Life as a Doctor in the Middle of Nowhere


There is a major problem in the United States with rural access to healthcare - especially surgical procedures. Making matters worse, 60% of rural surgeons are expected to retire in the next decade. Anticipating this problem, the University of Minnesota is one of only ten states that supports a specialized residency in rural surgery.


We discuss the state of rural medicine in Minnesota with Dr. Samantha Leonard, the first resident to complete this program, and Dr. Tyler Goettl, who is in his fourth year of the rural surgery residency program. Dr. Goettl will graduate in 2020. Dr. Samantha Leonard graduated from the University of Minnesota Department of Surgery residency program as the first rural surgeon graduate.  She is currently a practicing surgeon in rural Michigan.