Physician Residency Rural Training Baseline Study

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Project completed:
January 2002
The shortage of physicians in rural America is a long-standing problem that has persisted as physicians continue to settle preferentially in metropolitan and suburban areas. One of the strategies developed to ameliorate this situation was the establishment of rural residency training. Some of the provisions of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA97) were aimed at encouraging expanded rural graduate medical education training, while others may have the opposite effect. In addition, other factors, such as the diffusion of managed care into rural areas, may also adversely influence residency training in rural areas. This project created a rural residency baseline from which changes caused by the BBA97 and other influences could be measured. Study results describe the current extent of such residency training and will measure the changes that take place between now and five years from now in a follow-up study. All nonfederal family practice residencies (about 425) were surveyed with a mail questionnaire about their rural training activities.