Iowa senator proposes legislation to address physician shortages

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa is aiming to address physician shortages in the state through the passage of the DOCTORS Act, which would reallocate unused nondomestic physician waivers to states that used up all of their waivers. 

Under an existing program, each state is given 30 waiver slots allowing nondomestic physicians who attended medical school in the U.S. to remain here on a three-year visa in exchange for their commitment to practicing medicine in a healthcare professional shortage area. 

Iowa historically uses all 30 of its waiver slots every year. Ms. Ernst's proposed act would allow Iowa, and other states facing shortages, to take unused slots from other states, according to an Aug. 11 press release. 

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