SALT LAKE CITY -- The Senate Education Committee on Monday unanimously approved a proposal to increase the number of medical students who can be accepted at the University of Utah Medical School by 40 students over a three-year period.
SB 42, sponsored by Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, would cost the state an additional $10 million and would bump up the number of students who enter the state medical school from 82 to 122. The bill also calls for the emphasis on those slots to be filled by students who graduated from Utah high schools and universities.
The bill now advances to the Senate for review.
Dr. Vivian Lee, dean of the U of U School of Medicine, said there are approximately 1,600 applicants for the local school slots every year. Gov. Gary Herbert has proposed $6.5 million for the medical school as part of his budget outline.
Michelle McOmber, CEO of the Utah Medical Association, said Utah ranks 47th in the U.S. for the number of physicians per capita and that UMA has made increasing the medical class size a priority.