Often, at the root of scholarly work, between the scientific and geographic communities we serve, exists the driver of conversation: the faculty. Grounded by first-hand knowledge of the areas in which they live, yet focused by an unyielding passion for academic and professional achievement, faculty provide a perspective that is at once familiar yet innovative. We must use our professional capabilities as well as our partnerships to create socially responsible, unified dialogue that is purposefully disseminated to educate and serve the needs of our rural society.
In order to survive and thrive in academic medicine, our work and our passion for inquiry need to weave naturally and intricately together in our mission of teaching, research, patient care, and service.
Dr. James Becker exemplifies this notion as an editorial contributor to this issue. His discussion of Appalachia’s ongoing opiate abuse crisis is a direct and powerful comment to the history and current status of what has become “one of the most challenging health conditions to manage.” His honest, straightforward dialogue builds upon our prior knowledge and asks us to reach further, challenging the mind and the ethos. Also in this issue, Drs. Crump and Fricker share their experience in keeping rural medical students connected to their roots using “The Affinity Model,” which suggests that more graduates would choose rural practice if more rural students were admitted to medical schools.
Seeing these and other phenomena from one another’s perspective provides new insights and synergies that help us to generate new knowledge. Through this, we are benefiting our Appalachian and rural health communities as well as the larger scientific society. I am delighted by each and every contribution to this issue and hope you enjoy Volume 2, Issue 1 of MJM.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/darshana_shah/4/