ATLANTA – The American Medical Association (AMA) today renewed its support for securing alternative funding sources for graduate medical education (GME) to increase the number of medical residency slots needed to care for patients in today's health care system and to help address the national physician shortage. During its Interim meeting, the AMA adopted policy to explore additional funding models for GME beyond those examined in the Institute of Medicine's 2014 report on GME governance and financing.
Under the new policy, the organization will encourage insurance payers and foundations to enter into partnerships with state and local agencies, as well as academic medical centers and community hospitals, to expand GME funding. The policy also calls on organizations with successful GME funding models to share strategies, outcomes and costs for implementation. Additionally, the AMA plans to increase public awareness of the importance of graduate medical education, student debt and the state of the medical profession.
"We are committed to expanding funding for GME to ensure that there are enough residency slots to train physicians in regions where health care services are needed most," said AMA Board Member Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D. "This means urging all health care payers at local, state and federal levels as well as private entities to work together to adequately fund GME programs with the goal of reducing physician shortages and increasing patient access to the care they need."
The AMA has long advocated for the modernization of GME. This includes increased funding for medical residency slots, development of innovative practice models as well as residency positions that reflect societal needs. Most recently, the AMA urged support of two federal bills, including the Creating Access to Residency Education (CARE) Act and the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2015. These bills would increase funding for graduate medical education, improve access to health care for patients in underserved areas, and address physician shortages.
The AMA also supports the maintenance and expansion of GME as part of its SaveGME campaign, which urges Congress to protect federal funding for graduate medical education, access to care in undersupplied specialties and underserved areas. Today's policy builds on this large-scale initiative through exploration of novel funding.
The AMA's Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative also addresses some of these issues by supporting medical school projects aimed at accelerating student progression through medical school allowing them to enter residency sooner and contribute more rapidly to expanding the physician workforce.
Email: [email protected]