Missouri passes bill to allow medical school graduates to practice

Residency Program Insider, June 9, 2017

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To address the shortage of physicians in Missouri, a recently passed bill would ease the qualifications for medical school graduates who aren’t placed in residency programs to practice in the state. The bill, which is awaiting the governor’s signature, would allow medical school graduates to apply for an assistant physician license. To be eligible, they would have to be U.S. residents, graduated from medical school in the last three years, and completed Step 1 and Step 2 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination or the equivalent of such steps of any other board-approved medical licensing examination within the past two years. Assistant physicians would have to practice alongside a licensed collaborating physician in one of the state’s rural counties with a shortage of primary care provider.

The assistant physician classification, which is separate from the physician assistant classification, was created in 2014 but applications were not accepted until this January, meaning many previously eligible applicants are no longer eligible due to the two- and three-year deadlines. The latest bill would allow those applicants to be eligible again.

The Association of American Medical Colleges has been critical of the bill, fearing that pairing desperate patients with lesser-trained physicians could result in unsafe and ineffective care. Arkansas, Kansas, and Utah have passed similar measures.

Source: Washington Examiner

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