Keeping Rural Patients Healthy


By KMVT News

Jerome, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Hundreds of doctors across the country work in rural areas like here in the Magic Valley.

Dr. Keith Davis runs his own family physician in Shoshone... he's been working in the rural community for more than 29 years and is the only doctor in Lincoln County.

"I'm the only physician in the county and have the only clinic in the county. I have two physician assistants and a nurse practitioner, as well as counselors and a certified diabetes educator," he explains.

Practicing in a small town brings challenges and offers different types of resources for Dr. Davis.

"There is no hospital in the county, although the hospitals in the area aren't real far,” he points out.

Dr. Joshua Kern works for St. Luke's Jerome and trains future rural physicians and says there has been an increase in family medicine.

"There are more doctors graduating, but there isn't a rapid in residency slots. This is why it has increased family medicine applications," he says.

The difference between working in an urban area compared to rural... is work life balance.

"One of the biggest challenges is the work life balance. What pulls a lot away from doing rural medicine is you are taking on a lot of responsibility. You are taking a lot more calls," Kern points out.

Either a small or a large town, Dr. Davis is actively helping patients to find a cure.

He recently won the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) 2014 Family Physician of the Year award.

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