Addressing Physician Shortages Throughout Rural America and Exploring Effective Recruiting Strategies Within Rural Hospitals to Increase Physician Supply and Retention

Thumbnail Image
Daum, Danika
Healthcare Administration
Issue Date
Medically underserved areas--United States.::Rural hospitals--United States.::Rural health services.::Healthcare disparities--United States.
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Alternative Title
The recruitment and retention of physicians in rural areas present critical challenges to healthcare delivery, compounded by geographic isolation, resource limitations, and workforce shortages. This capstone project delves into the intricate landscape of rural physician recruitment and retention, aiming to unearth effective strategies and interventions to mitigate these challenges. This essay meticulously examines the current state of rural physician shortages, underscoring their profound impact on healthcare access and quality within rural communities. Health disparities stemming from physician shortages are explored, emphasizing the urgent need for innovative approaches to enhance recruitment and retention efforts. An array of quantifiable practice models and innovations are scrutinized for their potential to bolster physician retention in rural locales. Collaborative care models, telehealth advancements, interdisciplinary teams, alternative payment structures, and mobile health units emerge as promising avenues, offering distinct advantages to support physicians. Federal policies emerge as pivotal mechanisms for bolstering physician retention endeavors in rural areas. Initiatives such as the Rural Health Clinic program, Medicare Telehealth Services Benefit, National Health Service Corps, and Rural Physician Training Grant Program provide essential resources and incentives to fortify recruitment and retention initiatives. In addition to the quantitative research used to address physician shortages and recruitment initiatives, qualitative research was collected to add valuable information about the freedom providers have that is not portrayed before or during the recruitment process that could add valuable knowledge to future recruitment and retention efforts. Notwithstanding progress, persistent challenges hinder physician recruitment and retention in rural regions. Workforce pipeline constraints, financial disparities, professional isolation, and limited career progression opportunities are formidable barriers to surmount. In conclusion, a comprehensive and collaborative approach to rural physician recruitment and retention is paramount. By prioritizing interdisciplinary collaboration, technology-driven care, community engagement, opportunities to practice beyond the scope, and policy advocacy, stakeholders can forge a path toward improved access to quality care and the promotion of rural population health.
Spring 2024 Graduate Project/Thesis/Capstone in Healthcare Administration. Student ID redacted.
A copyright review process in May 2024 has determined that this item is in copyright, held by the author, Danika Daum. The written permission of the copyright holder is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use that extends beyond what is authorized by fair use and other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions rests with person(s) desiring to use the item.
PubMed ID