Primary Care Physician Provider Supply and Medical School Educational Reforms

California Assembly Bill 1838 has caught my eye as evidence of one attempt to accelerate the medical eduation and training of would-be  committed primary care physicians in California. Jointly promoted by the University of California and the Medical Board of California, AB 1838 allows medical school programs of a shorter duration than four academic years or 32 months of actual instruction  to be certified as sufficient for licensing in the state.

What's driving this? UC Davis is just about to enroll its first students in its new Accelerated Competency-Based Education in Primary Care Program this summer and someone must have noticed that actual medical education duration requirements are outlined in the California Business & Professions Code. Seems like a modest fix for a modest experiment, so you won't be surprised to learn there is no opposition and all the big players are in support: UC, MBC, Kaiser Permanente (Did I mention that the new Davis program contemplates these students doing their clinical work at either a UC or KP primary care facility and accelerating right into a post-graduate program with these entities as well, side-stepping participation in the dreaded match process?).

I like it too.  Experiments in accelerated professional education in medicine have been underway for some time but have been slow to spread. Perhaps ACA-driven demand for more physicians will help to drive greater experimentation in this regard.

Still, so far as I can tell, this new program does not discuss the eventual placement of these new providers.  Primary care physician supply is not evenly distributed in California — not by a long shot. I know Davis has an interesting (but modestly sized) rural primary care physician educational program. So who is studying how to dovetail the two?

2 comments

  1. Exactly how many students are currently enrolled in US allopathic/osteopathic medical schools? How many MDs are currently training in US residency or fellowship programs?

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