Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio
With few medical student showing interest in practicing in rural areas, Ohio is facing a potential workforce shortage in coming years (Source: “Decline of Rural Doctors May Leave Parts of Ohio with too Few Physicians,” The Columbus Dispatch, November 14, 2022).
Just 1% of medical students in their final year of study in 2019 said they wanted to practice in a rural area, according to a survey from the physician recruiting firm Merritt Hawkins. The survey showed that 2% wanted to practice in a town of 25,000 people or less.
The trend is a reflection of a larger one that could result in too few doctors to meet patient demand in Ohio. By 2025, the U.S. Department of Health and Human services estimates, Ohio will fall 1,200 primary care doctors short of the number needed to treat patients throughout the Buckeye state.
The shortage of rural physicians is a longstanding issue that stems from a decline in the number of independent medical practices, said Todd Baker, chief executive officer of the Ohio State Medical Association, an organization that advocates for physicians and health policy reform.