The Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health in Seaforth is marking its 10th anniversary, training students for medical careers in a rural setting.
While the organization has encountered success in steering students toward working in rural areas, many small communities remain challenged in attracting new doctors and medical staff.
A member of the Bluewater Area Family Health Team board of directors, Bill Archibald says part of the issue is human nature, and what people are used to.
He contends that young people brought up in a rural environment will stay or return to that setting, while those brought up in urban areas will eventually return to city life.
Archibald calls on the provincial government to increase the financial incentive to lure doctors to rural regions, and to adjust the rules under which grants are awarded.
He says because some rural areas can be isolated, it takes time to find the right candidates for medical careers who are likely to stay on staff at small clinics.