More South Dakota Doctors

The health care industry is facing projected shortages of health professionals, including physicians, nationwide. These shortages are further pressured by a growing aging population and increasing numbers of individuals with chronic health conditions.

Purpose of the More South Dakota Doctors program: Expand the state's education capacity to prepare additional primary care providers for rural areas.

Goals:

  1. Increase the USD Medical School capacity.
     
  2. Implement a rural track to provide selected third-year medical students with an extended experience in rural communities.
     
  3. Increase the number of South Dakota primary care physician graduates locating in South Dakota and specifically in communities of 10,000 or less

The shortage of healthcare professions is exacerbated in South Dakota by health professionals concentrating in the state’s most populous areas while 59 of the state’s 66 counties remain federally designated, all or in part, as a health professional shortage area.

  • Medical School Expansion – increased the USD Medical School class size by four students per year and implemented the Frontier and Rural Medicine (FARM) program, a rural track to provide selected third-year medical students with an extended experience in rural communities.
  • Primary Care Task Force – appointed task force to make recommendations to ensure accessibility to primary care for all South Dakotans – particularly those in rural areas of the state. The Governor’s Primary Care Task Force developed recommendations around five specific areas:  capacity of healthcare educational programs; quality rural health experiences; recruitment and retention; innovative primary care models; and accountability and oversight.