Physician reentry bill proposed to bring back docs

To combat the physician shortage, Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) introduced the Physician Reentry Demonstration Program Act to bring back physicians from retirement or doctors who took time off for two or more years.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the shortage of primary care physicians will reach 40,000 in the next decade, the legislation noted. The bill calls for a demonstration project under the U.S.Department of Health & Human Services to facilitate physician reentry into primary care practice at hospitals, health centers, nonprofits and the state.

Although the proposed legislation could bring with it questions about competency, especially with age-related problems, the bill does note that the physicians would be subject to the usual credentialing processes. The bill also mentions the use of evidence-based assessments and evaluation tools to measure core competencies, consistent with the Federation of State Medical Boards guidelines. Bill