Program aims to overcome shortage of doctors in rural areas

1 year 2 months 3 weeks ago March 02, 2016 Mar 2, 2016 Wednesday, March 02 2016 Wednesday, March 02, 2016 6:34:00 PM CST 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
COLUMBIA – The MU Veterinary Health Center recently added a new section - the Motion Analysis Laboratory - to track... More >>
1 hour ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 9:46:42 PM CDT in News
MORGAN COUNTY - The National Weather Service (NWS) from Springfield, Missouri has conducted a review of damage in extreme southeastern... More >>
4 hours ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 6:09:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – Volunteer security guards and local police officers are making sure the 29 th Annual Salute to Veterans Air... More >>
9 hours ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:43:00 PM CDT in News
BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — Authorities have recovered two bodies and are searching for a third person after their vehicle was... More >>
9 hours ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:38:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Relatives of two of four people killed when a steam-filled tank weighing nearly 2,000 pounds (900... More >>
9 hours ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:33:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a man who barricaded himself inside a home repeatedly fired at officers... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 6:54:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City, Missouri, police say they are searching for a man who shot two people,... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 6:46:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A new business pushes it’s clients to their limit and has them sweating bullets. Two former NFL... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 5:06:00 PM CDT in Sports
COLUMBIA - A resettlement agency supporting refugees had a surplus in donations, so it decided to sell some of its... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 4:47:00 PM CDT in News
As of 6:00 p.m. 23,491 Electric Cooperative member-consumers are without power As of 5:37 p.m. Saturday, Ameren reports that... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 4:21:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Traditional Native American food, crafts and dancing can be found at the tenth annual "For the People"... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 3:48:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Two teens were arrested early Saturday morning in relation to an armed robbery Friday night. Columbia Police... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 3:46:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
BOONE COUNTY - One person was extricated from a vehicle and taken to the hospital with serious injuries after a... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 2:53:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA— The start of the ninth annual Pedaler’s Jamboree was held on Saturday. Nine years ago when the event... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 2:24:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The 29th Annual Salute to Veterans Air Show is scheduled for Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 2:10:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Three people were taken to hospitals by emergency personnel following a three-car wreck Saturday morning. A... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 1:08:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – Public pools in Columbia opens for Memorial Day weekend, but they are still looking for more people to... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 11:29:00 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Two months after the idea was first introduced to leaders in Springfield, Missouri, the city's new... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 11:13:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 63°
11pm 66°
12am 64°
1am 61°
2am 60°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:35p
Sports Extra with Chris Gervino
11:05p
The Simpsons
11:35p
Elementary
11:00p
Heartland
12:00a
Monster
2:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
8:00p
American Ninja Warrior
6:00p
A Thousand Words
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld