© 2024 KUNR
Illustration of rolling hills with occasional trees and a radio tower.
Serving Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
iPhone users: Having trouble listening live on KUNR.org? Click here to download our app to listen to your favorite shows.

Statewide Doctor Shortage Impacting Rural Nevada

Ken Lund / Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Doctor shortages in Nevada have caused critical access issues for rural communities.

Tonopah closed its only hospital last year, leaving residents 100 miles away from the nearest facility. Now health care officials are working to find solutions.

Dr. Melissa Piasecki [pee-uh-SECK-ee] is with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, and she recently spoke with our media partner, KNPRin Las Vegas.

She says the university has adopted a program, called ECHO, to help underserved rural communities get care they currently lack.

“It’s to try and solve the puzzle of here’s a patient with diabetes, here’s a primary care provider who would like to refer their patient to an endocrinologist for specialty care, but there’s no endocrinologists,” she says.

Piasecki explains that ECHO can put endocrinologists or other specialists in touch with rural doctors through online video chats, which provide expertise in underserved areas.

But ECHO does not provide communities with physicians, something Piasecki says will continue to be a challenge moving forward.

Noah Glick is a former content director and host at KUNR Public Radio.
Related Content