The Cap Times: What obstacles complicate health care for rural Wisconsinites?

The Cap Times: What obstacles complicate health care for rural Wisconsinites?

The same aspects of rural life that are attractive to many Wisconsinites — solitude, space, smaller communities — can often make getting the health care they need a challenge that ranges from mere inconvenience to life-threatening. Long distances between medical facilities and the people they serve, as well as struggles to attract and retain healthcare professionals in rural areas, are stark manifestations of this quandary.

Medicine on Main Street, a documentary co-produced by Wisconsin Public Television and University of Wisconsin-Madison, chronicles these barriers through the stories of doctors, nurses and other health workers who practice in the state’s rural communities.

Premiering in April 2019, the documentary marks the 10-year anniversary of UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine, which trains and incentivizes medical students to practice in underserved rural communities around the state. The program aims to alleviate some of the most pressing rural health challenges, which the documentary investigates.

Four broad obstacles help define the difficulty of accessing rural healthcare. UW-Madison faculty and health professionals based in rural Wisconsin described these barriers in the documentary.

Read the full Cap Times article here.