In a big city doctors and hospitals aren't that hard to find, but across the country many rural areas are underserved when it comes to medical professionals.
“We have a major emphasis these days on retention, its not just getting people to go to rural communities, its how can they stay here there and be effective in what they do,” says Dr. Michael Glasser, Associate Dean for Rural Health at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford.
The U of I College of Medicine at Rockford recruits medical students form small towns, and trains them in rural medicine. Students receive training on what challenges rural Doctors and complete a 16 week rotation in a rural community in Illinois. Dr. Pederson was one of those students.
“I corresponded with my teachers in Rockford via the computer tracking every patient encounter and diagnosis that I saw,” Says Pederson.
Dr. Pederson now works in Freeport, which by rural medicine standards could be considered a metropolitan area. Over 80% of the rural medicine program graduates are working in cities of less than 20,000 people.