Program aims to overcome shortage of doctors in rural areas

3 years 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
MARSHALL - The suspect in a pair of shootings in early October has been caught out of state, police announced... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 9:10:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA - A man heard his sentence on Friday after killing a 20-year-old three years ago for drunk driving. ... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from football games around mid-Missouri. Final scores are in bold. ... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:06:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA —The University of Missouri issued a statement Friday that the MU Department of Theatre was "in error" when it... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:52:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Friday Night Fever’s Week 8 Game of the Week features a dominant Helias (6-1) visited by a surging... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:44:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA — The True False Film Festival and Ragtag Cinema are dissolving their relationship with Columbia church The Crossing. Cinema... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:33:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Springfield Mayor Ken McClure hosted a group for a strategy session that included Governor Mike Parson in October.... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 4:18:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY - The extent of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes' leg injury sustained during the team's Thursday night... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 3:07:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Sports
JEFFERSON CITY - A damaged downtown Jefferson City building is scheduled for demolition, but the owners have filed an appeal... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 2:26:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A drug company's decision is causing new worries for the families of children with cancer. Vincristine, a... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 1:55:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Police investigated a threat at Thomas Jefferson Middle School on Friday. TJMS sent out... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 1:27:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A woman is dead after a car crash on Highway 63 in Columbia on Thursday afternoon. Columbia... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 11:57:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Leaders from several organizations from around Boone County gathered Friday to talk about various county-wide goals. The... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 11:10:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a triple homicide in a Kansas City neighborhood. Police spokesman... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 11:01:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A man was arrested Thursday evening after police found dangerous drugs during a routine traffic stop. The arrest... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 4:29:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The fifth annual Project Homeless Connect begins Friday. The event provides support for those experiencing homelessness,... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 3:23:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Sixteen Columbians will travel to Columbia's Japanese sister city, Hakusan City, to reaffirm the relationship between the two... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 2:29:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — After a controversial sermon at The Crossing on Sunday, the LGBTQ community is calling for those involved to... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 7:41:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
11pm 56°
12am 55°
1am 53°
2am 52°