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The University of Kentucky College of Medicine will set ten students on a new Rural Physician Leadership Track this fall.

Students will train for two years at the College of Medicine in Lexington, then move to Morehead State University for two more years of study, to include business courses in setting up a rural practice. Ten students will start on the rural physician track in August.

“We have to get them with the role models who’ve actually done it,” Dr. Jay Perman, dean of the College of Medicine, told the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Kentucky has fewer doctors per capita than the national average, and rural Kentucky lags further behind. “About 43 percent of Kentucky residents live in rural areas, but less than 25 percent of doctors practice in rural areas.”

A year-long study of health in rural Michigan likewise found that “recruitment and retention of health-care providers” is the top priority.

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