The End of Frontier Medicine in California

Why Obamacare Can’t Save the Health Clinic I Built in Western Sierra County

Thirty-eight years ago, a young nurse practitioner, who was a veteran of the Air Force and the Army, moved his family from Denver to Downieville, California, the Sierra County seat, to volunteer for the National Health Service Corps. The village was founded during the gold rush—in 1851, its population peaked at 5,000—but by the time we arrived, there were only about 500 residents in Downieville and 1,200 in the immediate surrounding area.

On my first night in town, I was hooking up the television for my children and by sheer …

More In: rural healthcare

Can Bakersfield Find Doctors Who Won’t Run Away?

Getting Enough Physicians To the Central Valley Is Tough—But, Say Some, Doable

Estimates of the severity of America’s looming physician shortage vary, but one thing is certain: Doctors and healthcare workers are not distributed evenly around the nation, and certain regions are …

Will High-Caliber Doctors Practice In Low-Appeal Places?

Medical Professionals Often Avoid Places Like the San Joaquin Valley, But One Place In Kansas Might Have Some Ideas

It takes a special kind of doctor to practice in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

It’s one of the state’s sickest regions, with high rates of obesity and diabetes and an epidemic …

The Central Valley Is Fine If You Don’t Eat, Breathe, Or Get Sick

How Can We Improve the Health of One of the Nation’s Unhealthiest Places?

How can one of nation’s most unhealthy regions–the Central Valley of California–turn itself and its dismal statistics around? The answers lie in education, access, and addressing inequalities, a panel of …

Last Doctor For 50 Miles

How To Bring Decent Healthcare to the Central Valley

Rural healthcare in California is fighting an uphill battle–for better access, improved transportation, more coverage and reimbursement, and against doctor shortages. But there is cause for hope, agreed a panel …

What You City Docs Miss

Being a Rural Physician Is Different-Gratifyingly So


In cities, more and more of us are getting used to getting medical care that treats us as a collection of parts. We see a podiatrist for our foot, an …