Gov. Branstad tries to increase doctors in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad's proposal to attract more physicians to Iowa's less populated areas by forgiving medical school debt is welcome news to longtime Keokuk surgeon Dr. Phil Caropreso.

Caropreso says loan forgiveness might help students who want to practice in smaller communities like Keokuk, in southeast Iowa, but graduate with crushing debt.

Branstad's plan, announced in January, would also increase the number of medical residencies in Iowa and try to reduce frivolous medical suits.

A medical association report ranked Iowa 40th in the ratio of physicians to state residents, behind neighboring states Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska.

Lawmakers would need to approve the plan.

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