Sunday, May 29, 2016

States Focus on Adding Residencies for Physicians to Remain

It is known that 68% of physician who complete their residency in a certain state will remain after completion of their training.  Unfortunately, some states do not have an adequate number of residency programs.  I think the federal government could reallocate the Medicare funding for residencies to favor the growth of such programs in certain states.  For example, Mississippi and Tennessee train more physicians than they have residency programs.  With federal, along with state support, the physician shortage could be somewhat alleviated by relocating physician training sites, rather than focusing on the production of more medical schools.  This is particularly problematic for states like Florida, that has created five new medical schools since funding for residencies was capped in 1997.  Also, since funding is limited, the cap would have to be raised to receive any federal help, and until then, the burden for funding is left to individual states and hospitals.  Are there any other ways to alleviate the physician shortage?  Could physicians who graduated from approved residencies in foreign countries be allowed to practice here?  It would not only alleviate the shortage, but project the cost of physician training to other countries.  Feel free to comment with more suggestions.