Although the physician shortage in rural America has long been a challenge for recruiters, it has become amplified right now. Nearly 20% of U.S. citizens live in rural locations, yet less than 10% of U.S. physicians practice there.
With a majority of elective care cancelled this past spring, and many people hesitant to go to a hospital because of coronavirus, Alan Morgan, the head of the National Rural Health Association says the coronavirus is a threat to rural hospitals that are already at the financial brink. Unfortunately, a limited number of physicians (and facilities closing) means many people will go without the medical care they need. In fact, 23% of people in rural areas already say access to good medical care and doctors is a major problem in their community, compared to 9% in suburban areas, per PMC.