For many years, the National Health Service Corps has provided incentives to clinicians who agree to practice for certain lengths of time in health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) across the country. In return for their service, these health professionals receive money to repay qualifying educational loans. While some of them remain in these communities after their service obligation ends, many ultimately leave to pursue other opportunities. This month, the New England Journal of Medicine has published an article by Heather Kovich, in which she shares her unique perspective as a physician practicing in the rural area of the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico. The article is currently accessible on the NEJM website, free of charge. Its publication coincides with training hosted this week by MPCA and conducted by staff from 3RNet
, regarding best practices for retention of community health center staff, including medical providers. Statistics suggest that the availability of primary care providers will not improve any time soon, increasing the urgency of understanding this challenge from multiple perspectives and bolstering our recruitment and retention efforts.