Medical experts say if new medical students don't start training soon, the nation will see a doctor shortage in about a decade. The need for new doctors is especially crucial in rural areas.
Shannon Price is training to become a doctor. She is on the cover of the March 3 edition of USA Today. The article points out that without more training, the number of doctors will start to drop in 10 years.
Shannon says, "I was quite surprised to be on the cover of USA Today. I think it's a really good way to draw people's attention to the pending medical crisis nationwide."
The shortage hits rural communities particularly hard. Local hospitals in Perry and Marianna offer special scholarships to Florida State University's College of Medicine.
In return, students must return to their hometowns.
Nancy Kinnaly, who works for public information at the FSU College of Medicine, says, “We're very grateful to those institutions for seeing FSU College of Medicine as a way of improving the physician supply and recruiting the kinds of doctors that people in those communities need and want."
Shannon adds, "It was absolutely a great idea to try to get physicians back to their hometown. It benefits not only the local hospitals, but the medical students as well."
Price is one of three students from Perry taking advantage of the opportunity.
Dr. Bilal Khodr of DMH Pediatric Medicine says, "We've been having significant problems getting physicians to come here to town and work here and stay here. We're very lucky and fortunate to have somebody from town here."
The FSU College of Medicine will graduate its first class this year. There is an open house so that the public can tour the new 300-square-foot facility on Saturday, March 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.