Success Story: Dr. Clinton T. Cummings
Reared in small-town Iowa, happy he’s able to raise his family the same way.
As a small-town physician, Dr. Cummings does it all: family practice, obstetrics, emergency medicine. And he knows what his practice means for Manchester, Iowa, population 5,000. “It’s important for the community to have a primary care provider that they don’t have to travel a long distance to see,” he says.
While he had long planned to practice rural medicine, the Health Professional Recruitment Program helped Dr. Cummings choose an Iowa community. “There’s a lot of competition for physicians, not just between big cities and small towns but between states,” he says. “This was definitely a factor in my decision to stay in Iowa. You come out of medical school with such a large debt load. This award keeps providers in Iowa and in the rural setting—not just physicians, but other medical professionals like physical therapists, physician assistants and podiatrists.”
Dr. Cummings first learned about the repayment program while he was a student at Des Moines University. He and his wife both grew up in small Iowa towns, so, after he graduated in 2011, they were happy to choose Manchester. They now have three children, ranging in age from an infant to a 5-year-old. “We understand the values of small-town Iowa,” he says. “When you have a family and start to settle down, you grow roots and become part of a community. I went into family practice because I enjoy doing continuity of care and developing relationships with patients. I really get to know them, through my practice and out in the community.”
The Health Professional Recruitment Program also sends a message to medical professionals and medical students, Dr. Cummings says: “The award really shows that the state is supportive of primary care in the rural setting. It gives rural Iowa easier access to quality care. It’s very much an honor to get this and to have the state supporting physicians like myself.”