The shortage of residency positions forces students to leave Georgia to complete the clinical work required to become physicians, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Doctors tend to establish their practices where they finish their residencies, authorities said. That means that Georgia taxpayers are paying to train physicians for other states.
Gov. Nathan Deal has proposed providing the seed money for hospitals to add 400 residency slots to nearly 2,100 found across the state. While educators and hospital leaders say that’s a good start, Georgia would need about three times as many new positions to reach the national average.
“This won’t fully redress the problem, but at least it addresses it,” said Peter Buckley, dean of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University.
Georgia ranks 41st in the nation in terms of the number of residents in accredited positions, as the state has only begun to catch up with the increased number of slots in its medical schools. As a result, only about one in four medical school graduates attends an in-state resident program, according to state figures.