In What Types of Communities Do Rural Women Physicians Practice?
Our prior research has shown that the lack of women physicians in rural areas will become an increasingly significant problem as their proportion in the physician workforce expands. Little research exists on strategies to make rural practice a more attractive option for women physicians. This national study involves a secondary analysis of a newly constructed data set that covers all rural places in the U.S. We will identify those rural areas that have attracted or lost a female physician between 1991 and 1996. We will then attempt to describe the types of towns in which women locate and the particular characteristics of towns gaining and losing male and female physicians. This project will be of importance to national and state entities concerned with health personnel planning as well as medical school administrators and programs focused on placing providers in rural practice settings. Further, it will provide information essential for designing more targeted studies.