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August 27, 1973

Training in a Small Town for Rural Practice

Author Affiliations

From the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey.

JAMA. 1973;225(9):1103-1105. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220370041010

The delivery of health care in small towns and rural areas is a major unsolved problem. The building of small hospitals has proved economically and professionally unsound. The construction of two-man office-clinics has not uniformly recruited nor retained physicians. Experience at Hershey suggests a minimum critical mass of four family physicians when the clinic is hospital based. There is a need for ambulatory health care in communities without a hospital. A model demonstration facility is being built for four physicians with allied healthpersonnel support to give ambulatory and emergency care and health education to a town 35 miles from the medical center. A full-time faculty member will be in residence. Medical, nursing, medex students, and house officers will be housed and trained. Laboratory, roentgenographic, dental, and pharmaceutical services are included. Patients requiring hospitalization are referred.