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February 18, 1974

Migration of Urbanites to Small Towns for Medical Care

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Community Medicine of the Department of Family Practice and the Division of Continuing Education, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta.

JAMA. 1974;227(7):770-773. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230200028005

In recent decades, the concentration of medical manpower and facilities in large metropolitan areas has paralleled the rapid urban centralization of most products and services in the United States. Predictably, people living in small towns and rural areas go to large cities for some of their medical services. However, it is generally not appreciated that physicians practicing in small towns spend a sizeable proportion of their time providing medical care to people who live in somewhat distant, large, metropolitan areas. Apparently, these urban citizens perceive the presence of a type of medical care in small towns that is more desirable than that provided in large cities.