Pathman et al1 are to be congratulated on their research of the comparative rural retention of National Health Service Corps (NHSC) physicians compared to non-NHSC physicians. There is a curious absence of significant documentation by the NHSC concerning retention of NHSC physicians compared to other rural physician programs and their success in retaining rural physicians.2-4
See also pp 1552 and 1559.
While I was director of the Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) for 20 years in Minnesota, I studied and experienced the reasons why medical students and physicians remain in or leave a rural community. The RPAP is a clinical clerkship during which third- and fourth-year medical students spend 9 to 12 months with a seasoned preceptor in a rural community.3 They return to the medical school for their senior year with a host of attitudes, behaviors, and skills unobtainable by their non-RPAP classmates in the urban
Verby JE. Improving the Supply of Physicians in Rural Areas. JAMA. 1992;268(12):1597-1598. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490120111039