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Practice Location: Urban Versus Rural

posted May 18, 2015, 1:36 PM by Explore More   [ updated Jun 4, 2015, 8:59 AM ]
When it comes to deciding where practice – whether it’s rural, suburban or urban – you will have options. That’s because demand for physicians is across the board in all areas, according to Merritt Hawkins, a national healthcare search and consulting firm.

It reports that 41 percent of the firm’s search assignments in 2013-2014 took place in communities of at least 100,000 people. Twenty-six percent were for communities between 25,000 and 100,000 and 33 percent were for communities under 25,000.

So because you have options, it comes down to your personal choices. Here are some considerations when deciding where to practice:  

Rural: In general, rural practices tend to be more patient-centered and less focused on pay for performance and metric elements. Doctors are more likely to identify with the patients and more easily convince them to follow medical treatments due to personal relationships.

Suburban: Physicians are more likely to have patients who are more educated and spend more time trying to be educated about their health. Patient and doctor relationships can be more business-like compared to rural areas. As a result, suburban patients tend not to accept the doctors’ orders simply because they are given. They may engage their physicians in conversations that are medically sophisticated. It may take more time to convince patients to take doctors’ orders as a result.

Urban: Many times, doctors must combat poor access to resources and social economic apathy. It’s not that patients don’t care about their health, but they don’t have the money to do what doctors need them to do. Patients worry that they are going to run out of money and will be left hanging in the middle to treatment. Doctors may have to spend more time trying to find hospital resources to treat problems that patients have and getting patients to take ownership of their medical issues.