AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement about the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2017, which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and would increase federal support for graduate medical education (GME):
“Given the threat to our nation’s health security posed by a projected shortage of up to nearly 105,000 physicians by 2030, we deeply appreciate the leadership shown by Representatives Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) in supporting Medicare funding for an additional 3,000 residency positions each year for five years. The legislation introduced today will provide critical additional federal support to help address this shortfall.
This bipartisan legislation contains a modest but very necessary increase in federal support for GME that is part of a multi-pronged approach to relieving the shortage. America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals are doing their part to combat the physician shortage by investing in physician and health care provider training and leading innovations in new care delivery models that are more efficient and include better use of technologies—like telehealth—that improve patient access to care.
We need to address these shortages and address them now—especially since it takes up to 10 years to train a doctor. While this is a serious issue for all of us, it is especially problematic because of our aging population. Individual physician demand increases with age, and the U.S. population aged 65 and older is predicted to grow by 55% by 2030.
We look forward to working with Reps. Crowley and Costello and other congressional leaders to increase federal support for residency training and help alleviate the doctor shortage for the benefit of all Americans.”
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members are all 152 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 173,000 full-time faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.