Sunday, July 20, 2014

GME Funding

A recent post from the NY Times discusses the issue of the physician workforce of the future.  I believe it accurately describes some of the concerns about GME training.  Yes, GME training is indeed the bottleneck by which new physicians come into the workforce.  Yes, we need new physicians (and other health care professionals) to care for an aging population.  We especially need primary care physicians for this, but we also need general surgeons, many types of subspecialists, and we need physicians to go into underserved areas, particularly rural areas.

There are bills that, if passed, could help fund more GME slots.  Dr. Atul Grover from the AAMCdescribes them well here in this post.  Residency programs accredited by the ACGME take new graduates from medical school, and appropriately train them to go out and practice medicine independently.  I also personally disagree with a proposal from Missouri that advocates for "assistantphysicians".  Simply put, these graduates need adequate training (a minimum of 3-4 years for most residency programs, with some like neurosurgery taking as long as 7-8 years), and that is what GME provides.

Please advocate for future GME funding: it is the best way to begin to create a physician workforce that will help care for our society.

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