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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