Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012
For Medical Students
Physician shortage might hinge on family medicine
Despite the impending primary care physician shortage, medical students are left with few incentives to become family medicine practitioners, according to a recent story by the New York Times.
The disincentives come from many directions. Many medical schools already disparage family medicine as a poor use of medical school resources, and this is compounded by the fact that primary care physicians make only a half to one third what their specialized counterparts earn, according to the article. Meanwhile, many medical students completing clerkships find that primary care physicians are burdened by administrative tasks instead of engaged fully in patient care.
The physicians interviewed in the article suggest a few remedies to change the tide. Russell Phillips, MD, of Harvard University believes earlier, yearlong clerkships would help students realize the long-term relationships primary care physicians are able to build with their patients. Meanwhile, other clinicians want medical schools to bolster primary care education and encourage students to enter the field.
Hopefully, a workable strategy will be implemented soon to avoid the primary care shortfall predicted by many analysts. An issue brief developed by the AMA Resident and Fellow Section provides more information about the physician shortage.
Interested in health policy? Sign up for email updates
Stay informed about the latest health policy news as it affects medical students by signing up to receive weekly emails from John Corker, the AMA Medical Student Section's (MSS) Government Relations Advocacy fellow.
Corker provides his weekly updates while working his fellowship in the AMA's Washington, D.C., office. In his most recent email, Corker writes about the spending cuts required under the Budget Control Act of 2011.
"If [Congress doesn't] come up with a workable plan to cut the federal budget by the end of the year, then more than $1 trillion worth of automatic spending cuts will go into effect in January 2013," Corker writes. "These cuts would include a 2 percent annual cut to federal Medicare funding, and would cost more than 750,000 health care related jobs, according to a recent AMA joint report."
Book your room for the AMA-MSS meeting
If you're attending this year's AMA Medical Student Section Interim Assembly Meeting, be sure to reserve your hotel room by Oct. 7 to receive a special discount. Visit the Doubletree by Hilton Alana Waikiki website to book your room. If you're looking to share a room, visit the Interim Meeting Housing Forum, hosted by Google, and start a thread.
The AMA-MSS meeting will take place Nov. 8–10 in Honolulu in conjunction with the Interim Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates. Keep the following deadlines in mind:
- Final policy resolutions are due Saturday.
- Meeting registration closes Oct 4.
- Applications for open positions, including AMA-MSS Governing Council chair-elect, regional delegate and the student position on the AMA Board of Trustees, also are due Oct. 4.
Encourage your friends and classmates to join the AMA
AMA membership is important throughout all years of medical school—and it's never too late to join. Here's a snapshot of the benefits available to AMA members throughout medical school.
- Free Netter's Anatomy Flash Cards with four-year membership
- Subscription to the Journal of the American Medical Association
- AMA member-only discounts on the First Aid for the USMLE and First Aid for the COMLEX series and the Rapid Review series
- 30 percent savings on Kaplan Qbank products
- AMA members-only access to FREIDA Online®, your go-to place to research residency programs
- Print and online versions of the AMA's Choosing a Medical Specialty Resource Guide
- Access to "Succeeding from Medical School to Practice" online guide
- Hertz car rental savings for traveling to interviews