Senator Roth led the fight to establish a Medical School at U.C. Riverside. Roth championed the critical effort to secure the necessary $15 million ongoing, annual support to make the medical school a reality.
The UCR Medical School will have a lasting impact on the health care needs of people living in Inland Southern California for years to come. The school is focused on training primary care physicians, the front-line doctors we rely upon to take care of our everyday medical needs.
Inland Southern California only has half of the primary care physicians that are needed locally than for what is recommended to serve an area of our size. With expected population increases in the next ten years and the effects of the Affordable Care Act, the proportion of primary care doctors could precariously drop down to 25 percent of what is needed locally. California as whole is falling woefully behind in graduating enough doctors, with a little more than half of the number of medical school students per-capita in the state in comparison to the nation average.
UCR medical school became the first new public medical school in California in more than 40 years. This major investment in our community not only creates a new pipeline for needed doctors locally but also will inspire young people in our region to pursue careers in the medical field. With a focus on serving patients locally, graduating doctors will be encouraged to stay and practice medicine in our area and will create the much-needed medical hub that has been lacking in our region. Additionally, medical schools are proven economic engines that encourage further public and private investments in the area they are located.
To build on the success of the UCR Medical School, Senator Roth has authored legislation to fund additional medical residency positions. His measure would establish a public-private partnership for residency positions in underserved areas throughout California, including Inland Southern California. Studies have shown that physicians are more likely to practice in the communities where they complete their residencies. By training tomorrow’s doctors in areas that need them most, Senator Roth is championing efforts to ensure that that many will continue practicing there, alleviating critical physician shortages.
Another priority for Senator Roth has been health care coverage for local residents. Roth’s office organized informational workshops and town hall meetings to help Riverside County citizens qualify and sign up for health care coverage, some for the first time. The Riverside County health care insurance enrollment rate exceeded all goals.