The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Northwest Oklahoma 2 2011

March 12, 2011

Is there a doctor in the house?

Northwest Oklahoma takes on the struggle to recruit physicians into rural communities

There still is a struggle to recruit primary care physicians to rural areas and smaller towns, area health care professionals say.

Dr. Brett J. Krablan of Kingfisher said it’s hard enough to recruit people to become primary care physicians, rather than specialty doctors, but it’s even harder to get them to rural areas.

“(In big cities) there’s stuff to do — good restaurants, cool places to live — so why in the world would they end up in a rural community unless they wanted to do so?” Krablan said.

Kingfisher has between eight to 10 physicians, some tied to Kingfisher Regional Hospital.

There are even fewer in Hennessey.

Dr. Dale Reinschmiedt practices family medicine in Hennessey as well as Garber.

Reinschmiedt said there’s a great need for physicians in rural areas and small towns.

“We have a large drawing area,” Reinschmiedt said. “We draw from Kingfisher, Okeene, Enid and everything west of Enid. Garber, Burlington and Crescent are in there. We even get some from Seiling and Watonga.”

And doctor shortages aren’t limited to the small towns. Reinschmiedt says there’s even a doctor shortage in Enid.

“We pick up patients all the time from Enid,” he said.

Dr. Robin L. Matson has a different view.

For a town the size of Kingfisher, there probably are enough doctors to go around, he said.

“In terms of market coverage, I think we have enough providers here,” Matson said.

He added he thinks more health care providers is not always beneficial.

“You’ve only got so many patients to go around,” he said. “When you’ve got so many patients to go around, it dilutes someone’s practice out.”

But, he said, the general need for more primary care physicians in rural areas is understandable because most doctors have a very high debt out of medical school and are going to want to go somewhere where they can earn a lot of money right away.

Reinschmiedt said one of the most important things a small community should have to attract doctors are good schools.

Also, he said, another advantage for rural doctors is to have the ability to hire a physician’s associate who can allow a doctor to have time off or see more patients in the practice.

Text Only
Northwest Oklahoma 2 2011
  • Cover.jpg Northwest Oklahoma Part 2 2011

    One of the attributes of living in Enid and Northwest Oklahoma is the abundant pride residents have in its people, land and businesses. The 2011 News & Eagle Progress edition highlights these areas and pays tribute to all of those who make our region shine 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

    March 12, 2011 1 Photo

  • Kingfisher_Doctors_BH.jpg Is there a doctor in the house?

    Dr. Brett J. Krablan of Kingfisher said it’s hard enough to recruit people to become primary care physicians, rather than specialty doctors, but it’s even harder to get them to rural areas.

    March 12, 2011 1 Photo

  • ChisholmTrailMuseum_5_BV.jpg Museum opens door to the past

    The Chisholm Trail once was the most notorious cattle trail in the nation. The trail served as a pathway leading cattle north to Kansas railheads to be shipped to the other parts of the country. The main portion of the trail ran along what is now U.S. 81.

    March 12, 2011 4 Photos

  • Living history event set in April

    On April 15 and 16 Chisholm Trail Museum, 605 Zellers Ave., in Kingfisher, is having a living history event.

    March 12, 2011

  • T.B.FergusonHome_1_BV.jpg History hits home in Watonga

    T.B. Ferguson, born in 1857 near Des Moines, Iowa, brought his family to Watonga in 1892 after a land run that settled the area.

    March 12, 2011 4 Photos

  • Watonga_Business_1_BV.jpg Watonga connected to a development CORD

    “You find gems in every community. With our base we are a microcosm of the whole state with both urban and rural areas.” — Gene Pflughoft, executive director of Central Oklahoma Regional Development

    March 12, 2011 2 Photos

  • ChisholmTrailTech_1_BV.jpg Smart way to learn

    Students apply for positions based on their desired training areas and learn at computer stations with fellow students next to them working on different aspects of the business.

    March 12, 2011 4 Photos

  • roman nose 2.jpg Renovated, ready for action

    The original lodge structure, built in the 1950s, was renovated with an emphasis on modern architecture showcasing the park area’s past and reason for existence today.

    March 12, 2011 3 Photos

  • Glass_Mtns_3_BH.jpg Northwest Oklahoma slide show

    Northwest Oklahoma offers a lot of resources when it comes to business, entertainment and simply finding a nice landscape on which to rest an eye.

    March 12, 2011 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Hennessey_ShaeBrinson.jpg Hometown Hootenanny

    “I don’t think there are many places you can go for $3. Our intention isn’t to make money; our objective to have place for people to go.” — Cathy Howard, organizer.

    March 12, 2011 3 Photos