How Working in a Rural Community Will Get You Excited About Medicine Again
All over America healthcare facilities in rural areas are closing their doors at alarming rates. Recruiting physicians to serve in rural communities has become a difficult challenge for hospitals and clinics. A total of 83 rural hospitals nationwide have closed between 2010 and 2018, according to the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. That number will only increase as more facilities lose providers to urban cities, attracted by potential advancement and other reasons.
People in these smaller communities are left underserved and without adequate access to quality healthcare. According to the CDC, there is an increased risk for death from heart disease, stroke, cancer, unintentional injury and chronic lower respiratory disease in rural areas when compared to urban areas.
Rural regions deserve healthcare access, and these communities often provide many advantages to physicians who come to work there. Yet, providers are often unaware of the benefits that working in a rural community can offer. Serving as a healthcare provider in a rural area will not only enrich your life but the lives of those in the community as well.
“I have taken care of Forbes billionaires, celebrities and professional athletes during my years at Yale, and truly, none of that compared to the satisfaction I derive from working with the [rural] population here.”
— Brittany, a physician assistant with TinkBird
Serve people in need
Rural communities revolve around the people. Members of these communities will provide a friendly and inviting welcome. People in small rural towns are often medically underserved and extremely appreciative of the care you provide. Take it from Brittany, a physician assistant working in a rural community.
“Patients here are so humble and thankful and patient and appreciative of the care they receive,” says Brittany. “These patients hug and send cards and bring vegetables from their gardens and wait patiently for hours to be seen by you. I have taken care of Forbes billionaires, celebrities and professional athletes during my years at Yale, and truly, none of that compared to the satisfaction I derive from working with the population here.”
The gratitude providers receive from rural patients often becomes the foundation of a successful medical career and the driving force for job satisfaction.
Make a real difference
There is no greater need in the country for your skill set than in these communities. Through treating patients in rural areas, you will bring meaning to both your career and life. You will personally become a part of closing the healthcare gap for these patients.
Brittany goes on to say, “I have a lot of classmates who stayed at Yale or around very well-to-do areas and populations or went into careers like medical aesthetics in South Beach or Los Angeles. While it may be more glamorous (and easier at times), none of my classmates feel that they are making as much of a difference as I do.”
Helping others and experiencing the satisfaction of making a difference is why many physicians, PAs and NPs choose to remain in a rural area years after completing their original commitments.
Gain unique experience
“I prefer working in small rural communities. I welcome the challenges that offers. You get to know your patients personally, and you can effect change.”
— Norman, nurse practitioner with TinkBird
When working in a rural community you will get to know your patients on a more personal level and therefore be able to provide a higher quality of care. Unlike large medical programs, you can see firsthand the impact your care is making on patient health.
Seeing a patient from infancy to adulthood is an incredible experience afforded to rural providers. Working in a small town you may also have the opportunity to see a larger range of cases, giving you valuable experience and know-how.
Experience a higher quality of life
In a study done by researchers at the Vancouver School of Economics and McGill University, they found that people who live in rural areas and small towns are happier. Living in a rural community has many advantages that can be especially appealing to medical professionals. A smaller town means a shorter commute. The cost of living is lower, so providers can likely afford a high quality of living. Small towns are also a great place to raise a family. Maintaining a work-life balance is highly achievable in rural areas and physicians often experience less burnout.
Many rural medical facilities are adding continuing education programs to attract providers. Kathleen, a physician who works in a rural primary care clinic, says there are “lots of educational opportunities available.” Additionally, rural facilities often offering loan forgiveness programs to physicians and other providers who come work for them.
Explore medical jobs in rural communities
Recruiting top-tier clinical providers to these communities is one of our primary goals at Tinkbird Healthcare Staffing. Through our relationships with rural medical facilities, we can help place primary care doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in positions that will fit their specific skills and lifestyle goals.
To learn more about career opportunities in a rural area, visit TinkBird’s job board.