Monday, May 11, 2009
Kansas has great need for doctors in rural areas and has been using creative ways to fill the gap.
One of them is the Kansas Medical Student Loan Program, which pays for a student's tuition and provides $2,000 a month for living expenses. Students must practice in a rural community of Kansas for every year they take part.
Wichita-based Kansas Recruitment Center helps rural communities recruit and retain doctors. When the center opened in 2004, 22 rural health organizations were seeking to fill 63 positions. Now, there are 75 needing to fill more than 200 positions.
Center director Joyce Tibbels said the biggest demand is for doctors in family medicine and internal medicine, followed by orthopedic surgery, general surgery, and obstetrics and gynecology.