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Keywords:

  • Rural;
  • access;
  • cancer;
  • medical oncologists

Objective

To determine the effect of visiting consultant clinics on measures of access to cancer care for rural patients.

Data Sources

2010 Visiting Medical Consultant Database for the state of Iowa (Carver College of Medicine) and the Iowa Physicians Information System (Carver College of Medicine).

Study Design

We compared shortest driving times to the nearest medical oncologist for all Iowa census tracts under two scenarios: including only primary practice locations and adding monthly visiting consultant clinic locations.

Principal Findings

For rural Iowans, the median driving time to the closest site for medical oncology care falls from 51.6 to 19.2 minutes when monthly visiting consultant clinics are considered.

Conclusions

Including visiting consultant clinics has a significant impact on measures of geographic access to cancer care.