Missouri may soon allow licensed medical school graduates to practice medicine and prescribe drugs without having completed a residency.
The proposal (PDF), which has passed the state Legislature and awaits the governor's signature, aims to address the issue of providing adequate healthcare in rural and other underserved areas of the state.
Under the bill, graduates of accredited medical schools could become “assistant physicians” and provide primary-care services in rural or medically underserved areas if they haven't completed residency training. However, they must have completed the first two steps of their medical licensing exam. A collaborating physician would be responsible for all services rendered by the assistant physician.