Legislation would ensure the protection of medical students and the stability of existing clinical training infrastructure

Santa Fe, N.M. – This week, new House legislation seeking to reform New Mexico’s medical school licensure was assigned to the House Health & Human Services Committee for review.

Sponsored by House Democratic Majority Whip, Rep. Doreen Gallegos (D-Las Cruces), House Bill 23 seeks to establish standards for out-of-state medical schools by adding criteria to the Department of Higher Education’s licensure review and approval process. These changes would encourage out-of-state schools to partner with New Mexico schools and hospitals, as well as protect in-state medical schools by ensuring that new out-of-state schools cannot cannibalize residencies meant for New Mexico medical school graduates. 

“New Mexico has invested in the education and training of doctors dedicated to our state healthcare system, and we want to do everything in our power to keep that incredible talent here after their graduation,” said Majority Whip Doreen Gallegos.

Without legislation like House Bill 23, an imbalance in available positions is likely to occur, which could force these candidates to leave the state in search of residencies elsewhere. 

“By creating ample opportunities within our state and setting criteria for out-of-state medical schools, we can build a quality and sustainable residency program within New Mexico, particularly in rural communities where it’s most in need,” she added.  

House Bill 23 is in-line with legislation passed in other states and has been endorsed by a number of government committees and industry organizations, including the Interim Health and Human Services Committee, Interim Indian Affairs Committee, New Mexico Hospital Association, New Mexico Medical Society, and Lovelace Healthcare.

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