TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Dr. Sarah Grabmiller has plans to practice medicine in Meridian, her hometown.
She is well aware of the need for more physicians across the state.
"Mississippi is so underserved right now. It puts a lot of strain on the physicians going in to be able to care for the patients that are there," Dr. Grabmiller said.
The strain on physicians is a problem Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant is well aware of.
He believes an increase in their numbers is one of a number of steps to strengthen the health of bodies as well as the state's economy.
"Every doctor that goes into a community brings $2 million of economic development impact with them, and the more that we can get physicians into the field, the better our health care will be," Governor Bryant said.
During a stop in Tupelo and two other cities Friday, Governor Bryant shed light on a plan to expand the University of Mississippi School of Medicine and the addition of 1,000 physicians to the state's workforce.
That's a goal that comes with intense competition from other states who may offer more incentives.
"I think a lot more would stay here if there were more incentives. I think adding the number of residency spots will be important. If you can get folks to stay in a certain area for three to five years, it's been shown that they have a lot more chance of staying in the area versus someone going for their residency somewhere else," Dr. Will Darsey said.
Dr. Brad Ramsey says incentives get a doctor's attention, especially with the volume of debt they face when entering the workforce.
"It could be in excess of $200,000. I think that's the biggest burden on young physicians because they're finishing residency and going out into their own practices having that kind of loom over them," Dr. Ramsey said.
Well known Tupelo physician Dr. Edward Hill says there is a critical need for more family practice doctors.
"If you compare them to other people in the medical field, especially specialists, their lifestyles if they go to a rural area are probably not as good. So that's got to be rebuilt, and we've got to re-energize these rural areas," Dr. Hill said.
"If you go to that area, we're gonna reduce your state income taxes so that you might be able to be a small business person and at least enjoy a lifestyle with a physician in a rural area, which won't be anything near some of their higher-paid counterparts, but they want to deliver that rural health care. Many of them believe that's their mission," Governor Bryant added.
Governor Bryant says a successful health care industry in the state will create jobs and build economic stability.