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Dr. secretwAve101 writes a great blog piece about “Why No Doctors in Them Thar Hills?” Dr. S (a family doctor) explains:
In general, there are many doctors who would gladly forgo the demand for actual dollars as compensation for their years of training and constant hard work. American history is full of examples of small-town country docs accepting cremed marmelade and a basket of Emu eggs as payment for little Dirk’s delivery and circumcision. Those days are disappearing, of course. The reason for it is actually quite simple: Medical training today costs close to 8 yearly incomes of an average middle-class American family.
There are government loan repayment programs for docs who move to rural areas. But Dr. S says the real problem with government loan repayment programs is that the repayment is taxed. So the small ($20,000) yearly repayment is immediately reduced by 30%, as one arm of the government negates the good work undertaken by another.