Today's Law As Amended

PDF |Add To My Favorites | print page

AB-207 California State University: doctor of medicine degrees.(2017-2018)

As Amends the Law Today


 Article 4.8 (commencing with Section 66044) is added to Chapter 2 of Part 40 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code, to read:

Article  4.8. Doctor of Medicine Degree
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Since its adoption in 1960, the Master Plan for Higher Education has served to create the largest and most distinguished higher education system in the nation. A key component of the Master Plan for Higher Education is the differentiation of mission and function, whereby doctoral and identified professional degree programs are limited to the University of California, with the California State University only authorized to offer doctoral degrees through joint doctoral programs with the University of California and independent California colleges and universities. The differentiation of function has allowed California to provide universal access to postsecondary education while preserving educational quality.
(2) The Central Valley has a serious shortage of both primary care and specialist physicians–an acute problem in some of its more populated areas like Fresno and worse in outlying areas. According to a 2009 report by the California Health Care Foundation, the greater Fresno area has 45 primary care physicians per 100,000 residents, compared to 59 primary care physicians per 100,000 residents statewide, and 118 physicians overall per 100,000 residents, compared to 174 physicians overall per 100,000 residents statewide.
(3) According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, nearly 30 percent of the state’s doctors are nearing retirement age–the highest percentage in the nation.
(4) Industry research indicates that in California, a popular destination for students and doctors, approximately 75 percent of students stay in the state following their residency. However, only about 30 percent of students stay and work in the Central Valley upon completing their residency program at UCSF Fresno.
(5) Striking geographic disparities in asthma hospitalization rates exist in the San Joaquin Valley. Areas of central Fresno, central and northeastern Kern, and Stanislaus have substantially higher rates of asthma hospitalization than the remainder of the San Joaquin Valley.
(6) The 2010 United States Census reported 50 million Latinos/Hispanics living in the United States. The United States Census Bureau released statistics in June 2013 predicting that Latinos/Hispanics will become the majority ethnic population in the United States by 2043.
(7) More than 40 percent of Californians speak a language other than English at home.
(8) Research finds that language barriers can contribute to inadequate patient evaluation and diagnoses, lack of appropriate and timely treatment, and other medical errors that can jeopardize patient safety and lead to unnecessary procedures and costs.
(9) Diversity in the physician workforce ensures that our health care system represents the state’s population and is responsive to the state’s health care needs.
(b) California State University, Fresno, needs to offer doctor of medicine degrees in order to address the shortage of medical doctors in California, specifically in the Central Valley and the Fresno metropolitan area, to ensure that physicians represent California’s growing diversity, and to meet other specific needs of California.
 Pursuant to Section 66044, and notwithstanding Section 66010.4, California State University, Fresno, may award doctor of medicine degrees in order to increase the number of health care physicians in the region.
 (a) In implementing this article, the California State University shall comply with all of the following requirements:
(1) Doctor of medicine degrees offered pursuant to this article shall not diminish enrollment growth in undergraduate programs offered by the California State University.
(2) Doctor of medicine degrees shall be focused on preparing candidates to close the health care gap by strengthening the collaboration between local and regional physicians and community-based organizations.
(3) The authority to award degrees granted pursuant to this article shall be limited to the discipline of medical physicians. The doctor of medicine degree offered by the California State University, Fresno, shall be distinguished from doctoral degrees offered by the University of California.
(4) Each student enrolled in the degree program authorized by this article shall be charged fees no higher than the rate charged for students in state-supported doctor of medicine programs at the University of California.
(b) Nothing in this article shall be construed to limit or preclude the California Postsecondary Education Commission from exercising its authority under Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 66900) to review, evaluate, and make recommendations relating to the program established under this article.
(c) The California State University shall provide any startup funding needed for the degree program authorized by this article from within existing budgets for academic programs support, without diminishing the quality of program support offered to California State University undergraduate programs. Funding of the program authorized pursuant to this article shall not result in reduced undergraduate enrollments at the California State University.