It has been projected that by the year 2020, there will be approximately 120,000 physicians that we will lack in the United States. Smaller town hospital closures are prevalent in the United States. The shortage of physicians in rural communities is on the rise. The number of students interested in a potential medical physician career has become limited. Those that pursue the medical career path are most often not enticed to practice in rural areas. These increasing factors are directly and negatively impacting the average rural community, as quality patient care is compromised. The correlation exists between physician shortages, the closures of rural hospitals, and the decreased quality of patient care. The combination of the aforementioned factors is impacting rural communities in a negative way. Although the rise of hospital closures continues, there is a glimmer of hope to potentially slow down the progression. With the possibility of more states accepting federal funding, conversion of shut down facilities to other forms of access to medical care, and student programs to promote physicians in rural areas, the possibility of longevity for some rural hospitals is certain. This paper will focus on the impact of hospital closures and the delivery of patient care in rural areas.

Year Manuscript Completed

Fall 2019

Senior Project Advisor

George Michael Barton

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study

Health Care Administration

Document Type