Bipartisan Senate Bills Introduced to Address Workforce Physician Shortages

Published March 20, 2023

By AACOM Government Relations

Federal Policy GME Healthcare Workforce OME Advocate Rural Medicine

  • Osteopathic medicine has a proven history of addressing unmet healthcare needs, including in rural and underserved areas. In fact, nearly 60 percent of osteopathic medical schools are located in Health Professional Shortage Areas.
  • With data showing that 73 percent of DOs practice in the state where they do residency training and loan repayment programs successfully recruiting and retaining physicians to work in medically underserved areas, AACOM is pleased to support legislation to strengthen these workforce initiatives.
    • The Underserved Areas Act, S. 703, introduced by Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and John Boozman (R-AR), would prioritize graduate medical education (GME) programs in areas with physician shortages when residency slots for a hospital closure are redistributed.
    • The Resident Education Deferred Interest (REDI) Act, S. 704, also introduced by Senators Rosen and Boozman, would pause student loan principal and interest accrual on loan repayment for medical and dental students while in a residency or internship.
    • The Specialty Physicians Advancing Rural Care (SPARC) Act, S. 705, introduced by Senators Rosen and Roger Wicket (R-MS), would create a student loan repayment program for specialist physicians practicing in rural areas.