City’s Role in Attracting and Retaining Doctors in Rural MN

The League is seeking information from cities about difficulties attracting physicians to rural areas and possible models for a legislative response.
(Published Feb 18, 2014)

League staff have been contacted by legislative staff on an emerging issue related to difficulties attracting and retaining doctors in rural Minnesota. Although the League does not currently have a specific position on the issue, we want to assist legislators in collecting information on the seriousness of the issue and possible models for a legislative response.

Please answer the following questions:

  1. Is your city (or your region) experiencing significant challenges to attract and retain doctors? If yes, please briefly describe.
  2. Has your city taken any proactive step to attract and retain doctors in your rural communities? If so, please describe the steps your city has taken.

The League is aware of a couple of programs that have the goal of attracting physicians to rural areas. The Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) gives third-year University of Minnesota medical students a hands-on experience for one year in a rural community. In Iowa, through the Iowa Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program, the state and communities pay a portion of a new doctor’s student loans for medical school if the doctor agrees to devote five years to service in a rural community with a population under 26,000.

Please send your city’s responses to the above questions to Heather Corcoran (see info at right) by noon on Feb. 21.

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