Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) reintroduced a bill Thursday that would help train doctors who have stopped practicing return to the profession at a veterans' center, school or community center.
The Primary Care Physician Reentry Act was introduced last year but stalled mostly because of partisan politics. The team is working now to get co-sponsors, including Republicans. There isn't much opposition to the act, a Sarbanes staffer said.
Similar bills have been introduced for the past several years by Sarbanes and others.
The bill would allow grants to be issued throughout the country to provide training and educational reimbursement for primary-care doctors wanting to return to the profession and willing to work for at least two years at a veterans' center, community health center or school-based health clinic.
The bill is intended to help with the lack of primary-care physicians in many areas, Sarbanes said in a news release.
“Many communities across the nation are in need of qualified primary-care physicians,” he said. “This bill will help fill the doctor shortage in these communities by enabling qualified and well-trained physicians to re-enter the medical workforce.”
The American Academy of Family Physicians issued a statement last year (PDF) supporting the bill. It said doctors frequently take time away from their practices.
“We recognize that efforts must be made to identify the processes physicians must complete to obtain appropriate licensure, credentials and privileges to resume practice,” they wrote.