April 13, 2010
Gov. Martin O'Malley signed legislation Tuesday to allow Maryland's nurse practitioners to cut bureaucratic delays and start practicing more quickly, a move providers hope will help alleviate the state's primary-care doctor shortage. The law streamlines the bulky credentialing process required for nurse practitioners to treat patients in Maryland. A process that now requires approvals by separate boards of doctors and nurses –- and can take up to six months — will be shortened to about a month, cutting the standard 19-page working agreement between nurses and doctors to a single page.
September 4, 2009
With heated debates about reforming health care swirling across the country, professors from the University of Maryland's graduate schools told more than 200 students about how proposed changes might affect their future careers in medicine, dentistry, nursing, law, pharmacy and social work at a panel discussion Thursday night in downtown Baltimore. All the professors agreed that the U.S. health care system needs to be reformed. "We do need to control spiraling costs, but we don't want to do that at the cost of stifling innovation," said Dr. Mandeep R. Mehra, professor and head of cardiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
June 23, 2010
Congressman John Sarbanes had an excellent letter on the shortage of primary care physicians in Maryland (Readers respond, June 18 Baltimore Sun). His proposal for a public service loan forgiveness option is a step in the right direction to encourage physicians to enter primary health care practice. However student loan burden is a vast understatement of the true costs of becoming a primary care physician. In addition to medical school tuition, there is forgone income for four years of medical school, reduced income for three years of residency training and accrued interest on all of the above amounts.
September 27, 2010
I read your story on Andy Harris and the support he is engendering from the anesthesiology community ("Doctors inject thousands into Harris campaign," Sept. 27). You seemed to portray the situation as a struggle between doctors, who support Andy Harris, and nurse anesthetists, who support their own right to be independent practitioners. As a primary care physician, I can tell you that I, and many of my colleagues, support neither camp. Both anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists earn too much as it is. Politicians give a lot of lip service to primary care, yet in our present environment very few medical students are entering primary care fields due to low earnings.
July 16, 2010
I thank Dion Rudnicki of IBM for praising primary care ("A medical 'home' for every patient; Maryland is moving in the direction of more personalized, better-coordinated care," Commentary, July 13) It is the sine qua non of a solvent system. I don't see how IBM will succeed at recruiting primary care providers to Maryland when Johns Hopkins is losing them. My sister-in-law left Hopkins a year ago for 50 per cent better pay in Pennsylvania. Doctors pay represents only 6 per cent of health care cost, and most of that goes to specialists.
June 17, 2010
Before serving in Congress, I worked closely with physicians and other health providers throughout the state of Maryland. Unfortunately, the shortage of health professionals, particularly primary care physicians, is a problem that has been building for many years. A recent article in The Sun, "Medical schools don't produce enough primary care doctors, study says" (June 16), drew attention to this problem and accurately pinpointed some of the reasons for it. Medical school debt can be a severe burden for young physicians.