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The Country Doctor Revisited

A Twenty-First Century Reader

Therese Zink

208 pages
The Kent State University Press
An anthology that addresses the changing nature of rural medicine in the United States

“These authors courageously document the emotional and literally physical vulnerabilities they experience while delivering care in rural communities. … This book exquisitely illustrates the complexity of ‘dual relationships’ and boundary issues in rural practice.”—Family Medicine

Over the past thirty years, rural health care in the United States has changed dramatically. The stereotypical white-haired doctor with his black bag of instruments and his predominantly white, small-town clientele has imploded: the global age has reached rural America. Independently owned clinics have given way to a massive system of hospitals; new technology now brings specialists right to the patient’s bedside; and an increasingly diverse clientele has sparked the need for doctors and nurses with an equally diverse assortment of skills.

The Country Doctor Revisited is a fascinating collection of essays, poems, and short stories written by rural health care professionals on the experiences of doctors and nurses practicing medicine in rural environments, such as farms, reservations, and migrant camps. The pieces explore the benefits and burdens of new technology, the dilemmas in making ethically sound decisions, and the trials of caring for patients in a broken system. Alternately compelling, thought provoking, and moving, they speak of the diversity of rural health care providers, the range of patients served in rural communities, the variety of settings that comprise the rural United States, and the resources and challenges health care providers and patients face today.

Author Bio
Therese Zink is a family physician who practices in rural Minnesota and is a faculty member of the Rural Physician Associate Program at the University of Minnesota Medical School. She has written and published articles in medical journals, contributed to books, served as editor of a special issue on violence in older women, and serves on the editorial board of two medical/social science journals.