While medical licensing is intended to set standards of care, it can also create a barrier that prevents many capable medical school graduates from continuing in the industry. Reforms to medical licensing procedures can increase the supply of medical practitioners and significantly ameliorate problems regarding access to care, including in the state of Texas.

Key points

  • The transition between medical school and residency is one potential bottleneck for aspiring physicians.
  • The study finds that the United States is already in the middle of a physician shortage, and the situation will only continue to worsen over time.
  • One untapped resource could significantly ameliorate this situation: physician graduates.
  • These graduates would be required to have received a medical degree from an accredited medical school and have passed the first two steps of the United States Medical Licensing Exams, or their equivalents. They would work under the supervision of a licensed and board-certified physician practicing primary care, which would be especially useful in areas that have been deemed to be underserved due to physician shortages.
  • Six states have already taken steps in this direction.