Reynolds signs Meyer bill to add psychiatrists

New law will create more opportunities to get into the profession

A bill state Rep. Ann Meyer wrote to help address a shortage of psychiatrists in Iowa has been signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

“We are going to graduate more psychiatrists who will be ready to practice in the state,” said Meyer, a Republican from Fort Dodge.

The new law creates nine psychiatric residencies and two psychiatric fellowships to be completed by medical school graduates in conjunction with the state Department of Health and Human Services. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will oversee the program.

A residency is a period in which medical school graduates learn the specialty they will be practicing. A fellowship is similar, but even more focused than a residency.

Participants will work at the state mental health institutes in Cherokee and Independence; the Woodward Resource Center, a facility for people with intellectual and other disabilities in Woodward; the State Training School, a facility for boys adjudicated as delinquent in Eldora; and the Department of Corrections’ Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Oakdale.

Each residency will cost $100,000 annually and each fellowship will cost $150,000 annually. Meyer said that will be the cost of providing the training. She said residents will not be paid $100,000 a year and fellowship participants will not be paid $150,000 a year.

Meyer said the law requires the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to give Iowans priority for the residencies and fellowships.

“Our expectation is that they will stay and practice in Iowa,” she said.


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