Montana lawmakers have rejected a $400,000 request to expand a state program to train doctors. Seventeen Montana counties have zero primary-care physicians.

Doctors said the money would be used to expand training in rural areas and establish a psychiatry residency.

Dr. Eric Arzubi, a psychiatrist at the Billings Clinic, told the committee some of the funds would go toward establishing a psychiatry residency in the state. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Montana had the nation’s highest rate of suicide in 2016 with 23.8 deaths per 100,000 people.

SOURCE:, February 20, 2017