Bill aims to train more residents as docs retire

Proposed legislation aims to ease the healthcare workforce shortage by replacing retiring physicians with more new doctors being trained, reported the Albany Times Union.

The bill introduced yesterday by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) would increase the number of Medicare-supported physician training residency slots at New York hospitals by 15 percent, or 15,000, over five years, according to Schumer's office.

"It's awesome," Vincent Verdile, dean of Albany Medical College, told the Times Union. "Upstate New York is very rural and getting young men and women to stay here to train, particularly in areas related to primary care, is win-win for Upstate New York."

However, boosting the number of physicians that complete their residency in New York will cost between $10 billion to $15 billion over 10 years, the article noted.

Meanwhile, with a recent report by the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) showing that 59 percent of hospitals found loan repayment to be a successful strategy to attract physicians, the bill also aims to broaden a program that offers relief of medical school loans for doctors who serve in rural areas.

In another move to offset the looming primary care physician shortage, medical schools are steering students to the specialty. For example, University of Maryland School of Medicine received a five-year $877,000 grant to help grow the nation's PCP workforce.

To learn more:
- read the Times Union  article
- here's Sen. Schumer's statement
- check out the HANYS report (.pdf)