Legislation introduced addressing physician shortage

U.S. Representative John P. Sarbanes (D-Md.) has introduced the Primary Care Physician Reentry Act, which is aimed at helping reduce the nation's primary care physician shortage.

Under the legislation, a grant program would be established to help medical schools, hospitals and nonprofit organizations build on their existing physician reentry programs or to create new ones. The grant money would also be used for credentialing fees, loan repayments and salaries.

The program would be available to physicians returning to medical practice if they agree to serve as public health providers. Physicians participating in the program would receive medical liability protection under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

"This bill will encourage qualified, well-trained physicians to help fill the primary care physician gap in our nation's healthcare system," said Rep. Sarbanes. "It will also offer mid-career physicians who took time out of the workforce to raise or care for their families, and retired or retiring physicians who want to serve their local communities, an opportunity to continue practicing medicine."

The legislation has gained support from many groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, the Federation of State Medical Boards, the American Osteopathic Association and the School-Based Health Alliance.

More articles on the physician shortage:

35 key findings on American physicians today
25 cities least impacted by physician shortages
New physician shortage tool models physician shortages by area, specialty 

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