You can watch the recording of JPS Recruiters Live: The Benefits of Physicians Going Country on our Facebook page. (11 mins.)
Benefits of a Rural Practice
There are three main benefits of practicing in a rural area: an elevated skill set, quality of life, and compensation. Even though you probably haven’t considered relocating to a rural setting, you should.
About 10% of the physician workforce currently practices in a rural setting. What does rural medicine or practicing in a rural setting mean? Rural literally means, in, relating to, or characteristic of the countryside rather than the town. To a physician, it means that you’ll be practicing either in a remote geographical area or in an area with a small population. Only about 20% of Americans live in a rural area.
Elevated Skill Set
The first benefit of practicing in a rural setting arises from the location of the facility where you’ll be practicing. Rural populations have limited access to advanced healthcare facilities, so you will develop an elevated skill set. You could be doing inpatient, outpatient, and emergency medicine. You’ll be developing and honing skills that might not otherwise get used.
Quality of Life
The second benefit of practicing in a rural facility is the quality of life and practice. Because only a small portion of the population lives in rural areas, you’ll experience lower patient volume, lower census, and you’ll have extra time to spend with your patients. Additionally, your impact on the community will be much higher. You will likely become a staple of the community. There is a chance that you’ll be caring for different generations of a single family.
Compensation and Reimbursement
The third and probably most appealing benefit of practicing in a rural setting is compensation and reimbursement. Typically, you’ll see higher compensation in a rural setting and you’ll have greater access to loan repayment resources. You can use our Physician Salary Calculator to see the difference setting has on compensation. Additionally, you will also likely experience a lower cost of living compared to urban and suburban living. As you are probably aware, there are different types of loan repayment programs. Practicing in a rural facility likely qualifies you for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. As part of your compensation package, you could potentially receive over $100,000 towards loan repayment annually. Here is a link to a list of repayment/forgiveness and scholarship programs.
If you have any other questions about practicing in a rural setting, please reach out to Jeff Foster.