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Advocacy and Policy

With over 49,000 members, the AMA-MSS provides student members with a powerful, unified voice on issues of importance to medical students. With a focus on student-issues and the U.S. medical education system, the MSS provides students an avenue to voice concerns, analyze issues, and advocate for change.

Graduate Medical Education Advocacy

The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 capped the number of resident physicians each teaching hospital could claim for reimbursement under Medicare. Since Medicare does not reimburse teaching hospitals for training residents beyond the capped number of GME slots, core GME training programs have experienced minimum growth.

Currently Workforce experts predict that the U.S. will face a shortage of 62,900 physicians in 2015 that will increase to 130,000 across all specialties by 2025. In order to ensure an adequate number of physicians are available to meet the future needs of the U.S. population, the cap on GME slots must be lifted and adequate GME funding is necessary.

  • Save GME - Visit the AMA's Save GME campaign website to let your Congressional leaders know the importance of GME to the future of US healthcare. Visitors can contact their leaders, access resources, check out the AMA's ongoing efforts in Congress, and much more!
  • MSS GME Congressional Issue Brief- This handout details the reasons that adequate GME funding must be protected and the cap on residency positions must be lifted. It was created for and circulated to Congressional leaders during the MSS Advocacy Day.
  • Top Ten Reasons to Protect GME - This document details the essential role that residents play in providing healthcare in the U.S.
  • GME: A Healthy America Needs Resident Physicians - The MSS Committee on Legislation and Advocacy presented on the importance of resident physicians and the need for adequate funding for GME training.

Medical Student Debt Advocacy

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Center for Workforce Studies estimates that in 2015, the United States will face a physician shortage of 62,900 that will increase to 130,000 across all specialties by 2025. An acute physician shortage will have a profound impact on health care access, quality and costs, especially for Americans who are already underserved. With an average medical student debt for indebted 2013 graduates of $169,901, debt impacts the supply of our nation's physicians and plays a role in career decisions.

Tools for Any Issue: Informational Resources

  • How to Make your Voice Heard in Congress - This brief video presentation discusses the do's and don'ts of interacting with your elected officials. Check out the webinar and handout.
  • Petitions - Starting a petition on an issue is a great way of getting large numbers of people to sign onto a cause. When trying to enact change, strength is often in numbers, so circulating a petition is a great way to get started. Check out the free website iPetitions for an easy way to start a petition on any issue.
  • Tips for Communicating with Capitol Hill : The AMA legislative Action center provides some useful tips and templates for communicating with Congressional leaders via phone, letter, or email.
  • Find your elected officials - The AMA Legislative Action Center elected officials directory tool allows AMA members to locate and contact their elected federal officials.

Other AMA Advocacy

The following resources detail some of the ways in which the AMA is engaged in advocacy on behalf of its student and physician members. For a more extensive list, please visit the AMA Advocacy Page.