Growing mismatch in med school graduates, GME places

Growing mismatch in med school graduates, GME places
Although the number of medical school enrollees and graduates is increasing, the number of U.S. graduate medical education programs has not increased at the same rate, and consequently physician shortages are likely to become more apparent, according to a perspective piece published online June 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

(HealthDay)—Although the number of medical school enrollees and graduates is increasing, the number of U.S. graduate medical education (GME) programs has not increased at the same rate, and consequently physician shortages are likely to become more apparent, according to a perspective piece published online June 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

John K. Iglehart, a national correspondent for the New England Journal of Medicine, discusses the mismatch between the increasing number of medical school graduates and the limited number of U.S. GME programs and residency posts.

The author notes that in contrast to increased funding for seats, there has been slow growth in the number of GME positions, with the major obstacle being a payment cap on Medicare funding of advanced training, imposed by Congress in the of 1997. Efforts to increase funding were frustrated during debate over the Act (ACA). In the 2009 to 2010 academic year, 27 states still had more residency spaces than medical students to fill them, but other states, including Florida and Texas, had too few GME training positions. Cuts to Medicare GME could also hamper family-medicine residency programs on a national level.

"Given enrollment growth, it may soon be impossible for all graduates of U.S. medical and osteopathic colleges to secure GME slots unless there is a sizable increase in the number of training positions," Iglehart writes. "The absence of health-workforce planning, a hallmark of the free-wheeling U.S. market economy, may come back to haunt policymakers, particularly when physician shortages become more apparent as the ACA's coverage expansion takes hold."

More information: Full Text

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Academic urology training program in crisis

Mar 28, 2013

(HealthDay)—The current system of Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding is not adequate in funding urology residency programs and may lead to a significant shortage of urologists in the United States, ...

Enrollment in US medical colleges is increasing

May 29, 2013

(HealthDay)—Enrollment in U.S. medical colleges is increasing, but there is concern about the adequacy of training opportunities, according to a report published by the Association of American Medical Colleges ...

Recommended for you

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

Aug 31, 2014

It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it—getting his dousing in the center ...

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

Medtronic spends $350M on another European deal

Aug 27, 2014

U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a ...

User comments