Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Quality Rural Health Care with Less Burnout

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The elderly patient came back to our rural hospital from a hospital in a nearby larger city after having had major surgery and feeding-tube placement. The care from the bigger hospital was superb except that the patient was getting too much nutrient and fluids and was a bit “overloaded.” Also, the family was concerned that perhaps they had been too aggressive in getting stressful surgery for their elderly mom, whose memory had begun to slip. As her physician, I cut back on the feeding-tube supplements, stopped the intravenous fluids, provided a little diuretic and did labs and X-ray for dementia. I took plenty of time with family and patient learning about their wishes should our patient again deteriorate. All agreed to emphasize comfort from here on out, and if she started to fail, we would do our best in her home hospital and not transfer her care again.

I had been that patient’s primary care doc for years. Practicing outpatient and inpatient care in a smaller town gave me the experience to see what was happening. The patient and family knew me, trusted me and appreciated the time I spent listening to her. Quality care reviewers, government oversight people and insurance companies also know the value of a well-trained rural primary care provider who not only understands how to care for complex patients, but also, knows when and where to refer when specialized care is needed. In fact, experts believe an ideal system would define a primary care provider for every person.

Unfortunately, there are not enough rural primary care docs. Many speculate as to why this is; however, I believe the need has resulted from misinformed med students and residents who think the lifestyle in rural America is not satisfying enough. In the July 2019 issue of South Dakota Medicine, a survey of family physicians practicing in that state found much lower burnout rates in family docs practicing in rural areas (25 percent) compared with those practicing in larger metropolitan areas (51 percent). Evidently, some social aspects of rural practice seem to confer a protective effect against burnout. This new data should be helpful when young physicians are looking for the most satisfying places to practice.

My elderly patient went home in about a week, happy with our community hospital and the care she received. Her doctor was also pleased, as he had the reward of successful care, the honor of satisfied family and the joy of truly helping someone while practicing in a rural setting. 

Richard P. Holm, MD is founder of The Prairie Doc® and author of “Life’s Final Season, A Guide for Aging and Dying with Grace” available on Amazon.

DOC

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Suicide, a Permanent Answer to a Temporary Problem

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - The Cost of Health Care

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Historical Trauma

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Blood Vessel Disease

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COURT

Traffic Court up to September 2019

Turner, Philip Russell II, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Patton, Amanda, driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Ramey, Tyler Ray, failure to stop or obey railroad crossing signal, fines $195, court... [More]

Wallace County District Court Sentencings

On May 15th, Vance Diamond Halsey appeared in the Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney, Christopher Rohr, Colby for sentencing in the matter of case 2019-CR-03.  Halsey was charged with Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer on March 12, 2019, ... [More]

Traffic Court for May-June 2019

May Traffic Report Thomas, Dyami R, Bellingham, Wash, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Araujo Pompa, Almedio, Coral Gables, Fla, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Lennon, Jake Owen, Pittsburg, Penn, driving 93 mph... [More]

Traffic Court for April 2019

James Manuel Phillips, Gardner, Colo, driving 77 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $57 and court costs $108. Kenzie Marie Spreier, Colby, Kans, diving 80 in a 65 mph zone, fines $75 and court costs $108. Erick Edward Jarosz, Canon City, Colo, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]

Brandon and Fugate Sentenced

Jonathan Brandon appeared in Wallace County District Court on April 10th, 2019, with his court appointed attorney, Steve Cott, Garden City, for sentencing in cases 17 CR 51 and 17 CR 58. Each case charged Brandon with Distribution of Methamphetamine within 1000 feet of a school,... [More]

Traffic Court reports Apr 11, 2019

Chandler, Garrett Scott, Pueblo, Colo, driving 75 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $69, court costs $108. Palmier, Joshua Quayshun, Birmingham, Ala, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $99, court costs $108. Chavez, Brenda Icilice, Denver, Colo, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]

March District Court

On March 13th, 2019 Charlene Valdez appeared in Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney Leslie Beims, Goodland in the matter of case number 2017 CR 42. Valdez had been charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, within 1,000’ of a school,... [More]

Traffic Court reports for February

Chandler, Garrett Scott, of Pueblo, Colo, cited for driving 79 mph in a 65-mph zone, ordered to pay $65 in fines and $108 in court costs. Palmier, Joshua Quayshun, of Birmingham, Ala, cited for driving 84 mph in a 65-mph zone, ordered to pay $99 in fines and $108 in court... [More]

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NEWS

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Election Results

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Halloween Spectacle 2019

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Trunk or Treat

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WPAA to Feature Adam Gardino on Nov. 10

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BUGLE NOTES

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Bugle Notes - Nov 7, 2019

On Saturday, the Fort Wallace Museum welcomed author Chuck Warner and his wife Karen to the Museum to discuss his new book “Birds, Bones and Beetles,” about his grandfather Charles “Bunk” Bunker, who was a KU Naturalist that explored Wallace County and... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 31, 2019

The 2019 Smoky Hill Trail Conference held at the Fort Wallace Museum is now in the rearview mirror! The event hosted 75 folks, including several national names in Western History research, as the role of Fort Wallace in Trail history was explored. Tours, lectures, networking,... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 17, 2019

The Smoky Hill Trail Conference weekend is here, and we are excited to host folks from all over Kansas, Colorado and beyond! The theme of the weekend is “Fort Wallace - the Fightin’est Fort on the Smoky Hill Trail,” and presentations will explore the events,... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 10, 2019

This Saturday night, we are delighted to welcome Rachel Garcia and Thu Tran “The Singer and the Songwriter” to the Fort Wallace Museum for an evening of live music at 7pm as part of the High Plains Public Radio Artists Series! The Singer and The Songwriter is the... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 3, 2019

The Fort Wallace Memorial Association is truly excited about the upcoming Smoky Hill Trail Conference taking place on Friday, Oct. 18 - Sunday, Oct. 20. This year’s conference theme is “Fort Wallace - the Fightin’est Fort on the Smoky Hill Trail.”... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Sep 26, 2019

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Bugle Notes - Sep 19, 2019

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Bugle Notes - Aug 15, 2019

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