Program Addresses Rural Physician Shortage
Columbia, MO ― Mirroring national trends, 97 percent of the 101 rural counties in Missouri are designated Primary Medical Care Health Professional Shortage Areas by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Many medical schools across the country have developed admission policies and clinical training programs to address rural physician workforce shortages in their state. Now, a recent study by the University of Missouri School of Medicine shows one of its programs enhances training and may increase interest in rural practice for graduating medical students.
“Clinical training alone is not enough to prepare, attract and retain new physicians in rural practice locations,” said Jana Porter, associate director of the MU School of Medicine’s Area Health Education Center and Rural Track Pipeline Program and lead author of the study. “We developed the Community Integration Program in 2006 as part of our pipeline program to further encourage students to practice in rural settings after they graduate. We wanted to better understand what the students’ experiences were with this service learning program, and if it might affect their decision to practice in a rural community.”
The Community Integration Program encourages third-year medical students completing clinical clerkships at rural sites to identify a health need in that community and then, with assistance from the Area Health Education Center and local organizations, implement a project to meet that need. Continue>
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