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    Work force proposals may endanger patient safety, professional standards

    American Association of Clinical UrologistsBased on a partnership with Urology Times, articles from the American Association of Clinical Urologists (AACU) provide updates on legislative processes and issues affecting urologists. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Contact the AACU government affairs office at 847-517-1050 or [email protected] for more information.

    In the AACU’s Work Force Shortage Solutions series, published on UrologyTimes.com throughout 2014, various proposals to address the specialist physician shortage were introduced to readers with the hope of generating interest and debate within the urologic community.

    With nearly every state legislature currently meeting for the first time since that series was published, it’s worthwhile to examine where things stand in the defense of patient safety and high professional standards.

    Med school grads stuck in residency bottleneck granted 'Assistant Physician' license

    Legislators in Arkansas and Oklahoma are considering measures to create a new provider license category for medical school graduates who do not matriculate to a residency program. AR HB 1162 and OK SB 712 were inspired by Missouri's 2014 "Assistant Physician" law, which drew the ire of the physician assistant community. Physician assistants argued that creating "assistant physicians" would confuse patients and undermine the non-physician providers' successful patient education efforts.

    RELATED: States take novel steps to address work force shortage

    Both Arkansas and Oklahoma legislators seem to have heard that message loud and clear. In Arkansas, the new class of providers would be named "Graduate registered physicians." Oklahoma, meanwhile, chose to classify the medical school graduates as "training physicians.”

    Each state proposes similar qualifications for such a license, including, but not limited to:

    • graduation from an accredited U.S. medical school
    • successful completion of Steps 1 and 2 of the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam (or an approved equivalent)
    • entering into a physician supervision protocol (Arkansas) or physician collaborative practice agreement (Oklahoma) within 6 months of licensure.

    Next: Calif. NPs press for expanded scope of practice

    More from the AACU

    JAC 2015 preview: Hope for SGR’s demise

    Congress guts the IPAB, then takes on its role

    Supreme Court case may impact state scope of practice laws

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