Every Friday, KBIA’s Health and Wealth Desk curates the week’s most interesting (or so we think) articles and reports on rural health, wealth and society issues.
Osteopathic Physicians: An Answer To Rural Health Care Needs?
It’s no secret the U.S. is facing a shortage of primary care physicians – especially in rural areas, which is home to some 20 percent of all Americans, but only has 9 percent of all physicians. Compared to specialized medicine such as surgery and cardiology, primary care does not pay as well – and the average student loan debt for med school graduates is $161,290. Only about 24 percent of MD graduates lean to primary care. That’s not the case with recent osteopathic medicine graduates, though.
Listen to a conversation between KBIA's Lukas Udstuen and MU Professor Brian Dabson about why Dabson believes the Internet is crucial to the future of small towns.
Is high-speed Internet the way to attract more people to live in rural Missouri? One MU professor seems to think so. First – let’s dial back a little bit. In a story that KBIA aired on Feb. 13, our reporter Lukas Udstuen investigated the story of Goss, a rural town in Monroe County, Missouri. Its population? Zero.
A shortage of rural health care professionals throughout the state has health systems connecting with patients in remote areas through telehealth.
At the University Hospital in Columbia, telehealth coordinator Samuel Woodard thumbs a remote which sends a camera at the far end of the room spinning around to face him. His co-workers at the Missouri Telehealth Network offices across town appear on the screen.
“Hey Katie, how’s it going? We’re just going over the equipment, showing him how the telehealth unit works.” Woodard says.
Missouri Telehealth Network coordinator Samuel Woodard holds up an otoscope, a tool used for examining the inside of an ear canal, which is able to provide a live feed to a television screen on Sept. 20 at the University Hospital in Columbia.
Credit Lee Jian Chung / KBIA
A stethoscope rests on top of a telehealth unit during a demonstration on Sept. 20 at the University Hospital in Columbia. The stethoscope is able to provide a live audio feed of a patient’s heartbeat to doctors in distant sites.
In September, the state awarded grants to eleven rural Missouri hospitals to improve broadband internet connections speeds. The connection would be used for telehealth, a way rural towns access physicians in bigger cities electronically. KBIA’s Lee Jian Chung brings us the first of a two part series on the expansion of telehealth services in Missouri.