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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A federal proposal would help stem a brewing crisis of a physician shortage in upstate New York.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says more than 40 percent of upstate doctors are over 55 years old and the number of physicians retiring each year is rising.
He said 2,300 physicians retired or left New York hospitals in 2010 alone.
Schumer is introducing legislation that will help fund more slots for residents in teaching hospitals as well as help physicians pay off medical school bills by working in hard-to-serve areas upstate.
Schumer says the program that helps physicians pay huge medical school bills works because many doctors stay in their upstate assignments even after their five-year commitment is completed.
The doctor shortage bill would increase the number of residency positions by 15 percent.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.