Filling the Call for Potential Doctors

Indiana (and much of the rest of the country) needs more primary care physicians. Dr. Richard Feldman, former state health commissioner, provided some interesting statistics and analysis in his Tuesday Indianapolis Star column.

The Indiana University School of Medicine is a national leader, but it can’t do the job alone. Feldman applauds the IU efforts and warmly welcomes the planned osteopathic medical school at Marian University. That is the latest area in which Marian, led by a strong Indiana Chamber supporter in president Dan Elsener, has stepped up to be part of the solution.

Feldman writes:

The announcement of a proposed osteopathic medical school by the Indiana Osteopathic Association and Marian University on Jan. 15 is a welcome development for the future primary-care needs of Indiana. Currently, about 20 IU graduates enter family medicine residencies yearly, with nearly 80 first-year family medicine residency positions available in Indiana. The gap is obvious.

But give IU credit. Its priorities are evolving. Dean Craig Brater’s support for increasing the number of graduates apt to enter primary-care careers as a goal for the medical school is impressive and is prominently reflected in its expansion plans. His willingness to embrace a new osteopathic medical school in a collegial and collaborative manner is awesome. As a residency director, I share his regrets that IU turns away hundreds of qualified students each year, many of whom are Hoosiers. There is more than enough room for another medical school. Despite plans for a new osteopathic school, it is important for IU to persevere in its plans for expansion. Both schools will be needed to meet Indiana’s future physician requirements.