Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013
This Week's News
This Week's News
AMA initiates grassroots campaign to save medical residency funding
As the federal sequestration budget cuts approach, medical students and physicians across the country are telling Congress that funding for graduate medical education (GME) is an area the nation can't afford to slash.
Unless Congress acts first, GME will undergo untimely cuts in Medicare financing on March 1. The medical profession is letting lawmakers know this shouldn't be an option.
The AMA's new Save GME grassroots campaign, launched Monday, makes it easy for medical students and physicians to urge their members of Congress to preserve GME funding and lift the federal cap on residency slots.
"Residency training gives new physicians hands-on experience and provides high-quality care to patients," AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, said in a news release. "Limiting the slots available to train physicians as they leave medical school creates a bottleneck in the system and prevents the physician workforce from growing to meet the needs of our nation's patients."
Experts say a physician shortage is imminent as the U.S. patient population continues to age and 30 million newly insured Americans gain access to health care. Even without a reduction in funding for residency programs, the United States is expected to experience a shortage of 62,900 physicians within two years. That number is predicted to increase to 130,000 across all specialties by 2025.
Meanwhile, the number of U.S. medical school graduates will exceed the number of available residency slots as soon as 2015 if lawmakers do not lift the cap that has been in place since 1997.
Hundreds of medical students will personally deliver this message to Congress on Monday during the AMA's annual student Advocacy Day.
Medical students and physicians alike can make their voices heard on Capitol Hill on this important issue. Email your members of Congress today to tell them that preserving GME funding is imperative to the health of the nation.