Congresswoman Lee Introduces National Medical Corps Act
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) recently introduced the National Medical Corps (NMC) Act to address the physician shortage in the United States and create a structured pathway program that taps into the diversity of America’s community colleges and increases the diversity of physicians.
Specifically, this legislation would establish and fund 20 NMC Consortia and 1,000 scholars annually. At minimum, each consortium will include three community colleges, including one public or nonprofit institution; one four-year undergraduate institution, including one public or nonprofit institution; one medical school; and three community health centers tasked with tailoring the NMC Program to their region, and recruiting and supporting 50 NMC Scholars each year.
“Low-income communities and communities of color have always faced greater barriers to health care, and a lack of diverse physicians is part of the problem. With a projected shortage of 124,000 physicians by 2034, the National Medical Corps Act creates an innovative pipeline for our next generation of physicians,” said Congresswoman Lee. “In engaging with community colleges, traditional four-year institutions, medical schools, and community health centers, this bill will expand and diversify our physical workforce. Especially with primary care physicians and psychiatrists, we know this is a critical element to increasing access to culturally and linguistically competent care for underserved communities and communities of color.
“The pandemic highlighted just how integral our physicians are to our communities. As we continue to recover from the pandemic, now is the time to ensure that we are working to make our communities healthier, more diverse, and more resilient. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this bill to address our physician shortage and diversify the physician workforce.”
For the full bill text, click here.
Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest ranking Black woman in the U.S. Congress.