A new law in Missouri allows medical school graduates who haven’t completed their residencies to start seeing patients in underserved areas after 30 days of training. Medical school graduates typically go to residency programs for three to seven years.
Missouri is one of the most medically underserved states in the country. Missouri State Representative Dr. Keith Frederik, an orthopedic surgeon who championed the bill, explains the "assistant physicians" would work in a collaborative practice agreement with more experienced doctors.
The Doctors debate whether it’s a solution to the physician shortage or a dangerous practice. ER physician Dr. Travis Stork questions whether there are enough checks and balances in place to ensure that a medical school graduate won't miss a life-threatening diagnosis.