IHCIA seeks to boost number of Indians in medical field
The Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which was signed into law as part of the national health reform bill, seeks to increase the number of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the medical field.

Last fall, 623 Indian students were enrolled in medical schools nationwide. That's less than 1 percent of the total medical student population, the Associated Press reported.

The IHCIA, which is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, seeks to change that. According to Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, the law will:
o increase the ability of Native American communities to recruit and retain health care professionals by updating the scholarship program.
o make necessary updates to the Indian Health Service scholarship program.
o exempt health care professionals, employed by a tribally operated health program from state licensing requirements within the boundaries
o expand the Indians into Psychology program.

Dorgan provided an overview of the new law in an April 14 letter to tribal leaders.

Get the Story:
Indian MDs, working alongside medicine men, heal and offer role models (AP 4/19)

Indian Health Care Improvement Act:
S.1790 | H.R.2708

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