Unlike "big cities," small rural towns typically don't provide enough foot traffic, diverse entertainment attractions or financial incentives to appeal to quality physicians and other healthcare workers. As a result, many of these areas don't even have an in-town health center. If one exists, it's typically a clinic that only deals with basic health problems.

That said, you can find good healthcare services despite your location. You merely need to seek help from four groups of people:

Healthcare System Employees

Staff at the closest regional hospital or urgent care center often deal with this type of request from locals. They typically maintain a list of doctors who are currently accepting new patients. Additionally, speak with a hospital patient advocate. Since advocates often work with patients to resolve hospital complaints, they know a great deal about helping patients find quality care.

Insurance Carrier Representatives

Health insurers offer in-network resources to patients. Beyond phone-based and online assistance for all patients, special needs patients can typically request a regional nurse caseworker for one-on-one assistance. A caseworker can check your plan and mail or email you contact information, maps and other service provider details. Some caseworkers even call doctors to confirm availability and schedule appointments.

Local Community Members

Most of the people living and working in your region aren't ignoring their health or accepting poor substitutes for quality care. Also, since emergency service stations, hospitals and urgent care centers are three of the biggest sources of steady employment and volunteer work in rural locations, plenty of small town residents work in these fields. Ask people around town at the library, post office, stores and restaurants how they're handling the situation or if they know of any local healthcare workers who might be able to point you in the right direction.

Community Program Personnel

People involved with state and county government and non-profit group programs assist community members with finding services that can help them maintain a good quality of life. For example, check programs in your area like the Rural Health Services Consortium Inc. or the Area Agency on Aging and Community Action Program. It’s also a good idea to investigate charitable organizations like the Salvation Army and United Way. In many areas, you can also gain access to referral services by simply calling 211.

It's important to remember that many people living in rural locations must usually travel an hour or more to receive quality healthcare. This should not demotivate you. Transport services are also available for those with disabilities and non-regional specialists often rotate through rural healthcare systems.

Author's Bio: 

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. Kara is the youngest of four. She has two hilarious brothers and one beautiful sister. She also is the aunt of 5 crazy little girls that she loves more than anything!! Kara is not yet able to be a mom, but she loves being around kids and being like a second mom to her nieces. She dreams of the day that she can start her own little family.