GradImpact: Identifying What Attracts Physicians to Underserved Communities

    Finding ways to encourage medical professionals to choose to practice in underserved communities is a critical issue in the U.S. As a result, there has been an increasing focus on policies aimed to attract and retain physicians in rural and underserved areas. Teresa Zhou, a recent PhD in economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, spent her doctoral work focused on which policies are the most effective.


    One of her most important findings is that, “an increase in the reimbursement rate, or a simulated 5 percent increase in average wages for all rural physicians, increases the average stay in the same rural county by 1.34 years.” She also found that rural areas with increases in registered nurses are more likely to experience significant increases is the amount of time physicians live in the area. Dr. Zhou received a UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School Impact Award in recognition of her outstanding research.


    "Teresa's work quantifies the impacts of important economic determinants — including compensation, medical care market characteristics and local amenities — that define concerns about our state's physician maldistribution," said her adviser Donna Gilleskie. To learn more about Teresa’s work visit the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill website.


    Visit the GradImpact Feature Gallery to learn more about the amazing, innovative research being done by graduate students and alumni across the world.



    Photo Credit: UNC-Chapel Hill



    The CGS GRADIMPACT project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our WEBSITE for more information.


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