H.B. 295: Physician Workforce Amendments

H.B. 295, or the “Physician Workforce Amendments”, was passed in the 2022 Legislative Session. The Utah Medical Education Council (UMEC) is responsible for creating and administering a graduate medical education and forensic psychiatry grant program. This legislation intends to create or expand graduate medical education (GME) programs throughout Utah and create a forensic psychiatrist fellowship program for the State of Utah. Physicians (M.D. or D.O.) enter into GME programs following medical school, continuing their education in a particular specialty (residency) or subspecialty (fellowship). Applications that focus on primary, rural, and/or mental health will be prioritized to help expand areas in greatest need.

According to Vasagar, GME can be part of a strategic plan to grow the physician workforce. A 2013 study found that 56% of family medicine residents practice within 100 miles of their residency program, with 39% practicing within 25 miles. Creating a grant program to develop new or expand existing GME programs and a forensic psychiatry grant program is an exciting opportunity for Utah to grow, strengthen, and retain more of our physician workforce.