We are accident attorneys helping people in northern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota hurt in car and truck crashes. We see the effects of closing small rural care centers when our clients are hurt in accidents. Getting an MRI may be an all-day affair. Sometimes ambulances will transport an injured victim an hour or more away for care. Patients regularly travel an hour for therapy and for specialist care. An hour’s drive in northwestern Minnesota or eastern North Dakota means 60 miles at highway speed with no stop lights, not 5 miles through city traffic.
Where will you find a doctor after you are hurt in a crash in northern Minnesota? This is a rural problem that equally affects people hurt in crashes in North Dakota. Where will those people go to get medical care?
For example, the only doctor practicing in the northwestern Minnesota town of Ada announced in November, 2013, that he is leaving that community for a job in Fargo, North Dakota, about 30 miles away. Ada was, and maybe still will be, home to a small Essentia Health clinic. The Ada clinic was affiliated with the larger Duluth-based Essentia Health. Essential Health operates large facilities in Fargo, ND.
The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that the United States will be short 90,000 doctors in the next 10 years.
That predicted shortage has already hit northern Minnesota and North Dakota. The shortage means more than just having to travel to see the doctor. Losing a local doctor also means losing your personal physician. Doctors can commute to smaller communities for day visits, but the personal connection is lost. Your personal physician is a person who recognizes you when you arrive for an appointment and remembers when you were last in. A doctor who lives in the community has a stake in making sure the area is a good place to live.
Being a doctor in a small town has the advantage of developing a personal relationship with patients, but comes with added responsibility. If there is only one doctor, that doctor has no one to share duties with. The doctor may be on call all night long most every night.
At The Stowman Law Firm, P.A., our office represents accident victims from the entire northern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota area. Find us by searching for a Fargo crash lawyer, a Detroit Lakes car accident attorney, or northern Minnesota truck accident lawyer. Learn more by searching the Stowman Law Firm website, above, or even click on the FAQ page.