Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012
For Medical Students
Residency funding targeted for cuts; contact Congress
Tell your members of Congress today that the Jan. 1 cut to graduate medical education (GME) funding must be averted.
Without congressional action, the 2 percent sequester cuts to Medicare will adversely affect GME funding. This funding reduction would compromise access to care for patients and further limit the number of residency positions for an ever-growing number of medical students.
According to estimates, the United States will experience a shortage of more than 90,000 physicians by 2020. That number is expected to surpass 130,000 by 2025.
It only takes a moment to urge your elected officials to preserve current levels of GME funding. Send an email through the AMA Physicians Grassroots Network today.
To learn more about the AMA's work with Congress this legislative session, including efforts to protect GME funding, read a recent blog post by AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD.
Debt doesn't need to drive specialty choice: study
A new study found that despite hefty medical school debt, a career in primary care or other lower-paying specialties is still a viable option for recent medical school graduates.
The study, which will appear in the January issue of Academic Medicine, examined the economics of loan repayment to determine whether education debt level should affect a medical student's choice of specialty. Using a theoretical 2011 medical school graduate as a model, the study concluded that recent graduates with the median amount of education debt can enter primary care, raise a family, live in an expensive urban area and still repay their loans in 10 years without incurring additional debt.
Graduates with higher levels of debt, however, would have to make careful choices about following an extended repayment plan, living in a more moderately priced area or participating in a federal loan forgiveness program.
Meanwhile, recent graduates who choose a higher-paying specialty would be able to live in any city and repay their loans according to any repayment plan, regardless of their level of education debt.
According to the study, the average educational debt for medical students who graduated in 2011 was $161,000. This study provides an analysis of repayment scenarios and household discretionary income for a number of scenarios for recent medical graduates.
The study authors say the findings are important to help medical students and new physicians understand the long-term financial implications of their career choices.
Gain valuable experience in national health policy
Learn more about national health policy and the national legislative activities of organized medicine through a pair of opportunities offered by the AMA.
The Government Relations Advocacy Fellowship (GRAF) is a yearlong, paid fellowship opportunity in the AMA's Washington, D.C., office. The GRAF offers medical students a unique opportunity to experience firsthand the intersection of organized medicine and the federal government as it relates to advocacy and policymaking. Apply by Jan. 31.
The Government Relations Internship Program (GRIP) is a chance for medical student members of the AMA to enhance their medical education through work in health care policy. In addition to receiving a stipend, GRIP participants benefit from weekly seminars at the AMA's Washington, D.C., office. Students must arrange their own six- to eight-week internships between June and August in advance. Apply by Feb. 15.
UF wins latest AMA-MSS Event of the Month award
The University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine is the latest winner of the AMA Medical Student Section's (MSS) new "Event of the Month" award, which showcases recruitment, community service, education and AMA-MSS National Service Project events coordinated by individual AMA medical student sections.
UF won for its Sugar-free Halloween for Diabetic Children event held Oct. 31. Through this project, student volunteers distributed candy-free Halloween packages to children with type 1 diabetes at the diabetes clinic of Shands at UF. The AMA provided funding for the Halloween packages, which were delivered to more than 50 patients and their families. Visit the Event of the Month web page for a detailed description of the event.
Is your AMA medical student section holding similar events? When you request a grant through the AMA Section Involvement Grant (SIG) program, you are automatically eligible for the "Event of the Month" award, which the AMA selects each month. At the end of the school year, all monthly awards will be showcased in June at the AMA-MSS Annual Assembly Meeting and voted on by students for one "Event of the Year" winner.
Through the SIG program, the AMA-MSS provides an opportunity for local AMA medical student sections to:
- Educate students about the AMA and provide an opportunity for students to get more involved.
- Help put AMA policy into action by providing a service to medical school campuses or communities.
- Engage in activities that focus on the AMA's top priorities.