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FSU Medical Students To Explore Rural Healthcare Options


Florida State University medical students are heading out into rural Florida for an up-close look at the challenges and opportunities in healthcare in underserved areas.

Florida has been trying to attract more doctors to practice in rural areas, and the Florida State University College of Medicine was founded to do just that. But it’s hard getting doctors into underserved areas. The college's Dr. Gail Bellamy says the challenges facing many of those communities is different in each place.

“I think what’s important for people to recognize is that choosing to live in a small town shouldn’t condemn you to lack of access to health," she says.

Some rural communities are grappling with trying to take care of an aging population, while others face greater challenges in dealing with minority health. Students will travel to Gadsden County, Blountstown, Perry, Florida and Madison.

Bellamy is hoping to get more students interested in primary care.

“What is absolutely essential and drawing on our mission is primary care. Helping people to maintain good health," she says.

Students will meet with primary care physicians, nurses and administrators.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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