stwei

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Anyone here who has any info about serving in the underserved rural areas - i.e. rewards, risks, things to look out for?
 

timerick

T. D. Erickson, PA-C
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Hi!

Rural health is an area where PA's can make a very significant contribution, allowing health care to extend to areas that cannot support a doctor's salary.

The Rural Health Caucus of the AAPA (http://www.aapa.org/caucus/RHC/index.html) is a good place for information.

From what I've heard, rural health is a difficult place to have your first job as a PA, because you may need more access to consult on your first year or two, and having your supervising physician in another town or city can be difficult. It might be better to start elsewhere for a couple of years, and then when you are more comfortable in the practice, move into rural health care.
 

PACtoDOC

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There should honestly be restrictions in all states to keep PA's with minimal experience from practicing without an on sight physician, bascially banning an inexperienced PA from going rural. Alaska already has such legislation.
 

timerick

T. D. Erickson, PA-C
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The amount of time one person takes to get "ready" for that type of job may be quite different from what another person needs. And one location may be quite different from another. I think it would be better to let the physician responsible for the PA's performance in that particular location make that decision, not some lawyers and legislators in the capital city.
 

PACtoDOC

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The doctor who stands to benefit from having the PA there is not always unbiased enough to make such a decision. Legislators don't make these decisions on their own, instead the defer to the state medical board. Alaska requires 2 years experience which is good I think.
 

ruralpa

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You can still work in a rural setting if you don't have experience. Just find a place where there is a full-time MD or DO. Look at NHSC website and they have a list of places that are looking for PAs. You don't have to approve it through NHSC although these lists are created for NHSC scholars. Just contact the clinics on the list and you may find good rural rotations and a job!:clap: