Schock introduces legislation to address physician shortage

By WEEK Producer

Schock introduces legislation to address physician shortage

August 6, 2012 Updated Aug 6, 2012 at 11:12 AM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- 2015 is the year the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts the country will have a deficit of 62,900 doctors.

Responding to that physician shortage, Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) has introduced bipartisan legislation (H.R. 6352)to create 15,000 new Graduate Medical Education (GME) slots around the country over the next five years.

"The US is already facing the reality of having a significant shortfall in trained doctors and medical professionals and this shortage will only continue to grow if we don't begin to address the problem now," said Schock. "The primary way our country can address the physician shortage is by ensuring we increase the number of [GME] slots."

Paul Macek, President and CEO of Proctor Healthcare echoed Schock's concern for the physician shortage, saying that all the trends are already pointing toward a dangerous path.

"H.R. 6352 is the type of solution that will help ensure students pursing the field of medicine will gain the expertise they need once they graduate while encouraging more students to practice medicine," said Macek.

"OSF Healthcare System supports the education of new physicians and has for many decades," said Tara Canty, COO, Accountable Care of OSF Healthcare System. "It is encouraging to see Congress take up a bill in support of continued funding and expansion of funding for physician hospital training."

If the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction and Graduate Medical Education Accountability Act is enacted into law, it will be the first increase in GME slots in nearly 15 years.

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