Medical Careers at the Forefront of the Rural Healthcare Crisis

When you made the decision to invest your life in the world of healthcare, you chose to make a difference. How can you make the most of the challenges you have endured throughout your training to become a medical provider? From some, the answer lies in placing yourself into an environment that needs you most. The refreshing reality is that you will be able to give in these communities and experience tremendous advantages. 

Read on for some considerations as to why a rural healthcare setting may be right for you. 

Open medical jobs in rural healthcare settings

It is no secret that rural America is experiencing an acute health crisis. The National Center for Biotechnology Information has taken the lead in monitoring this problem affecting so many Americans. The center recently reported nearly one in five people live outside of an urban or suburban area. Alarmingly, less than one in ten practicing physicians are available to treat people in these less populated regions.  

This statistic means that over fifty million people have little direct access to appropriate healthcare. Also, the Health Resources and Services Administration has identified between 7,000 and 8,000 areas with severe health service shortages. Over half of those designated areas are reported to be in sparsely-populated areas.

For rural populations, lack of healthcare leads to severe problems. Rates of life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, cancer and strokes tend to be higher in these areas. Diagnosis for illnesses such as cancer can come at later stages, allowing for fewer treatment avenues and less access to cutting-edge clinical trials. 

Not only is disease an adverse factor for those in less populated areas, but negative lifestyle choices also cause compounded dangers. Patterns of tobacco usage and poor nutritional habits have been associated with living in less populated areas as information and resources can take longer to circulate in sparse communities.

Though there have been some promising signs, the trend of inequitable healthcare and education seems bound to increase for two main reasons. Since 2010, more than 100 rural hospitals have closed, forcing people to drive extra hours to see a physician or seek medical care or guidance.  

Not only are medical centers closing, but many doctors are also moving into urban areas or are completing their careers. The New England Journal of Medicine reported that an alarming number of rural physicians are in their last few years of practice. This trend means that retirement could account for almost a quarter fewer doctors in rural areas by 2030.

Simply stated, rural America needs your expertise, insights and leadership. Positions in these healthcare settings will provide a wide variety of experiences, training and closeness to your work’s impact that larger medical communities can be lacking.

Financial incentives for rural medical careers

You may find that your decision to start or grow your career in a rural community is not just a win for your patients. There are substantial personal reasons to consider a career in rural medicine.

Many government agencies, organizations and foundations have awakened to the healthcare crisis in rural America. Their initiatives provide financial assistance and incentives at every stage of a physician’s career, from training to maintaining a rich and rewarding practice. One successful model is establishing health-promoting centers serving the population’s segments through the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). Residents and practicing physicians may apply for incentives to remain in practice beyond the minimum requirements. Many doctors find ways to lessen their student loan burden with smart planning while practicing in communities where the need is great.

However, you will find that the most significant gains from practicing in rural America are not measured with a bottom line. Those who choose to invest in areas characterized by physician shortages often get a wide range of experiences that they would not have in a more specialized, urban setting. The opportunity to develop long-standing relationships with patients can be gratifying.

In rural societies, cultural influences often uphold family, tradition and independence in ways that can be appealing to many healthcare professionals. Rural areas provide ample opportunities to raise families in a robust community setting.

Rural healthcare professionals enjoy balanced lives

Finally, rural areas provide a myriad of ways to get away from medical practice pressures through breathtaking outdoor scenery, including mountain trails, rich farmlands, countless lakes, streams and woodlands. The expanse of open land provides excellent recreational opportunities, including fishing, boating, rock climbing, hiking and more. The gift of a rewarding, balanced lifestyle can be yours.

Medical careers throughout America

When you look back at your career, how will you measure success? Do not be relegated to looking only at financial gains or edging out the competition. Contemplate the legacy that will live after you. Whether you are a young practitioner or a healthcare provider looking for a chance to make a difference, consider a calling in rural America. A TinkBird Healthcare Staffing recruiter can help you find the career you want to invest in that can return to you in profound and meaningful ways.


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