Improving Rural Access to Emergency Physicians

Authors

  • Daniel A. Handel MD, MPH,

    1. Center for Policy Research in Emergency Medicine, Portland, OR
    2. Department of Emergency Medicine, Science University, Portland, OR
    3. School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jerris R. Hedges MD, MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Policy Research in Emergency Medicine, Portland, OR
    2. Department of Emergency Medicine, Science University, Portland, OR
    Search for more papers by this author
  • For the SAEM IOM Task Force

    1. Center for Policy Research in Emergency Medicine, Portland, OR
    Search for more papers by this author

(Email: hedgesj@ohsu.edu).

Abstract

The recent Institute of Medicine report entitled The Future of Emergency Care in the United States Health System acknowledges workforce issues in rural America but does not adequately address the current shortage of emergency medicine residency–trained and board-certified emergency physicians in rural America. Areas worthy of further attention to ameliorate this threat include 1) government and hospital support of emergency medicine resident educational debt load, 2) modification of residency review committee for emergency medicine guidelines to permit modified training programs that are rural focused, and 3) support of pilot projects designed to modify the delivery of rural emergency care under remote supervision by academic medical center–based practitioners. The authors discuss these potential solutions to help guide policy makers seeking to enhance rural emergency care delivery through a stronger emergency medicine workforce.

Ancillary