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Rural health care

Fall 2010

Recruiting rural health care providers

On the quirky comedy Northern Exposure, an isolated Alaskan town enticed a New York City doctor to become the community’s physician. While the city doc’s angst and the eccentric residents—including a moose from WSU—drew laughs, the show highlighted a real challenge faced by many small towns and rural areas: recruiting and retaining doctors and nurses.

“There’s a shortage of all health care providers: physicians, nurses, all of the technical programs,” says Gary Smith, a senior project associate with the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) of eastern Washington. “The demand will increase even more when the economy turns around and people want to retire.”

AHEC, … » More …