Efforts to Bolster Rural Primary Care Residencies Fall Short

The federal government's efforts to train more physicians in primary care and get them to practice in rural areas have had dismal outcomes. They demonstrate the need for more coordination of medical workforce development on a national level, says one researcher.

2 comments on "Efforts to Bolster Rural Primary Care Residencies Fall Short"
Robert Weltzien MD PhD (1/18/2013 at 2:23 PM)

I agree. I am a medical school graduate who is looking for a Family Medicine residency spot here in West Virginia and have only had two interviews this season, in spite of USMLE scores in the mid 90s, repeated commendations on bedside manner and a PhD in biomedical sciences. In addition to hiring foreigners on visas, age discrimination is widely practiced, as I am 53 years old. My plan is to practice in one of the underserved counties in this state in return for the government paying off my federal loans. I don't think that is selfish or money grubbing (like my specialist friends) but my chances are looking slimmer and slimmer. I could still give 20 years of service to the underserved; my father is 86 years old and just started a new company. I know money from Medicare has been frozen at 1996 levels to fund new spots but what are we getting ourselves into?
Jennifer Metivier (1/17/2013 at 7:50 AM)

Not only is it important to increase the number of residency slots in rural areas, the GME system needs to focus on recruiting more physicians FROM rural areas to begin with. If programs would increase the number of slots for physicicans that are FROM rural areas and trained them in rural areas, the chances of them desiring a practice in a rural area are much greater. I believe SUNY Upstate may have a program like this.


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