Lawmakers want to expand physician scholarships

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Updated: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 06:14:10 EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Osteopathic medical students would get access to a long-standing medical scholarship and loan program under a legislative proposal now headed to Gov. Nathan Deal.

Proponents say it's a way to reduce the shortage of primary medical care in rural Georgia.

The proposal alters the rule of an existing state scholarship and loan program that started in 1952 as a way to expand the number of physicians in Georgia.

The aid was originally intended for students studying to be licensed as traditional physicians recognized by the American Medical Association.

A bill that cleared the Georgia Senate on Thursday would allow eligibility for students of schools accredited by the American Osteopathic Association. Osteopathic physicians, who earn DOs instead of MDs, offer many of the same services and treatment as family practice physicians.

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