Deep cuts, deep concerns

Residency Program Insider, March 6, 2014

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Medical educators are deeply concerned about the nearly $15 billion in cuts to GME funding in President Obama’s FY 2015 budget proposal, the leader of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) said in a statement the association released Tuesday.

“The administration’s proposed cuts would undermine the ability of teaching hospitals to train the next generation of doctors at a time when the AAMC estimates a shortage of 90,000 physicians—split evenly between primary care and specialty doctors—by the end of the decade,” AAMC president and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, said in the statement.
The budget does address physician shortages through residency training grants and the National Health Services Corps. When he releases his budget next week, President Obama will propose boosting the National Health Services Corps from 8,900 a year to 15,000 a year over the next five years, as well as spending $5.23 billion to train 13,000 primary care residents over the next 10 years, administration officials told USA Today. However, funding for those programs shouldn’t come at the expense of existing GME programs, Kirch said. Teaching hospitals are already spending $1 billion to train 10,000 physicians; training which is not supported by Medicare funding because of funding caps, Kirch said.


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