Why Idaho's Doctor Shortage Won't Be Easy To Solve

Oct 2, 2012

Dr. Jennifer Petrie has known since she was a high school student in Lewiston, Idaho, that she wanted to be a rural family physician.

Petrie works at the Emmett Medical Center, less than an hour’s drive north of Boise.  She sees patients four days a week in her small, sparse examining room here and also works the emergency room shift a couple times a month at the neighboring hospital.

Dr. Petrie is a generalist. She didn’t want to choose a high-paying specialty.  For her, seeing all kinds of people was the most appealing thing about being a doctor.

“There is no other specialty where you can see patients in clinic, admit them to the hospital, see patients in the ER, deliver babies and do C-sections," Petrie explains.  "And for me, I love the variety, I love the continuity.  I love taking care of patients from start to finish.” 

Idaho could use a lot more people like Dr. Petrie. The state has a major doctor shortage, especially in rural areas.  Click here to continue reading...