Med School Deans Attack Bill on Place of Practice
Medical School officials yesterday criticized national medical manpower legislation now before Congress, saying it would not cure the unequal distribution of doctors in the U.S.
The bill, which the Senate passed on September 24, requires that a medical school receiving federal funding obtain a pledge from 25 per cent of its entering class to serve in medically understaffed areas.
The bill provides for a one-year medical school scholarship, regardless of need, for each year a student agrees to work in an understaffed area.
Dr. Leon Eisenberg, Chairman of the Medical School admissions committee, said yesterday that "only a national health service producing physicians for specific, areas" would solve the problem.
Eisenberg said that the bill's offer of a free medical education for those who promise to practice in a needy area "creates a two-class system of entry--one for people who can pay the tuition, and one for people who need a scholarship."
Dr. Jack R. Ewalt, senior associate dean for clinical affairs at the Med School, yesterday called certain provisions of the bill "a financial disaster."
Ewalt said he advocates an "across-the-board draft" of doctors to practice in understaffed areas.
Dr. Paul Goldhaber, dean of the School of Dental Medicine, said the bill was "merely throwing the difficult problem of getting volunteers [for the understaffed areas] back at the schools."
"The problem should be handled by government fiat," he said.
Goldhaber said that all medical education should be government-financed, and that "all doctors should serve two years in understaffed areas."
Daniel Steiner '54, general counsel to the University, declined comment yesterday.
Sen. J. Glenn Beall (R-Md.) sponsored the Senate bill. A parallel version of the bill has been introduced in the House by Rep. Paul Rogers (D-Fla.).
Robert Maher, an aide to Rogers, said yesterday that differences between the House and Senate versions were "minor."