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California acts to ease physician shortage


The California legislature is considering steps to address the state's physician shortage, including medical student loan repayment plans and enhanced telehealth services.

The CALIFORNIA legislature is considering steps to address the state's physician shortage. Already short of doctors, California could see up to 4 million newly insured residents enter the healthcare system in 2014 if the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act remains in place. The shortage is particularly acute in urban areas with large minority populations and in rural areas. Lawmakers are considering such options as loan repayment programs for medical students, enhanced telehealth services, and expanding the scope of what midlevel providers are allowed to do.

Two NEW MEXICO physicians are challenging the state's law prohibiting assisted suicide. Katherine Morris, MD, and Aroop Mangalik, MD, oncologists at the University of New Mexico Health Science Center, filed the lawsuit in state district court. The suit claims that the ban on assisting suicide does not apply to a doctor treating a terminally ill patient who is mentally competent.

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