So, what keeps you coming back for more?

What do physicians find most satisfying about their life and work in rural Colorado? Well, according to the docs themselves, it’s a mix of personal factors and professional pride.

Although much of Colorado is composed of rural areas, health care providers are not evenly distributed in these areas. Many issues make it difficult to attract and retain physicians, such as the fact that medical schools and residencies are generally located in metropolitan areas. And, of course, if a community can’t recruit or retain a physician, it becomes more difficult for residents of the community to have reasonable access to health care.

CHI has just released the findings from a survey of Colorado’s rural physicians that highlights the specific factors that are important to these health care providers.

According to survey findings, the areas of highest satisfaction related to living and working as a physician in rural Colorado were the community (84 percent), the ability to provide quality care (84 percent) and work-life balance (60 percent).

By contrast, the physicians reported that the least satisfying aspects for them were the economic and administrative challenges of maintaining a practice. For instance more than half of rural physicians in Colorado (56 percent) reported that they were very dissatisfied with the overhead costs of maintaining a practice. A similar number (49 percent) were very dissatisfied with administrative tasks.

Are these similar or different to what keeps you satisfied or challenged in your career?

We invite you to browse the chart pack, A Profile of Colorado’s Rural Physicians, to find out more about who Colorado’s rural physicians are, their practice characteristics, medical training, recruitment factors and the policies that affect patient access. 

Athena Dodd is a research analyst at CHI.