Program Brings More Doctors to Rural Nebraska

I love calling Craig, Nebraska (population 220) home. I don't mind going without the conveniences of big city life, but some services are central to survival in rural Nebraska - like medical care.
I may have the University of Nebraska Medical Center's Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP) to thank for the fine care I receive from the medical team in the small town of Oakland, Nebraska, less than 10 miles from my home.  

In just over a decade, the program placed 16 doctors and physicians assistants in Nebraska towns of less than 3,500 people, 42 in towns of less than 10,000 and 89 in towns and cities of 30,000 or fewer.  Those numbers are big for rural Nebraska, where having a doctor in the community means that elderly residents stay in small towns and young families receive medical care within walking distance of home.  

Not all rural Nebraskans have medical providers in their communities, however.  The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UMNC) and University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) are working to meet the demand for family physicians in rural areas by establishing the Kearney Health Opportunities Program (KHOP) modeled after RHOP.  

Five students a year will be accepted into KHOP starting this fall.  After the students complete their undergraduate studies at UNK, they will be automatically accepted into medical school at UNMC, provided they maintain an acceptable grade point average.  Tuition for time spent at UNK will be waived, but students must pay tuition and apply for scholarships at UNMC.

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