The People-to-People Health Foundation conducted a national survey of rural physicians in 1993 and 1994 to examine their practice style and supply in medically underserved areas.
Approximately 40 percent of the 1,601 rural physicians surveyed planned to leave theircurrent practice at some point in the future; 22 percent of them within five years.
Some 44 percent planned to remain in rural medicine indefinitely, while another 38 percent planned to leave rural medicine altogether.
The practice patterns of rural physicians and those who practiced in "crisis areas" (areas with extremely low physician-to-population ratios) were similar.
Rural physicians made use of non-physician providers, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and expected to increase their use of these health care professionals.