The University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford and other public universities across the state are attempting to address the shortage of health care professionals in rural areas.
The challenge is daunting, according to Dr. Alex Stagnaro-Green, dean of the College of Medicine Rockford.
“Students coming into medical school who are interested in practicing in rural areas has gone down by 28% since 2017,” Stagnaro-Green said. “At the same time, there’s been a 30% increase in the number of students entering medical school. The total number of students who matriculate to medical school who are interested in rural areas is 4.3% yet 20% of our state and country is rural. It’s as strong of a mismatch as we see anyplace else.”