FSU Medical Students Tour Rural Areas

By: Eyewitness News; Lanetra Bennett Email
By: Eyewitness News; Lanetra Bennett Email

Tallahassee, Florida - June 1, 2012 -

Administrators at FSU want to make sure residents of rural counties and other under-served communities have access to well-trained physicians. They say one of the best ways to do that is give up and coming doctors a first hand look.

The FSU College of Medicine has come up with a unique way to introduce medical students to rural communities, and entice them to spend their careers in primary care in those communities.

This morning, a bus load of first-year FSU medical students toured the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee.

Administrators say being on the site helps the students learn about the challenges of rural communities and lack of resources many under-served counties face ... all in hopes of the aspiring physicians choosing to work in such areas.

Groups of med students also visited hospitals in Madison, Holmes, and Suwannee Counties.

One report says although 20 percent of Americans live in rural areas, only nine percent of the nation's physicians practice there.

This is the third year the FSU College of Medicine has done this program, and administrators say it does make a difference.


Tallahassee, Florida - June 1, 2012 -

First-year Florida State University medical students are fanning out across North Florida. The students are exploring rural health care.

The State Hospital in Chattahoochee is one of four stops the FSU Med Students are visiting. Four buses of first-year students arrived at the state hospital around 10:00 this morning. It's the FSU College of Medicine Rural Education Opportunity Program.

The idea is to increase students' familiarity with rural health and the possibility that they'll practice rural medicine by exposing them early to rural communities and health providers. This year, four buses each left Tallahassee with 30 first-year students, plus faculty and staff.
The locations are the critical-access hospital in Bonifay in Holmes County, hospitals in Madison County, Dowling Park in Suwannee County, and the state mental health hospital in Chattahoochee, Gadsden County.

The students will meet mental health providers, hospice providers, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, administrators, community leaders.

The group will be at the state hospital for most of the day.

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  • by Anonymous on Jun 3, 2012 at 05:19 AM
    I think this is a great thing! I had a doctor in Wewahitchka (Wewa) years ago that I will NEVER forget. He sincerely cared about his patients and the young people in the town. His name was Dr. Harold Canning. He practiced medicine and organized a group called the "Saddlin' Seminoles" - a group of kids that rode horses and did things together. He didn't get rich in Wewahitchka but he is remembered to this day by the local residents.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 3, 2012 at 08:07 PM in reply to
      Call him up, tell him "thanks!". Or email, or whatever...
  • by Get stuck in Rural areas - on Jun 2, 2012 at 09:54 AM
    Why would any sensible young person deliberately go get stuck in a rural area? Do you think these highly educated, motivated, ambitious people are clueless about the problems in rural life? Even service-oriented people have to be aware that living in a rural community means their own children will not have the same level of education they would have in a more urban area...one with greater resources. It isn't just that there are no medical resources in rural areas, there aren't any other resources in rural areas either! No transportation, poorer quality schools, no DSL, many places have limited shopping options (unless you love walmart). On top of that, these physcians will not have the same earning power over time that their peers have in more resource rich areas. Can the state afford to forgive student loans on the chance that the new docs will actually stay long enough to make it cost effective? Not likely - FSU will have to do more than take a bus 'round. The state needs to look at rotations of service - and consider the impact of never having a long-term relationship with the general practioner for rural people with rural problems. Diabetes and obesity being large issues...that don't do well with revolving door care.
    • reply
      by Gerry on Jun 2, 2012 at 02:15 PM in reply to Get stuck in Rural areas -
      MCMH is banking on free doctors or they go belly up even quicker
  • by Student on Jun 2, 2012 at 06:22 AM
    Edit this to say one bus went to Chattahoochee. Our other three went to Madison, Bonifay, and Dowling Park.
  • by Anon on Jun 1, 2012 at 04:15 PM
    I wouldn't want to be a doctor once Obamacare kicks in. You would be better off as a pharmacist because they'll be making more mony than doctors.
  • by Gerry on Jun 1, 2012 at 02:45 PM
    Come to the Madison band aid station since no doctors are on staff in the Emergency Department
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