Program Aims to Redress Physician Shortage

HealthDay News — An online educational program aims to help physicians get back to work and reduce the nation’s physician shortage, according to an article published by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

The program is open to licensed physicians of any specialty who successfully complete an intensive online curriculum of 15 modules that covers topics ranging from cardiology to dermatology and electronic health records. The program does not teach pediatrics, surgery, anesthesia, or hospitalist work. 

On average, the time to complete the course is six months, and participants must travel to California to take a final exam.

Between 125 and 130 physicians have enrolled in the course, and about 20% have completed the program. The program works collaboratively with the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. Family physicians are integral to the program, and at least eight of the 12 physicians writing the curriculum are UCSD family physicians.

“Physicians not already trained in family medicine who choose to enter the program certainly can’t learn the full spectrum of prenatal to geriatric medicine in which family physicians are trained during their intensive three-year residency programs — but they do come away able to deliver an abbreviated version of primary care to ambulatory adults,” according to the report.

Learn more about the course.