Training Tomorrow's Doctors
Senate Bill 22
“Ensuring we have the physicians we need is not only important to the long-term delivery of healthcare in Inland Southern California, it is absolutely critical to California’s continued health and well-being.”
- Senator Richard D. Roth
Fully funding the UCR School of Medicine was simply the first step in ensuring our region and California has access to the healthcare they desperately need and unequivocally deserve.
Upon graduation, all MDs are required to formally train in what is known as a residency program in order to become practicing physicians. The length of this program varies by specialty, but for family medicine it typically takes three years. Placement in a residency program comes down to Match Day, when newly graduated MDs are “matched” with a residency program.
It’s been reported that California will need at least 8,000 more primary care physicians by 2030 to maintain current rates of utilization; an increase of 32% from 2010. Maintaining the current rate, however, is not enough. Only 16 of California’s 58 counties fall within the Council on Graduate Medical Education’s recommended 60-80 primary care physicians per 100,000 people. The State as a whole barely meets this recommendation with 63 per 100,000 people. The need for physicians in underserved areas will only grow without a targeted investment.
That’s why I have introduced Senate Bill 22 to create a fund based on a public-private partnership model to provide additional GME residency positions throughout California. SB 22 will leverage the most out of public dollars invested by ensuring private organizations are contributing funds and working together to establish additional residency positions.
California beats the national average with respect to retaining medical residents and studies have shown that physicians are more likely to practice in the communities where they complete their residencies. This means rural and community-based residencies will have a lasting impact on access to healthcare in currently underserved areas.
In short, if we train tomorrow’s doctors in the areas that need them most, they are more likely to continue serving those areas, helping alleviate critical physician shortages and ensuring equal access to healthcare.
- Richard D. Roth
Senator, 31st District