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The average economic impact of one family physician is

Source: Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies, February 2009

accepted into a higher education health professional program) support from the AHEC, CRH, and SMHS does not end. During a student’s studies, opportunities for the student to experience rural health care firsthand through clinical rotations are available. The AHEC is taking the lead with this, and is following the footsteps of other strong programs such as the Student/Resident Experiences and Rotations in Community Health (SEARCH), Don Breen, and Rural Opportunities in Medical Education (ROME). In line with the mission of the SMHS, the AHEC and CRH support students going into rural communities to see firsthand what it is like to live, work, and enjoy rural life. Connecting with the culture and lifestyle found in a rural community is as important to students as learning and experiencing the quality of care, availability of technology, and formal connections with other health providers (both in rural and urban settings) present in a rural health organization. All of the efforts of the SMHS as exercised through its range of programs work in concert with each other, avoiding duplication of effort. The aim is to support health workforce initiatives in whatever way possible. The AHEC, CRH, and SMHS believe that putting students into rural communities increases the likelihood of their staying or going back to those communities. Solutions for the job seeker, health organization (employer), and community in need of a health professional are created through these partnerships. This makes for healthy communities, which in turn create a healthier North Dakota. Recruitment and Retention In addition to clinical rotations, the formal academic part of the pipeline provides a number of other support structures and systems. For example, the Health Workforce Information Center (HWIC), an online information portal filled with health workforce related resources, is a resource shared with students, teachers, and others interested in learning more about health care careers, including wage potential, education requirements, and job prospects. HWIC serves as a catalog of

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NORTH DAKOTA MEDICINE Holiday 2012

scholarships, loan repayment opportunities, and loan options. This federally funded initiative, located in the CRH, is frequently met with encouraging responses as to how useful a tool it is. North Dakota has a significant need for primary care providers; we are fortunate to have a school of medicine that is one of the top in the country for producing family medicine physicians. In addition to a significant percentage of medical students entering primary care, there are programs in place to support these efforts and encourage students to work in rural areas. In addition to ROME, Don Breen, and SEARCH, there are the RuralMed Scholar Program, which provides full scholarship support in exchange for a medical student’s commitment to serve in a rural area for four years, Indians into Medicine (INMED), and financial incentive programs such as the federally supported National Health Service Corps (NHSC) that are well established at the SMHS. Numerous students take advantage of these offers. Once ready to enter the workforce, health care providers have many different motivations and factors for choosing a community to practice in. Again, the CRH, AHEC, and SMHS have a plan in place to support them through this process. Through funds designated from the state, the CRH has a full-time employee, Mark Barclay, dedicated as a workforce specialist. Barclay provides placement assistance to both providers seeking rural opportunities and rural facilities searching for quality providers. Barclay’s main focus is coordinating this for physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, but any health care professional is welcome and encouraged to use these resources. This recruitment assistance provided through the CRH is unique to the state. Facilities that use the CRH’s recruitment services pay no fees. This can be a large savings to a financially vulnerable rural health system, as private recruiters often charge as much as $25,000 to bring a provider to a rural community. In addition to the cost savings, the CRH also has access to the best source of rural health care providers in the country. The CRH is the North Dakota member of the National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network

North Dakota Medicine Holiday 2012  

North Dakota Medicine Holiday 2012

North Dakota Medicine Holiday 2012  

North Dakota Medicine Holiday 2012

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