Despite Decades of Initiatives Rural Physicians Grow Scarcer

January 16, 2020

(Managed Care Magazine) – The number came as a surprise even to Montana State University Professor of Nursing Peter Buerhaus, and he’s been writing about medical workforce issues for years: The supply of rural physicians—their numbers few in many sparsely populated areas—is projected to fall 23% over the next decade. That finding came in a study co-authored by Buerhaus—its lead author was Dartmouth medical student Lucy Skinner—and published in The New England Journal of Medicine in July. By 2030, they project there will be 9.4 doctors for every 10,000 residents of rural areas in contrast to 29.6 for every 10,000 residents of nonrural areas.