Friday, December 06, 2013

Study confirms that placing new doctors' residency in rural areas is key to keeping them around

As many rural communities continue to struggle to attract new family physicians, a study by researchers at the Robert Graham Center says that where doctors practice their residency is the key to bringing more doctors to rural America. The study, which used information from the 2009 American Medical Association Physician Masterfile, found that 19 percent of family-medicine residency program graduates stay within five miles of their residency program site, and 39 percent locate within 25 miles. (Graham Center graphic)

"The distribution of physicians continues to compromise access to primary care, a problem compounded by limited volume of training outside of major metropolitan areas and large academic health centers," the study report says. "More research is needed to explore the influences of practice site other than training location, but these findings seem to support current efforts to decentralize graduate medical education training through models such as teaching health centers and rural training tracks." (Read more)

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