State Rep. Keith Frederick says the new position will help provide more doctors in medically underserved areas
JEFFERSON CITY – There is a new category of physician licensing that will bring doctors from other states to establish practice in underserved areas of Missouri in significant numbers, as the Board of Healing Arts accepts applications for Assistant Physicians.
State Representative Keith Frederick sponsored HB 1842 that passed as a part of SB 716 in the 2014 legislative session which created Assistant Physicians. These are individuals who graduate in good standing from medical school and pass their board exams, but are not able to ‘match’ with a residency training program. This occurs frequently since about 40,000 doctors apply for 30,000 residency slots each year.
Doctors who will practice in Missouri as Assistant Physicians will work with a licensed physician in a collaborative practice agreement much like nurse practitioners or PA’s do now. The Assistant Physician will need to work in one of Missouri’s Health Care Shortage Areas, which won’t be difficult since 110 or our 114 counties are shortage areas for primary care and mental health care.
“Within weeks of the bill passage, the Missouri State Medical Association received phone calls from a couple of hundred physicians wanting to apply as Assistant Physicians”, said Frederick.
Representative Frederick, an orthopedic surgeon, added, “After waiting more than two years for the rules and regulations to be developed for Assistant Physicians, I am very pleased to see that our medically underserved communities will have improved access to care while graduates of medical school who don’t match are able to use their extensive education and training to benefit patients”.
The Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts is now taking applications. Additional information is available online at http://pr.mo.gov/healingarts.asp.