From the capital to the county line, health care in rural Kansas is a hot topic across the state.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) issued a 2018 Health Professional Underserved Areas Report 该报告总结了这个问题:

“Kansas is a state with vast rural and frontier areas that lack adequate medical care. Although efforts have been successful in increasing the total number of health care professionals, the long-standing factors that contribute to professional shortages, plus the new pressures of a changing health care marketplace, perpetuate uneven distribution of these essential health care professionals across the state. 作为一个结果, being underserved or having 太 few professionals for area residents continues to be a predominantly rural problem.”


“堪萨斯的农村正在衰落. People are moving out in a process known as rural flight,” says Denise Cyzman, M.S., R.D., chief executive officer at Community Care Network of Kansas. “In the past few decades, migration from the countryside to the cities has been steep. 人走了,企业也走了. 商店和餐馆关门. 学校恶化. The health care system suffers, sometimes even hospitals close. We now have more than 6,000 ghost towns and dwindling communities.”


With rural communities struggling, recruiting physicians to these areas becomes more of a challenge. The problem is compounded because it’s not just a revitalization of rural Kansas that’s needed. The location in and of itself means that a physician may be the only health care provider for miles—which can burden a physician further.

“Practice of medicine is complex and can be emotionally draining,”Cyzman说. “Physicians working in urban areas have a ready-made pool of colleagues with whom they can consult, 学习, 寻求情感支持. Continuing education is often provided by their health system or within their community. 乡村医生并不总是那么幸运.”

There are other factors—and individuals—who come in to play when recruiting physicians to rural Kansas, 太.

“如果你要招募的医生已经结婚了, 你不仅仅是在招募医生, 还有配偶,杰里米·恩西说, 圣. Luke Hospital in Marion, KS, and trustee for the 十博10bet体育 (KHSC). “If the spouse also works, then the issue is where are they going to work? What are their needs, and can they be met by living in this area?”


In 2017, a Kansas state task force found 161 primary care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in Kansas. 在该州的105个县中, 92 are considered partially or wholly underserved, representing nearly a third of the state’s population. To fill this void, rural parts of Kansas need 83 new primary care physicians each year.

根据Cyzman, there are some strategies that can increase the likelihood of newly graduated physicians to stay in rural Kansas.

“Some that come to mind include: (1) Assuring a strong geographic mix of students, assuring that many come from rural Kansas; (2) Having students learn and residents practice within community health centers and critical access hospitals (CAH) in rural Kansas, and (3) Implementing ‘home-grown’ programs that help high school, college and other individuals from rural Kansas seek professional health careers, 包括成为骨科医生(DO).”

Increasing the number of DOs can be particularly effective, 维姬·惠特克的东西, the executive director at the Kansas Association of Osteopathic Medicine (KAOM), 回声.

“Osteopathic physicians (DOs) are known to go into primary care at much higher rates than their MD counterparts,惠特克说:“. “These primary practice areas include family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatric medicine. DOs enter primary care about 57 percent of the time. This area of practice is in high demand in every community and particularly in rural areas.”

“Having a college of osteopathic medicine in Kansas will increase rural physicians because it would increase the numbers of osteopathic physicians born in Kansas, 教育在堪萨斯, 留在堪萨斯,惠特克说:“. “If the proposed KansasCOM (applicant status—seeking accreditation) has additional strategies to recruit qualified applicants from local colleges, then it will increase the opportunity for rural communities to keep graduates as medical staff.”

It’s the impetus of proposed KansasCOM (applicant status—seeking accreditation)—and the college is more than ready to rise to the challenge.

“The proposed Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (applicant status—seeking accreditation) provides a new pool of physicians to potentially serve Kansas,”Cyzman说. “Community Care Network of Kansas and other medical/health professional associations in Kansas are ready and eager to partner to identify and implement solutions that will address the physician workforce shortage in rural Kansas. 我们有兴趣和动力. Proposed KansasCOM (applicant status—seeking accreditation) has the future workforce.”