3 Reasons Accepting a Rural Healthcare Job Has Its Benefits

Bob Miller

Rural communities have traditionally had difficulty attracting healthcare providers. Currently, about 20% of the U.S. population lives in rural communities, and these populations report higher levels of poor health than their urban counterparts. These communities often have unstable economic infrastructures and fewer job opportunities for residents. These are all reasons that these communities struggle to maintain their rural hospitals and attract healthcare personnel. For healthcare providers, however, there are some clear benefits for accepting roles in these communities. We’ll look at three of them.

Benefits of Community Health for Providers

Higher quality of life

Healthcare providers offering care in rural communities experience a higher quality of life. Many of these communities are in beautiful natural settings that discard the stressful city environment in our urban centers. These communities have a much lower cost of living, so healthcare salaries stretch further. Given the skyrocketing cost of housing in urban centers, the affordability of homes with or without acreage is highly attractive to families seeking an alternative to city life. These communities have lower crime and good schools as well as generally less stress. Imagine little to no traffic on your way to work in an idyllic setting with plenty of fresh air and access to outdoor activities. These are all real benefits of working in rural communities today.

Less debt.

If you’re leaving residency with massive debt, you’re not alone. There has been a significant increase in medical school costs since 2012. This leaves many students leaving school with six-figure debt set at about six percent interest on a 10-year repayment plan. But what if a significant portion (or all) of this debt could be wiped away?

If you take a job in a health professional shortage area, the government offers loan repayment and forgiveness options for serving in these regions. When coupled with a lowered cost of living, a rural healthcare job becomes much more attractive for many professionals.

Wider experiences.

In larger, urban healthcare facilities, the profession is siloed. There are many ancillary services, primary care and specialty, internists, hospitalists, midlevels, and more. That means your experiences will also be siloed with few or no opportunities for you to practice above your professional paygrade. Rural healthcare is interesting; you will need to wear many hats. Patients that would normally be shuttled to a specialist will visit your practice and you will gain exposure and experience with a broader scope of illness and injury. This is tremendously valuable to a new nurse or doctor, who will advance much more quickly in a rural setting.

Rural healthcare is different. It gives clinical and non-clinical teams a chance to do good work for a community that they get to know, appreciate, and care for over many years of service. It’s a different work environment that can serve as a viable and valuable career path. The difference from a large healthcare setting is stark, and for many clinical providers, it is a welcome change.

If you’re looking to make a difference, MedSource Consultants can help. Start the conversation with our team of leading recruiters today and we will find you the perfect fit.