Why Choose Rural Destinations for Locum Tenens?

You’d probably expect to find healthier people in rural areas, due to the fresh air and loads of space, but it’s actually the opposite. According to the County health Rankings, health is declining in rural towns and the physician shortages are rising. In addition, the American Medical Association discovered that 1/5 of the US population lives in non-metropolitan areas, but less than 11% of physicians practice in these areas. Rural destinations for locum tenens can deliver some awesome benefits that can’t be found in cities.

Benefits of Rural Destinations for Locum Tenens

Some people love the hustle and bustle of big cities and wouldn’t consider moving to the “middle of nowhere.” But, even if you’re not in love with the countryside, rural towns for locum tenens can be a great experience. Plus, you can choose to stay as short or as long as you’d like.

Here are some of the greatest benefits of working in rural towns:

  • Higher salaries
  • Lower cost of living
  • Shorter commutes to work
  • Lower crime rates and safer communities
  • More fulfilling work by helping underserved communities
  • Opportunity to form better relationships with patients

4 Rural Destinations for Locum Tenens

You probably know about some of the coolest cities in the country, but what about the countless rural areas? Demand for locums in rural towns is increasing, especially with the new changes to the visa policy. After reading some of the benefits of being a locum tenens in a rural location, you might be considering one for your next assignment. Based on the 2015 State Physician Workforce Data Book, we put together a list of states with rural destinations for locum tenens that need your help.

1. Mississippi

Mississippi only has 184.7 active physicians per 100,000 residents. This is the lowest in the AAMC’s data book. It might not be the first place on your list, but Mississippi offers a wide variety of landscapes and things to do. There are sandy gulf beaches, rolling hills, and many other beauties. As the birthplace of B.B. King and Elvis Presley, this state is perfect for music lovers. You’ll also have some of the most delicious meals, with farm-fresh foods and hidden local gems. Who doesn’t love a little bit of southern comfort?

2. Wyoming

Wyoming has one of the lowest physician-to-patient ratios in the country at 196.7:100k, so it’s one of the top rural destinations for locum tenens. Aside from providing care to underserved communities, you’ll be able to explore some of the greatest outdoor recreation. From attending rodeos to snowmobiling, Wyoming has something to offer for everyone. With Hot Springs State Park, Yellowstone National Park, Devil’s Tower, and other great sights, you’ll never get bored on your days off.

3. Oklahoma

With 201.8 active physicians per 100,000 residents, Oklahoma is facing a huge physician shortage. While the state might not sound like the most exciting place to travel to, it actually has a lot to offer. With tons of picturesque sights to visit and even some nightlife throughout the state, it could easily be one of your favorite rural destinations for locum tenens. You can visit the Quachita National Forest, hike trails on the Rockies and Appalachians, or head to one of the few casinos if you’re wanting a night out.

4. Iowa

It’s clear that Iowa is experiencing a physician shortage, with only 211 active physicians per 100k residents. Iowa is a state with plenty of rural destinations for locum tenens as well as some urban locations. In the rural areas, you can explore hundreds of miles of trails and adventure through Pikes Peak State Park. In addition, the Botanical Gardens in Dubuque are always blooming something beautiful no matter the time of year. If you’d like to experience some urban life, you can tour the capital building or do some shopping around the unique city of Des Moines.

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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