Growing Our Own Health Care Professionals….. by providing health careers education.
Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center (NEOAHEC) places emphasis on “growing our own.” Medical school surveys indicate health care professionals who grew up in a rural community are more likely to choose a rural practice than those who have no ties to a rural community. Northeast Oregon AHEC’s 1998 census of health care professionals shows 62% of the allied health and nursing respondents were originally from a rural community. Approximately 52% of the physician respondents grew up in rural areas, and that includes physician respondents from Bend and The Dalles!
A community needs to maintain a strong bond between an individual and the “hometown” to attract that person home. The AHEC focus is two-fold:
(1) to create awareness and opportunities for youth to choose health careers (through camps and encouraging school health career classes) and
(2) help communities establish long-term bonds with their health oriented youth (through health careers day, shadowing and mentoring projects).