Section 1 of the act makes legislative declarations and findings regarding the shortage of health-care providers in the state, the presence of qualified, internationally trained medical professionals in the state, the ability of those professionals to assist the state in addressing health-care workforce needs, the barriers to entry into the health-care workforce these professionals face, and the need to reduce those barriers to facilitate the integration of these professionals into the state's health-care workforce.
Section 2 establishes the following 2 programs in the department of labor and employment (CDLE) to assist international medical graduates (IMGs) seeking to integrate into the state's health-care workforce:
- The IMG assistance program, the purpose of which is to provide direct services to IMGs, including a review of an IMG's education, training, and experience to recommend appropriate next steps for integrating the IMG into the state's health-care workforce; technical support and guidance through the credential evaluation process; and scholarships to assist in defraying the costs of the medical licensure process; and
- The clinical readiness program, the purpose of which is to provide a curriculum for and assessments of IMGs to help them build the skills necessary to enter a medical residency program.
Section 2 also directs the executive director of CDLE to include in CDLE's annual report to the general assembly pursuant to the "State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act" information about the IMG assistance program, the clinical readiness program, and any progress made in addressing barriers IMGs face in securing positions in medical residency programs. To fund the programs, the act also authorizes the general assembly to appropriate money from the general fund or other sources and authorizes the CDLE to seek, accept, and expend gifts, grants, and donations from private and public sources. The act precludes the CDLE from implementing the programs unless sufficient amounts are received to fund the costs of the programs.
With regard to requirements for licensure under the "Colorado Medical Practice Act" (medical practice act):
- Section 3 defines "IMG" for purposes of the medical practice act;
- Section 4 reduces the length of postgraduate clinical training that an IMG must complete to qualify for a medical license from up to 3 years to one year; and
- Section 5 allows an IMG to obtain a reentry license if the IMG has a current or expired international medical license and meets Colorado medical board-specified qualifications and requirements, including an assessment of the IMG's competency to practice.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)