A spokesman for the Medical Association of Georgia said other arms of the state could still go after the noncompliant graduates for unpaid debt, including damages.
The provisions were first introduced in the legislative session this spring by state Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, in Senate Bill 92, and then inserted into SB 214. It passed both houses of the Legislature on the chaotic final day of this year's session, with just a handful of "no" votes on each side.
Regarding student loan debt, a recent survey by the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce found that doctors do make a lot of money, but their medical school debt is enormous and sometimes more than the salary can handle. The majority of new doctors had an expected first-year salary of $200,00 or more, but they were graduating with more than $200,000 in student debt. One-third were graduating with more than $300,000 in debt.
The Georgia Composite Medical Board will hold a public hearing on the rule changes at 8 a.m. Nov. 7 at Emory University. The hearing is scheduled for the Emory Conference Center at 1615 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. People who can’t attend can send their comments by email to email@example.com by Oct. 25.
All five proposed rule changes can be reviewed on the board's website at this link.