State should fund medical school at UC Merced

In the last decade, there has been a shortage of doctors in the Central Valley. California has some of the top medical schools in the nation. However, the state’s medical schools are unable to supply enough doctors for its growing population.

With more than 12 allopathic and osteopathic medical schools in California and plans for opening two osteopathic medical schools in Fresno in 2019-2020, experts fear a shortage of almost 5000 doctors by 2025 (University of Calfornia, San Francisco, 2017). The only way to decrease this shortage is to open medical schools in the Central Valley and train students who are likely stay in the region.

For the last six years, there have been tentative plans circulating to add an allopathic medical school to the University of California, Merced. The campus is ready for it but lacks initial funding. Medical schools in California have more than 100 medical students in their classes. UCSF had 145 matriculated students in 2017.

If there were medical schools in the Central Valley and they graduated as many doctors as other schools do, the physician shortage could subside. The state should allocate specific funding to UC Merced for their medical school. Bringing new doctors to Central California will improve the quality of life for its residents. Who knows the problems better than the future doctors who were raised here?

Lindsey Condra

Sanger

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