Wild-Harvesting Primer
Choosing a Rural Practice: You Decide
In recent years, rural communities have been almost totally unsuccessful in attracting new doctors and other health care professionals. This is a disturbing trend for communities who do not have enough doctors as it is, and who are seeing many of their current doctors reaching retirement age. For even for even the most enthusiastic candidates, however, the economic realities and challenges of maintaining a rural practice make it a difficult decision.
One approach to addressing this situation has been to give medical students an opportunity to see the benefits of a rural practice first-hand. Lowell Euhus, a physician at the Wallowa County Hospital, worked with Oregon Health Sciences University and others beginning in 1988 to launch a program that requires all of the university's third-year medical residents to serve for six weeks in a rural hospital. They figured that urban students from urban universities were unlikely to begin a rural practice without having experienced it.
How about you? Would you consider being a country doctor? Try our "You Decide" activity to weigh the pros and cons and find out whether or not you would want to move your practice to a rural community.