Dr. Sachita Shah and others published “Physician Workforce Partnerships in Rural American Indian/Alaska Native Communities and the Potential of Post-Graduate Fellowships” in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.
Rural American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities face physician vacancy rates over 25%. This article reviews existing programs aimed to address those gaps, then demonstrates that three recently developed clinical fellowship programs fill an important staffing gap.
The fellowships, led by faculty at large academic health centers, place fellows in clinical positions in rural AI/AN communities in partnership with tribal health systems and/or the Indian Health Service. The fellowships seek to enhance health systems’ capacity development through community-centered initiatives that include training and health promotion.