|Student-Community Meet and Greet proactively addresses health care workforce shortages|
It’s no secret that North Dakota faces emerging challenges to ensure access to an adequate workforce. In the area of health care, North Dakota’s current supply of health care professionals is below the per capita average and the state expects over 10 percent growth in demand for health care professionals by 2014. To proactively address these shortages, health care facilities from around the state will interact with health professional students at the second annual Student-Community Meet and Greet from noon to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, in the Health Sciences Vennes Atrium, School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
The event is sponsored by the local American Medical Student Association (AMSA) chapter and supported by the Center for Rural Health. Seventeen healthcare facilities from 15 North Dakota communities will be on hand to talk with students in the areas of medicine, nursing, clinical laboratory science, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and information technology.
“While workforce shortages are a challenge for the entire health care system, they are likely to be most severe in rural areas of the United States,” said Mary Amundson, assistant professor at the Center for Rural Health and coordinator of the event. “By introducing students to representatives from area health care facilities, we hope students will consider North Dakota when they are seeking employment after graduation.”
The need for primary care physicians in rural areas is evident as 11 percent of U.S. physicians practice in rural areas and in North Dakota, 32 percent of physicians practice in rural areas. “With 81 percent of North Dakota’s counties experiencing primary care shortages, it is important that current students know the opportunities that are available within the state,” said Amundson.
The Student-Community Meet and Greet is part of the celebration of primary care week at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Nationally, primary are week aims at highlighting the importance of primary care, particularly in underserved populations.
-- Tara Mertz, Communications Specialist, Center for Rural Health, firstname.lastname@example.org, 7-3720