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The Influence of Visiting Consultant Clinics on Measures of Access to Cancer Care: Evidence from the State of Iowa

Keywords: Rural;access;cancer;medical oncologists

Objective: To determine the effect of visiting consultant clinics on measures of access to cancer care for rural patients.

Data Sources: 2010 Visiting Medical Consultant Database for the state of Iowa (Carver College of Medicine) and the Iowa Physicians Information System (Carver College of Medicine).

Study Design: We compared shortest driving times to the nearest medical oncologist for all Iowa census tracts under two scenarios: including only primary practice locations and adding monthly visiting consultant clinic locations.

Principal Findings: For rural Iowans, the median driving time to the closest site for medical oncology care falls from 51.6 to 19.2 minutes when monthly visiting consultant clinics are considered.

Conclusions: Including visiting consultant clinics has a significant impact on measures of geographic access to cancer care.

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