POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Nearly 20 percent of Americans live in rural communities and, as a result, have less access to health care. Thursday is National Rural Health Day and at ISU, students with rural backgrounds are inspired to make a difference.
Kalin Sorenson, a biology major from Grace, wants to be a family doctor and recalls having a doctor drive up from Logan, Utah, when he needed a specialist. Now, Sorenson wants to help those in areas like Caribou County.
“I know I’m not the only one that needs, that needed, specialized health care and I won’t be the last one, too,” he said. “So, to be able to have the opportunity to go back to a small town and help … I think would be great to be able to benefit others like me in that community.”
Ben Waldron is studying to be a physical therapist. He’s from Malad, where his family has been for over 150 years. Waldron said a love of sports, he ran track and cross country in high school, is what sent him into PT and the only clinic in town.
“I actually work for the physical therapist that’s there. I’m a physical therapist aide and it’s crazy busy sometimes because he’s the only one,” Waldron said. “Health care in the rural areas, it’s definitely very important and they do need more people to help them out.”
35 Idaho counties, approximately 88 percent of the state’s landmass total, fall into this rural category.