Utah needs more doctors, and the need is increasing in step with population growth. And many more Utahns per capita than the national average want to become doctors.
Seems as if the two statistics would cancel each other out. After all, the University of Utah, the state's flagship public university, has a well-respected medical school and hospital. But the U. cannot meet the state's needs because the Utah Legislature has cut funding, making it necessary to reduce the number of medical-school graduates from 102 to 82 each year.
So the 500 or so pre-med students graduating from Utah colleges and universities and interested in practicing medicine must look for alternatives. The Iron County Office of Economic Development, which has an interest in a growing doctor shortage in Utah's rural areas, reports that about 400 students leave Utah each year to attend medical school elsewhere. And few of them return to practice in Utah.