A new handbook recognizes the unique nature of providing health care in rural communities. The Department of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School released the Handbook for Rural Health Care Ethics: A Practical Guide for Professionals. The Handbook is the result of a three-year project funded by the National Library of Medicine.
The Handbook is aimed at small-town health professionals and people training students to practice medicine outside of metropolitan areas. It uses a case-based approach to analyzing, solving and anticipating health care ethics dilemmas. William A. Nelson, PhD, director of the Dartmouth Medical School Rural Ethics Initiative, is the editor of the guide. The authors include physicians, nurses, ethicists, and hospital administrators who share their real-life experiences.
The Handbook’s forward notes that “the idyllic view of the country doctor seldom includes the high level of stress, long hours, and struggle to maintian patient confidentiality and personal space that rural health care providers typicaly face.”