Every state seems to be suffering from a shortage of primary care doctors, it seems, but the states that are hardest hit are those which are mostly rural, such as Idaho and Kentucky. Small towns and farming communities just can’t seem to find enough physicians to serve their needs, especially where mental health professionals are concerned, and as such the health of these areas is in serious trouble.
Part of the problem may actually be the marrying habits of doctors. As gender equality improves, more women are joining the ranks of doctors and more women in general are going on to get advanced college degrees in general. People are often drawn to those of similar intelligence when it comes to long-lasting relationships, and as a result both male and female doctors are marrying more highly educated spouses than ever before.
Unfortunately, while a doctor can practice medicine wherever there are people, most professions which demand advanced degrees are located in and around large population centers, and where one spouse goes for work the other will follow. Since the doctor has more employment options, his or her spouse is more likely to determine where the two live.
There are other factors which lead doctors to abandon rural areas. Although the cost of living in a metropolitan area is much higher than it is in a small town, wages are also higher, and for a profession as traditionally well-paid as physicians this wage increase more than makes up for higher property values and grocery bills. Cities have represented an opportunity for a better life ever since urbanization began, and so it’s not too surprising that they would attract a lot of highly skilled professionals.
Fortunately, there is a way for rural physicians to increase their patient load without overworking themselves. ProScribe can provide hospitals and clinics across the nation with highly trained non-practicing administrative assistants who can handle all the tedious but necessary aspects of modern medicine: fielding phone calls, filing insurance paperwork, collecting test results, and other tasks that don’t demand the attention of a medical expert.
By taking care of these tasks, physicians are free to schedule more patients each day and can spend more time with them than the cameo appearances we’ve come to expect from our doctors. Every clinic can benefit from ProScribe’s services, but it’s especially critical for doctors in underserved areas to be focusing on their practice as much as possible. If you think your workplace could benefit from having some professional scribes on staff, contact us today for a free consultation.