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Addressing the Doctor Shortage


Rural communities across the U.S. struggle to attract physicians. Adventist Health is filling that gap in Sonora.

Advanced training for physicians

Adventist Health has partnered with Rural Graduate Medical Education, a nonprofit organization funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, to start a family medicine residency in Sonora.

Rural Graduate Medical Education promotes the development of rural residency programs, training physicians who specialize in family medicine and other areas. These programs prepare physicians to practice in rural communities, helping to address the shortage of doctors in those areas.

“The Graduate Medical Education Program in Sonora will partner with Adventist Health’s existing program in Hanford, California, and will train family medicine residents here in our hospital and clinics. The program will enhance the care and overall medical experience for our community while training the next generation of physicians,” says Matthew Personius, MD, who is leading the program for Sonora. “It’s going to make medicine better here and help shape the medical community for years to come.”

The program will accept applications for four residency positions later this year.

More health providers close to home

Adventist Health Sonora’s Rural Track Graduate Medical Education Program will bring new residents — doctors with medical degrees who receive additional specialized training — to the Sierra Foothills.

Increasing the number of rural physicians in Sonora matters. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, people living in rural areas are generally at a higher risk of disease and death than those living in urban areas, in part because of a lack of access to care. Primary care physicians are the main care providers who help people prevent disease and improve health. Bringing highly trained physicians to the region will make it easier for people to get quality care.

“There is a high likelihood that the doctors who complete their rural track residency training in Sonora will choose to set down roots and continue caring for our community,” says Matthew Personius, MD, the physician leading the program.

A need for physicians

3 in 5

health professional shortage areas in the U.S. are in rural regions


of the U.S. population lives in rural communities


of physicians practice in rural areas

Source: The Association of American Medical Colleges