Rural communities disproportionately face preventable chronic diseases and death from treatable conditions. Health workforce shortages contribute to limited health care access and health disparities. Efforts to address workforce shortages have included establishing graduate medical education programs with the goal of recruiting and retaining physicians in the communities in which they train. However, rural communities face a number of challenges in developing and maintaining successful residency programs, including concerns over financial sustainability and the integration of resident trainees into existing clinical practices. Despite these challenges, rural communities are increasingly interested in investing in residency programs; those that are successful see additional benefits in workforce recruitment, access, and quality of care that have immediate and direct impact on the health of rural communities. This commentary examines the challenges and benefits of rural residency programs, drawing from lessons learned from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program.


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pp. 83-90
Launched on MUSE
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