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Idaho Doctor Brings Vital Services to Rural Patients

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Idaho Doctor Brings Vital Services to Rural Patients

U.S.

Idaho Doctor Brings Vital Services to Rural Patients

Idaho Doctor Brings Vital Services to Rural Patients

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/14620394/14641627" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Dr. Andy Jones has been the family practitioner in Cottonwood, Idaho, for nearly 20 years. Elizabeth Wynne Johnson hide caption

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Elizabeth Wynne Johnson

Dr. Andy Jones has been the family practitioner in Cottonwood, Idaho, for nearly 20 years.

Elizabeth Wynne Johnson

It's not every doctor who can remove an appendix, take out tonsils and perform an emergency C-section, but Dr. Andy Jones can do it all.

Jones is the family practitioner in Cottonwood, a town of 900 tucked in the hills of north-central Idaho. His patients live in Idaho County, which has one stoplight. For them, his services are vital.

Jones has served the county for 20 years, and many of the procedures he does — including colonoscopies — are ones specialists usually perform in urban areas. Though many specialists balk at generalists performing specialized procedures, Jones takes it in stride.

"If only gastroenterologists did colonoscopy, probably the majority of rural America wouldn't get that procedure done. And same with a lot of surgeries in rural America. And it is a challenge to know our limitations," Jones says.

Elizabeth Wynne Johnson reports for the Northwest News Network.