Job Fair Hosted to Encourage Rural Doctors
As a first year MU medical student and a new arrival to mid-Missouri, Preethi Yerram said she's adjusting well.
"I love it here. No traffic, small cities. I can just go home! Which is great for me because I'm a resident," commented Yerram.
With two years of school left, she's already thinking about her future, and whether she'll stay in Missouri. Hospital representatives hope she does. MU's School of Medicine hosted a statewide job fair for medical residents and students. It's part of a plan to increase the number of medical school graduates staying in Missouri and the number of doctors in rural areas.
Kathleen Quinn of the MU Rural Track Program said, "Our program exposes students to rural areas throughout their medical school career so by the time they're at the resident level, they know enough about rural Missouri that they want to return there."
More than 15 healthcare providers showcased their hospitals and their lifestyles selling their smaller communities as great places to live and work. But the pull of metropolitan areas often wins out.
"Some physicians think it pays better in the urban areas, rather than the rural areas, and I would disagree with that, but that's some of the fear," said Dennis Pryor of the Salem Memorial District Hospital.
The Missouri Department of Health said 108 counties said they have a health care shortage. Here in Mid-Missouri, Cole County is the only county that said they have all the doctors they need.
So for Yerram, Missouri may do just fine.
"I like it here so I don't mind staying here," she said.
Missouri hospitals hope many doctors agree. MU's office of Rural Heath Programs organized the event. This was the first physician job fair held at the School of Medicine.