The Utah Senate Education Committee unanimously endorsed a bill that would allocate $10 million of annual funding to the University of Utah School of Medicine, and make it possible for the school to accept 40 additional medical students every year.
Senate Bill 42, sponsored by Senator John Valentine, includes language restricting additional medical students to those “who demonstrate a strong connection to Utah,” – something Valentine says will benefit the state in the long run.
"I’m looking for a strong Utah tie in the bill, because I want doctors who will stay in Utah," Valentine said. "People who have strong ties to Utah will very likely want to stay and practice in Utah. We need more primary care physicians in Utah; we need more of the various different subspecialties. By having those strong Utah ties, the high likelihood is that most of those doctors will stay and practice in Utah."
Vivien Lee, senior vice president for Health Sciences at the University and dean of the School of Medicine, said Utah is suffering a shortage of physicians – and training a greater number of doctors at the state’s only medical school will help stem that tide.