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“FutureDocs” champion

Rockcastle Regional Hospital has been recognized as a 2018 FutureDocs Champion for its partnership with the Southern Kentucky Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in helping enrich the education of the region’s future physicians.

FutureDocs is an AHEC program that helps prepare central and southern Kentucky’s next generation of physicians with pre-med education enrichment and networking opportunities.

“By supporting these students, Rockcastle Regional Hospital is helping us connect them to resources that will enhance their chances of success, and the likelihood they will return home to practice,” said Dwain Harris, director of the Southern Kentucky AHEC, which serves 15 counties south of Fayette down to the Kentucky-Tennessee border, and is hosted by Rockcastle Regional.

The nation is projected to face a shortage of as many as 94,700 physicians by the year 2025, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The shortage will be particularly serious in rural areas, and Kentucky is no exception.

Rockcastle Regional has developed a unique, robust pipeline of local students who become physicians in the community after medical training, and those providers often agree to serve as community faculty for medical and other students who are doing clinical rotations. Studies have shown when students do at least part of their training in a rural setting, they are more likely to one day practice in a rural area.

Representatives from Rockcastle Regional attended the Community Ties banquet on April 26, which honored 17 current and future medical students from the Southern Kentucky AHEC’s region.

The Southern Kentucky AHEC strives to improve the health of its communities by promoting health careers, supporting rural rotations, providing continuing education opportunities for health professionals, and by promoting public health initiatives. For more information, visit soahec.org.

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