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Keeping physicians rural: ‘Training in the sticks, sticks’

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In western North Dakota.

Photo by aaronyoung777

A Governing magazine piece looks at how to get physicians to practice in rural areas.

David Schmitz, M.D., chairman of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of North Dakota (UND), responded to a survey that found that 68 percent of physicians stay in the place they complete their residency..

Dr. Schmitz’s mantra for solving the rural doctor shortage is: “Training in the sticks, sticks”:  If a physician is trained in a rural area, he/she is likely to practice there.

Governing reports that Dr. Schmitz “helps run ROME, the Rural Opportunities in Medical Education program, which allows third-year students at UND’s medical school to spend up to seven months in one of five rural sites. He also helped pioneer a questionnaire that helps the state’s rural hospitals identify their strengths and weaknesses in recruiting physicians.”

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