Sunday, August 20, 2017

Wisconsin starts nation's first rural residency program for obstetrician-gynecologists

The University of Wisconsin has started the nation's first rural residency program for obstetrician-gynecologists, Dr. John Torres reports for NBC News, after noting that 54 percent of rural counties lack obstetric services, up from 45 percent in 2014.

"This is a national crisis," Dr. Ellen Hartenbach, who designed the program, told Torres. "I want this program to be a blueprint for increasing training spots in the country." It tries to "recruit doctors who have already embraced rural life and who have some experience in small community hospitals," Torres reports.

Sperling's Best Places map
The first resident is Laura McDowell, practicing in Monroe, a town of 11,000 near the Illinois border. "Just because docs are leaving doesn't mean the need isn't still there," she told Torres. "Women shouldn't have to think twice about getting good, quality health care in their small, rural town."

The report aired on "NBC Nightly News" Saturday, Aug. 19, starting at 13:10 in this video.

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