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Small towns are focus of House effort to recruit more medical professionals

Small towns are focus of House effort to recruit more medical professionals

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Last week, the House Human Resources Committee passed multiple bills to recruit and retain health care providers in Iowa.

HSB 168 focuses on the initial medical school training by requiring the University of Iowa medical and dental schools to have 75% of their admitted students be from the state of Iowa.

Iowans know that if a medical student or medical resident has a connection to the state and then is able to complete their training here while in their mid-20s and 30s, they are more likely to set roots, start their family, and stay to practice in Iowa. This is a common sense approach to recruit and retain more health care providers in rural Iowa.

HF 270 focuses on the next stage of health care education, at the medical residency level following graduating from medical school. This bill similarly requires the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to offer a medical residency audition rotation and interview to those with an Iowa connection (Iowa resident, undergraduate degree from an Iowa college, or medical degree from an Iowa medical school) in the top 6 most needed medical specialties in Iowa, including OB/GYN and psychiatry.

The primary role for a state university that receives hundreds of millions in taxpayer funding should be training medical professionals to practice in Iowa after graduation. Too often our state university wastes significant time and money training medical students/residents that have no interest in staying in Iowa. For example, not a single graduate of the last two OB/GYN residency classes from UIHC stayed to practice in Iowa.

The committee also passed Senate File 129. This bill was brought forward by the Iowa Medical Society to expand access to the Rural Iowa Primary Care Loan Repayment Program by allowing OB/GYNs to participate in the program, allow for additional part-time practice options for those receiving the loan repayment, and to allow psychiatrists to practice in additional Iowa communities and still receive loan forgiveness.

House members are continuously working to find ways to expand the health care workforce and these bills are important steps to build up the pipeline of future Iowa physicians.

Iowa Ranks Second in the Nation

for Unemployment Recovery

In a report released on January 26, WalletHub identified states whose unemployment rates are bouncing back the most. WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia using these factors: change in each state’s unemployment; compared not seasonally adjusted continued claims; and looked at each state’s overall unemployment rate. Overall, Iowa Is ranked second in the U.S. behind South Dakota. When looking at who had the most recovery from unemployment, Iowa is ranked third. Iowa is first in most recovery from unemployment. Finally, Iowa is tied for fourth with Utah for lowest unemployment rate in December 2020. Overall, Iowa is consistently at the top of the rankings compared to the entire U.S. and District of Columbia. (Info from WalletHub.com)

I always welcome your thoughts and opinions. You can email me anytime @ cecil.dolecheck@legis.iowa.gov. If you would rather phone, the number for the House switchboard is 515-281-3221, ask for Seat 65. Information about my legislative forum schedule, past newsletters and a biography can be found at www.iowahouserepublicans.com/members/cecil-dolecheck.

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