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In which settings do doctors contribute most to underserved populations?

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tdod

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I've seen doctors contribute to underserved populations by volunteering with NGO's. However, this is always done in addition to their work in a local hospital. Do certain career paths, specialties, places of work, etc. allow doctors to make substantial contributions to underserved communities?
 
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Lucca

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Primary care (IM, FM, Peds, ObGyn, Psych) and ID come to mind. If global health is your interest, I've heard there is a growing demand and need for general surgeons all over the world
 
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cathemeral

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Oh man, there are so many different ways. The "best" one is just whichever one you are willing and able to work the hardest at.

NHSC says the greatest need is for family medicine, internal medicine, peds, OB/GYN, geriatrics, and psychiatrists. I would personally add general surgeons and emergency medicine docs as well.

I know this is a pre-med forum, but dang to the underserved patients I see want dentists.

If you want to practice outside the US, MSF has always seemed like a good option.
 
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Doctor-S

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I've seen doctors contribute to underserved populations by volunteering with NGO's. However, this is always done in addition to their work in a local hospital. Do certain career paths, specialties, places of work, etc. allow doctors to make especially substantial contributions to underserved communities? (emphasis supplied)
Overall, primary care (family practice or internal medicine) seems to attract the most attention.

However, in your post, you specifically asked about "especially substantial contributions" ... so I will address that part of your question:

I am familiar with some board-certified pediatricians, ophthalmologists, general surgeons and OB-GYNs who donate a lot of their spare time to underserved communities. There is also a high rate of mental health co-morbidity associated with underserved communities. So, I am aware of some psychiatrists who donate their time, too. It's safe to opine that underserved communities need health care providers (of nearly *any* specialty) due to their lack of access to regular health care providers.

Thank you.
 
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