Joseph Florence, M.D.

Professor and Director of Rural Programs

Dr Florence Dr. Florence works closely with the rural programs at ETSU, which include the medical school's Rural Primary Care Tract - community partnerships program, Rural Health Fairs, and the Rural Family Practice Fellowship. Since 1983, Dr. Florence has been training medical students, family practice residents, and other health care professionals including nurse practitioners, paramedics, and physician's assistants in an effort to prepare them for practicing in rural, underserved areas. Dr. Florence grew up in Virginia, completing a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Religion at Duke University and a Masters degree in Biology prior to medical school at the Medical College of Virginia.  After completing his family practice residency at Roanoke Memorial Hospitals in Roanoke, Virginia, he practiced as a National Health Service Corps doctor in Central Appalachia, in and around Hazard, Kentucky. During this time he worked as Medical Director of the SE Kentucky Area Health Education Center. In 1991, Dr. Florence accepted a full-time position with the University of Kentucky to help develop the East Kentucky Family Practice Residency Program. 
As Program Director of this rural training program, his duties also included directing clinical programs at the UK Center for Rural Health, which in 2000, received honors from the National Rural Health Association as the Outstanding Rural Health Program in the United States. Dr. Florence was also a member of the faculty of the Appalachian Osteopthic Postgraduate Training Institute Consortium. Early in 2002, Dr. Florence was appointed Vice-Chair of the Department of Family Practice at the University of Kentucky. During his tenure he had the distinction of being the first medical director of the East Kentucky Veteran's Center, a recently opened long-term care facility serving the veterans of Central Appalachia. Dr. Florence's scholarly interests include rural health, public policy, diabetes, advanced cardiac life support and the use of technology to enhance rural health. Dr. Florence's e-mail address is: