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Missouri faces physician shortage, medical students leaving

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers and health care groups are working to remedy the state’s physician shortage by keeping their medical students in-state.

An Association of American Medical Colleges report shows that about 21 percent of Missouri’s medical school graduates stay in the state. Missouri’s medical schools graduate about 1,000 students each year, but the state offers about 725 residency slots.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the Missouri Hospital Association and the Missouri Healthcare Workforce Coalition are collaborating with lawmakers to boost residency funding.

Republican Rep. Keith Frederick is sponsoring a bill to streamline the 2014 law that created the assistant physician position for medical school graduates who lack a residency.

University of Missouri School of Medicine professor James Stevermer says there’s a higher chance medical school graduates will remain in Missouri if they can train in the state.