The public looks on medical care as a right and not a privilege. Available medical and health services are as essential to living in the semiisolated rural areas as they are in the large urban areas. Although families in rural communities want, need, and expect to have health services available within a reasonable measure of time and distance, we have found many communities and even large areas in Oklahoma where there are no medical doctors. All evidence indicates the same to be true for many other, if not most, states.1 Why? The answer is complex, but some reasons are obvious.
Twenty years ago, almost every family had access to a family doctor who was revered as an individual. Then came astonishing medical scientific advances, specialization, industrialization, a shift of the young from rural to urban living, more and larger hospitals and medical centers, better roads and transportation,