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Shortage of country doctors: med schools struggle to recruit students for rural duty.

Although rural communities across the U.S. are in great need of physicians, there is a significant decrease in the graduation of rural doctors. Research has proven that city kids are not only more likely to get into medical school, but are more apt to train and practice in or near cities as well. Also, "careers involving patients in areas in need of physicians are far more challenging," says Dr. Robert Bowman, assistant professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. "Such patients have complex special problems and represent a variety of education, culture, language, health, financial, relationship, and legal challenges."

To recruit more rural doctors, institutions can select students who have a greater probability of choosing rural areas, offer them tuition breaks and other financial incentives, Bowman says. The Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University (Penn.), University of Minnesota's Rural Physician Associate Program, and Michigan State University's Upper Peninsula Program, are a few programs that have succeeded in placing students in rural communities.

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Title Annotation:In The News
Publication:University Business
Date:Feb 1, 2005
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