News in Brief

Speak up: Educate your senator about restoring rural residencies

With a projected physician shortage expected to impact rural areas, the osteopathic medical profession calls for change.

The nation is projected to face a shortage of up 94,700 physicians by the year 2025, especially in parts of the country with many rural areas and minority communities. A recent Stateline article explores the role osteopathic medical schools are playing to address the nation’s projected physician shortage by producing more physicians, particularly in rural areas.

Earlier this month, Arkansas State University in Jonesboro cut the ribbon for a new medical school in partnership with the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. The initiative will help attract and retain physicians in a state that has among the fewest physicians per capita, Stateline reports.

The article highlighted efforts other osteopathic medical schools have made to improve health care in underserved areas, including Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine–Virginia Campus in Blacksburg and the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine in Las Cruces, New Mexico, which will begin educating medical students this year.

Help alleviate physician shortages

DOs and osteopathic medical students can help improve access to health care in underserved areas by telling their senators to pass the Restoring Rural Residencies Act of 2016.

This legislation will allow Medicare to:

  • Reimburse residency programs for residents at critical access hospitals.
  • Expand rural residency programs.
  • Increase the number of physicians training in these rural areas.

To get involved, contact your senator via email, a Facebook message or a tweet to support this critical funding to allow more residents to serve in underserved areas.

Leave a comment Please see our comment policy