Brown Signs Accelerated Degree Bill To Address Doctor Shortage
On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill (AB 1838) that will allow students enrolled in accredited medical school programs in California to become physicians in less than four years, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 7/18).
In early June, the California Assembly advanced the bill, which aims to address a growing physician shortage in the state (California Healthline, 6/10). Assembly member Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), the bill's author, said the measure also is meant to ensure physicians have less student debt.
An accelerated pilot program already is underway at the UC-Davis School of Medicine in conjunction with Kaiser Permanente, and the first six participants began classes in June, the Journal reports.
Details of Bill
AB 1838 will go into effect in January 2015 and will allow students at accredited medical school programs in California to graduate and become licensed physicians in three years instead of four years.
According to the Journal, only medical students who demonstrate high levels of scientific and medical understanding will be eligible for accelerated programs.
The measure was sponsored by the University of California and the Medical Board of California.
In a release, Bonilla said the bill "is an innovative step towards addressing [the physician shortage] and meeting the needs of our communities without diminishing the quality of patient care" (Sacramento Business Journal, 7/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.