Rural areas spearheading efforts to attract and retain young docs

care teams

In July, the residents of Hayesville, North Carolina--all 500 of them--can look forward to the arrival of one of thirteen new college graduates, who will spend two years working with patients in the rural community’s primary care clinic.

Hayesville, nestled in the western tip of the state, joins urban areas--such as southeast Raleigh--and small eastern towns like Williamston, in receiving young college graduates to help care for their residents, according to an announcement about the program.

The program, called MedServe, will expose new college graduates to primary care--at a time when a mere 12 percent of young doctors pursue primary care as a career.


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Before setting off for their two-year assignments, the thirteen MedServe fellows--new graduates of colleges in North Carolina as well as Ivy League programs such as Harvard, Brown and Yale--will take part in a two-week training at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

In this training, the graduates will learn from physicians and public health leaders while getting hands-on training at the medical school’s Clinical Skills and Patient Simulation Center. The goal is to grow the program and include additional states in the future, say organizers.

Meanwhile, 1,300 miles away in rural Nebraska, Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), is spearheading a high-tech and high-touch effort to attract and retain young physicians, reports the North Platte Telegraph (Nebraska).

Tipping the balance to choose to practice in rural Nebraska comes down to housing availability--or it could be as simple as joining a student for a cup of coffee, Lynnette Leeseberg Stamler, Ph.D., associate dean for academic programs at UNMC’s College of Nursing, told the newspaper. Chancellor Gold also touts the availability of distance learning opportunities and access to telehealth, reports the North Platte Telegraph.

- read about MedServe
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