AAMC Statement on Introduction of Senate GME Expansion Legislation

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. Senate and would increase federal support for graduate medical education (GME):

“As the nation faces a predicted shortage of nearly 105,000 primary care and specialty physicians by 2030, the AAMC applauds Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for introducing legislation to expand the number of federally supported residency positions. This bill would aid in combatting the shortfall by adding an additional 3,000 positions each year for five years. Given that it takes up to 10 years to train a doctor, and because of our rapidly growing aging population, it is vital that we address these physician shortages now. 

This targeted bipartisan legislation, along with companion legislation introduced in the House last month, takes much needed steps toward ensuring that all Americans will have access to the health care they need. However, legislation alone will not relieve the doctor shortage. As part of a multi-pronged approach, America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals continue to invest in physician and health care provider training and lead innovations in care delivery to create more efficient patient care.

We look forward to working with Senators Nelson, Heller, and Schumer 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 154 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.