Unprecedented grassroots advocacy by the physician and medical student community, including the AMA Medical Student Section and the California Medical Association, has led the California legislature to approve and the governor to sign a state budget that includes $7 million for new primary care residency slots.
This critical funding will help California meet an increased demand for medical services. An AMA letter to the state legislature strongly encouraged this funding, stressing that support for graduate medical education (GME) is necessary to preserve a health care system that provides high-quality preventive, acute and chronic care that meets the needs of an aging and increasingly diverse population.
Of this new funding, $3 million will be applied to expand a state residency funding program to include family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics-gynecology and pediatric primary care specialties. The additional $4 million will provide one-time funding for residency programs that wish to expand and train more residents.
The budget act requires that priority be given to programs with graduates of California-based medical schools, reflecting the overwhelming data that physicians are very likely to practice in the state in which they obtain their medical degree and complete training.
The AMA will continue to advocate for increased GME funding to enhance the ability of medical schools and teaching hospitals to train physicians, while ensuring access to care for patients.
Check out the AMA’s grassroots campaign SaveGME.org.