Texas medical students could soon be going to school for free, if they agree to practice in a rural community.
Newschannel 10 spoke with Representative Warren Chisum of Pampa about a bill he is sponsoring to make this possible. Texas is running out of doctors, especially in rural communities.
Chisum says, "What happens is older doctors move in and a lot of them retire and we just wind up with nobody there."
The responsibility of caring for a community is falling on the shoulders of specialists like nurse practitioner Janet Bilyeu, if a community is lucky enough to have a medical professional.
"And your population is getting older, " says Bilyeu, "So they have more disease processes going on they need more care and there is less primary care out there for them."
And because there is only so much a nurse practitioner can do without the help of a physician, for some that means taking a trip to the emergency room.
"There's just that barrier where they can't get there or the physicians office is full so they can't be seen and all of those specialties and if there was a physician here it might prevent some of that," says Bilyeu.
A new website called www.healthaccessfortexas.org has been launched by Chisum this week.