PHYSICIAN OVERSUPPLY: NJ Panel Recommends Residency Cuts
Faced with a growing oversupply of doctors, the New Jersey Commission on the Physician Workforce has released a report calling for limits on residency slots for doctors educated overseas and a push to get more doctors into primary care. The report, "A New Framework for Physician Workforce Policy in New Jersey," notes that the ratio of doctors to patients has more than doubled since 1960, fueled in part by graduates of foreign medical schools, who "have been flooding U.S. residency programs at the rate of one for every three graduates of U.S. medical schools." The report calls on the medical community to shift the ratio of primary care doctors to specialists from 30-70 to 50-50 and recommends a $10 million grant program to promote innovative medical education. The report also calls for an overall decrease in the number of residency training slots at New Jersey medical schools and a corresponding increase in state government funding for charity care provided by hospitals to offset the revenue loss associated with fewer residency slots. The recommendations have been forwarded to the state Departments of Health and Senior Services and Banking and Insurance, and to the state Board of Medical Examiners for review (Johnson, AP/Bergen Record, 3/15).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.