Medical School Program Sparks Rural Residencies

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media , November 9, 2011

Quinn also hopes that policymakers will see that funding these relatively inexpensive programs not only provides good healthcare to their constituents but could also create jobs; she adds that having a physician in a rural area brings about $1.3 million into the community annually.

Quinn adds that there will be an increased focus on filling all of the program's preadmission slots "now that we know the preadmissions piece of the pipeline is definitely an added benefit because the highest percentage of those students end up in Missouri."

Although scholarships are a small aspect of the program, Quinn believes that financial incentives are less important to rural physician retention than making sure those physicians become part of the community in which they work.

"I think the only way for physicians to stay long term is to train them and get them integrated into communities so they can actually influence health behaviors and outcomes," she says.

McKinney agrees.

"As a hospital administrator, you want to see them stay," he says. "It helps build that part of the community."

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is a managing editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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