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Summer in the Country: Plan Now for a Rural Physician Job

Interested in working in a rural community this year? Now is the time to start planning, especially if you want to spend your summer or fall in the country.

Rural physician jobs aren’t just for country folk. In fact, more and more practitioners from around the nation are trying their hand at life as a country doctor, with short-term and long-tern locum tenens assignments.

Temporary rural physician jobs offer the opportunity to discover a slower pace, explore the beauty of the countryside in a location you choose, and provide much-needed medical services for rural and underserved communities. 

These jobs also allow physicians to gain new skills and experience working with a patient population that may have more complicated health needs.

CHECK OUT locum tenens rural physician jobs across the U.S.

Fewer physicians, dispersed resources leave rural patients in need

The nation’s physician shortage is especially pronounced in rural communities, leaving rural hospitals, clinics and practices in need of more physicians and advanced practitioners for short-term and long-term assignments.

Patients’ access to a physician services are more limited in non-urban areas, due to the shortage of providers, economic disparities and the sheer distance that patients may have to travel to receive care. 

One out of every five people in United States live in non-metropolitan areas, yet only around one out of every 10 of the nation’s physicians practice in these areas. Rural physician jobs across all medical specialties are in demand, but primary care is of particular importance. 

There were approximately 68 primary care physicians per 100,000 residents in rural areas compared to 84 primary care physicians per 100,000 in urban areas in 2013, reports the Rural Health Information Hub, which is sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

This uneven distribution of physicians has an impact on the health of the rural population.

Health needs of rural patients

Rural patients are at risk for health disparities compared to their urban counterparts due to geographic isolation, lower socio-economic status, higher rates of health risk behaviors, lower rates of health insurance and limited job opportunities. 

Among the health differences reported by National Rural Healthcare Association:

  • Rural patients have more frequent occurrences of diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses
  • Obesity rates are higher among adults from rural vs. urban areas—39.6% vs. 33.4% (according to a 2012 study of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data)
  • Tobacco use is a significant problem, especially among youth: 28.5% of rural residents over the age of 12 smoke cigarettes, compared to 20.4% in large metropolitan areas
  • Rural areas tend to have higher proportions of elderly residents, who often require more care.
Benefits of locum rural physician jobs

Many physicians find working in small towns and rural areas extremely fulfilling, and they enjoy the chance to build relationships with patients and make a difference in their health. 

Some additional benefits of working locum tenens jobs in rural communities:

  • Rural facilities often offer better salaries to attract physician candidates
  • A lower cost of living helps locum physicians stretch their salaries even further
  • Locum tenens physicians are welcomed and appreciated by staff and patients
  • Rural areas often boast lower crime rates and a family-friendly atmosphere
  • Traffic problems and stressful commutes are a thing of the past
  • Locum assignments in rural communities allow practitioners to explore some of the most beautiful areas of the country
Get ready now to spend summer, or any season, in the country

Whether you are just starting your medical career, getting ready to leave private practice after a few decades, or are simply looking for a change, locum tenens assignments offer a range of short-term and long-term options in rural communities for your next move. 

The staff at Locum Leaders is ready to help you with your job search and everything it takes to get you ready to work as a temporary rural physician, including credentialing, licensing, relocation, housing and more.