Graduate Medical Education
IOM to study GME governance, financing
In light of the many challenges the nation faces, including a rapidly aging and increasingly diverse patient population, underserved rural and urban populations, and growing prevalence of disability and chronic disease, the Institute of Medicine is forming a panel to study the "Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education." The study is expected to begin in June and conclude in spring 2014.
The 18-member committee will: "assess current regulation, financing, content, governance, and organization of U.S. graduate medical education (GME) and recommend how to modify GME to produce a physician workforce for a 21st century U.S. health care system that provides high quality preventive, acute and chronic care, and meets the needs of an aging and more diverse population."
Part of the impetus for the IOM study came from an October 2010 meeting of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the Association of Academic Health Centers. The Macy Foundation has awarded the IOM a $750,000 grant to undertake the study.
Reduce training to cut health costs
A recent commentary in JAMA by Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD, and Victor R. Fuchs, PhD, calls for reducing the time physicians spend in training by 30 percent to reduce costs and eliminate waste from the nation's health care system.
A reduction from 14 to 10 years could be accomplished by trimming two years from undergraduate/pre-med work, one year from medical school and one year from residency training. Fiscal advantages, the authors argue, include a lower medical school debt burden and reduced Medicare costs, while medical education could focus on "essential" aspects of care and "eliminate unnecessary and repetitious material."
One physician commentator believes this would only further diminish the status of physicians and serve as a rationale for reduced reimbursements. In addition, she argues that the implementation of resident/fellow duty hours has reduced the number of patients seen by a typical trainee, as reflected by a recent drop in first-time pass rates for board certification.
Another physician writes that the medical education costs (and length of training) should be "on the table" as we debate the growing burden of health care on our nation's economy.
See what others are saying and voice your opinions in our New Horizons in Medical Education online community.
News and notes
- New curriculum to help primary care residents communicate with patients about vaccine safety, counter common myths (American Medical News).
- One commentator believes the National Basketball Association should ditch its annual draft in favor of a process similar to the National Resident Matching Program
- Residents: A "how-to" guide to moonlighting (Medscape).
- Mass. court rules that breast-feeding mothers must be accommodated during lengthy medical licensing examinations (Boston Globe).
- An essay in the April issue of the AMA's Virtual Mentor describes the many barriers to medical practice in the U.S. that international medical graduates (IMGs) must overcome. Meanwhile, new ECFMG data on IMGs in the recent Match indicate that the number of IMGs who matched to first-year positions "increased by 260 compared to 2011."
- AAFP seeking congressional support for GME funding of primary care residents training in nonhospital settings (AAFP News Now).
- Register for the Association for Hospital Medical Education 2012 Educational Institute, May 16-19, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
- The April issue of Academic Medicine features a set of articles about resident duty hours, performance, and evaluation as well as physician supply in rural areas.
- Residents as safe as senior MDs in appendix surgery (Chicago Tribune/Reuters).
AMA resources for you and your trainees
- Get trend data on undergraduate and graduate medical education
- Help your residents master the ACGME general competency requirements
- Learn more about patient safety in medical education
- Get updated information on medical licensure
- Obtain state-by-state GME data
- Get an updated copy of our GME glossary (email email@example.com with "glossary" in subject line)
For more reading