Because of the vast depletion of resources, oftentimes pervasive hopelessness, and shocking inequities in health, etc., it’s been said that rural America is the new inner city. These areas are arguably the most marginalized areas of the United States. Our rural track is based out of Centreville, AL in a region of the country known as the “Black Belt” referring to the black soil. It is Alabama’s equivalent of the Mississippi Delta region… a severely economically depressed, rural area. The Health Care System is Leaving the Southern Black Belt Behind.
It is in this context that we sought to start a family medicine residency program. It was hard work starting a program in a town of 3,000. We also have been blessed to be a part of other “bright spots” in the region such as How we helped buck the trend of rural hospital L&D closures.