"The best part of working in a rural community is the feeling of being needed and appreciated, " says UTMB Family Medicine alumnus, Richard Donaldson, MD.
And so it is, and it is certainly true that physicians are needed in rural areas. Roughly 20% of the population of the United States lives in an area classified by the federal government as "rural", and Texas has a larger rural population than any other state. With more than 80% of Texas' land mass designated "rural", our rural population is more than 3.3 million people. In many counties in Texas, there are one or fewer physicians in the entire county. Many of these areas offer physicians an opportunity not just to meet a community's needs, but to build or join a thriving independent practice. And in Texas, many of these communities are within an hour or two's drive from a major population center, giving residents the best of both worlds.
"Learning the business part of medicine from my preceptors, Dr. Robert Youens and Dr. Jorge Duchicela, was invaluable as I began setting up my practice." – Alphonso Luevano, MD
UTMB Health's Family Medicine Residency program has offered rural training experiences since 2000, and resident physicians wishing to concentrate or focus on rural medicine will benefit from our robust network of community-based rural training opportunities. Among these opportunities is the Youens & Duchicela Clinic in Weimar, Texas, our partner in our Integrated Rural Training Track.
The goal of the rural medicine concentration is for resident physicians to develop the special knowledge and skills to be an effective rural physician, and to foster their interest and enthusiasm for living and practicing in rural areas.