In the News

SPRINGDALE -- Sen. John Boozman wants Congress to pay for more residency slots for medical school graduates to try and increase the number of doctors in Arkansas, he said Monday.

Federal law caps Medicare financial support for residency slots nationwide at the number a facility had in 1996. Boozman, R-Rogers, along with other senators, has co-sponsored the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act.

The act would increase the slots by 3,000 each year from 2021 to 2025. About 80,000 Medicare-funded residency slots exist nationwide, a spokesman for the American Association of Medical Colleges said.

"Graduate medical education is a huge issue. We lose a very high percentage -- probably 40% plus -- of our graduates from medical school going off and doing residencies someplace else," Boozman said Monday. The senator participated in a summit on graduate medical education at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences' Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education.

The American Association of Medical Colleges predicts the United States will be short up to 121,900 physicians by 2032, said Len Marquez, senior director of government relations at the association, at Monday's event.

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