Program aims to overcome shortage of doctors in rural areas

1 year 7 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, March 02 2016 Mar 2, 2016 Wednesday, March 02, 2016 6:34:00 PM CST March 02, 2016 in News
By: Corey Miller, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Many people take quality medical care for granted. For those in rural areas, the lack of doctors can pose serious problems when seeking care.

In Missouri, 97% of the 101 rural counties are designated as Primary Medical Care Health Professional Shortage areas by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

While nearly 25% of the U.S. population resides in rural areas, the total percentage of physicians in these areas is only 10%.

"Rural physician shortage is a significant problem because people in these rural counties cannot easily access health care," said MU School of Medicine Associate Dean for Rural Health Kathleen Quinn. "People in these rural communities usually put off going to the doctor because it's far away, they have to take off work, childcare issues etc."

At the MU School of Medicine, a program in place since 1995 is helping combat the problem.

MU med student Meredith Norfleet said she understands the benefits of becoming a rural physician.

"I think one thing that I've learned from participating in this program, is that it's a definite need by all the members of our small communities here in Missouri," Norfleet said."I think that's something that's going to drive my decisions moving forward when I figure out what I want to do and where I want to practice, knowing that all the members of rural communities here are needing better health care options."

Quinn said about 20 percent of MU Med School students take advantage of the Rural Track Program in some fashion.

But, she said, it can sometimes be hard to find rural students who want a career in health care.

"A lot of students in these smaller towns aren't exposed to health professionals, so they don't have those role models," Quinn said. "So one of things that we're working on is exposing youth to health careers, preparing them for health careers and ensuring that they can succeed and can get through the rigor of medical school to therefore practice in these communities.

For Norfleet, the decision to become a rural physician was never in question.

"It was driven by my background, I'm from a very small town of only about 220 people, so it's always been an interest of mine to go back to a smaller community and serve the people I grew up with," Norfleet said. "I think I'm excited about the relationships that I'm hoping to form with my patients. I feel like in a rural setting you get to be a lot closer to your patients, know a little bit more about their background more so than their health."

 

More News

Grid
List
NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have identified the firefighter who was killed when the water transport truck he was driving... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:49:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - In a quiet building tucked behind brick facades and looming trees off Vandiver Drive, the 2018 midterm election... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 8:04:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill says she didn't object to a bill weakening federal authority to stop... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 7:12:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The Community Land Trust Organization Board is set to meet Wednesday to discuss further developments on the Lynn... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 7:11:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's unemployment has dropped slightly. Department of Economic Development data released Tuesday show the unemployment... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 7:08:32 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Jefferson City’s transit system could see new changes soon. The city held a JEFFTRAN System-Wide Assessment... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 7:02:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Walter Rolley Jr. served in the United States Army for three years during World War II, and Tuesday,... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 6:53:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Two men were arrested Tuesday morning and accused of possession of illegal drugs and firearms at 505 East... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 6:20:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia man accused of driving his car into Mizzou Arena over the summer was formally charged Tuesday.... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 5:09:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - New television or cleaning service? New shoes or lawn care? A new study suggests time-saving purchases make people... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 5:06:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Many staff members at MU say they aren't happy, especially on the issue of pay. According to... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 5:01:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The former city clerk in Walnut Grove was sentenced to a year and a day in federal... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 4:09:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
FULTON - Westminster College has announced Dr. Fletcher Lamkin will take over as president later this year. Lamkin previously... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 3:45:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Council approved street repairs for South Lincoln Street after six months of residents dealing... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 3:30:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A local committee dedicated another African American Heritage Trail Marker on Tuesday. The Sharp End Heritage Committee... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 2:53:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- C-SPAN arrived in Jefferson City on Tuesday to meet with local and state politicians and middle school students... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 2:49:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A federal inmate with end-stage renal disease has been spared the death penalty for his fourth murder... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:27:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri appeals court has thrown out a $72 million award to a woman who claimed... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:19:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 46°
9am 54°
10am 58°
11am 62°
12pm 66°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
9:00a
Megyn Kelly TODAY
10:00a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Blacklist
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Riverdale
8:00p
Dynasty
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld