CHCs over the next five years — there are challenges. Balancing patient care with teaching responsibilities is one. Accreditation is lagging; NHCHC advocates for an expedited process of residency program accreditation.

One way NHCHC could help move physician training forward would be to in a triage-like manner, identify CHCs that meet the requirements for physician training and focus resources in those places.

By the way, the challenges of practicing medicine in rural areas of the U.S. are documented nowhere better than here, in a series of stories, photos, and videos published by the Wisconsin State Journal. The series is funded in part by from the nonprofit, nonpartisan Kaiser Family Health Foundation.

Cora Nucci is the Digital Associate Editorial Director for HealthLeaders Media.

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