Bill to Help Kids' Psychiatric Hospitals Advances

Nov 18, 2013

Legislation to make more funding available to train new doctors in child psychiatry has cleared a hurdle in congress. If it becomes law, it could boost access to treatment at places like Bradley Hospital.

General hospitals and children’s hospitals get help from the federal government to pay for residency programs to train new doctors. Children’s psychiatric hospitals have been excluded from that arrangement on what many call a “technicality.” But legislation Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is sponsoring could change that. And Bradley Hospital child psychiatrist Gregory Fritz says federal funding for graduate medical education could help put more aspiring child psychiatrists in the pipeline.

“We could grow, we could double the number of child psychiatrists in the country and there’d still be a significant shortage," said Fritz.

Fritz says Bradley currently funds 10 residency slots from its own pockets. But he says as health care costs continue to rise, the hospital risks having to reduce that number.