State Rural Health Workforce Monograph

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project completed:
February 2003
Little comparative data on the rural health workforce are available at the state level. The purpose of this project is to compile and present state rural health workforce information on selected types of health care providers and to compare these data across states and the nation. Parallel data are being presented for each state, allowing national policymakers to gain both a local and national perspective on workforce issues that need to be addressed to optimize the delivery of health care. In addition, the monograph will clearly delineate key workforce concepts and will summarize the most salient and pressing rural health workforce trends, variations, issues, and data limitations. The project team, including selected external experts, investigated the availability and utility of comparable state rural health workforce data and obtained the selected data. The team has performed analyses of these secondary data to obtain state rural estimates for the supply of providers, both head counts and per capita figures. Data on allopathic and osteopathic physicians from the American Medical Association and American Osteopathic Association have been employed to allow comparisons of physicians by selected specialty types across state rural areas. In addition, the Area Resource File has been used for selected provider types when more recent data were not available from the medical associations or other sources. Special attention is being paid to issues regarding geographic identifiers (e.g., Rural-Urban Commuting Areas, metro/nonmetro counties, and Urban Influence Codes).

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