Posted On March 14, 2017 By In Marketplace

Wanted: One Doctor to Answer the Call of the Rockies

If you have a dollar in your pocket right now and would relish the opportunity to practice in your own clinic in the Rocky Mountains, Park County, CO is waiting to fulfill your dreams. There’s a five-room clinic there that has been vacant for over 2 years, leaving some 16,000 residents without a local facility that can set their broken bones, prescribe antibiotics for their children’s earaches, or even provide follow-up for chronic conditions. Park County is so eager to have a physician among them that they’re offering the clinic—furnishings, x-ray equipment, heart monitors and all—for $1 per year. (They say they would literally give it away but are required by law to collect rent.) Katherine Fitting, MD, who ran the clinic until she retired, says she saw around 3,500 patients every year but found it difficult to turn a profit. That’s why the county is subsidizing the cost of the real estate. The town of Fairplay actually owns the property and the building, which was built after the community raised $600,000 for its construction. Even if practicing rural medicine isn’t to your liking, the scenario is a reminder that there are opportunities for clinicians who are willing to set up shop in underserved areas, with local municipalities often willing to provide incentives to help improve access to good care for residents.

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