Worsening of shortage of residency slots feared

January 3, 2014
Worsening of shortage of residency slots feared
Despite a looming physician shortage, the number of residency positions in the United States has not changed since 1996, creating a bottleneck that will become worse with further budget cuts, according to a blog post published Dec. 7 on KevinMD.com.

(HealthDay)—Despite a looming physician shortage, the number of residency positions in the United States has not changed since 1996, creating a bottleneck that will become worse with further budget cuts, according to a blog post published Dec. 7 on KevinMD.com.

Nathanial Nolan, a second-year medical student at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, and a member of the American Medical Association Medical Student Section Committee on Medical Education, writes that according to the National Resident Matching Program, 34,355 U.S. and international medical students were competing for 26,392 positions. Medical schools are increasing class sizes to address the estimated physician shortage (estimated at 60,000 in the next two years), creating a further bottleneck.

According to Nolan, the problem is that the funding of graduate medical education is directly tied to Medicare and indirectly tied to Medicaid. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 mandated that reimbursements to hospitals for training doctors be frozen at 1996 levels, so hospitals do not receive additional reimbursement for training additional physicians. The 2014 budget proposes $11 billion in Medicare cuts over the next 10 years, which would reduce funding for graduate from Medicare by about 10 percent a year. The American Medical Association has launched the Save GME campaign.

"Residency positions are important to the of our nation and the system," Nolan writes. "As our nation ages and faces a dramatic increase in the insured population, we cannot afford to face a shortage. As a student of public health, I fear the repercussions for the U.S. health care system. As a , I fear the repercussions for myself."

Explore further: Growing mismatch in med school graduates, GME places

More information: Full Blog Post
Save GME Website

Related Stories

Growing mismatch in med school graduates, GME places

June 25, 2013
(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 ...

Transforming the physician workforce through competitive graduate education funding

November 11, 2013
Graduate Medical Education (GME) has fallen short in training physicians to meet changes in the U.S. population and health care delivery systems. But a new proposed funding mechanism coupled to a competitive peer-review process ...

Medicare's graduate medical education spending imbalanced

December 16, 2013
(HealthDay)—There is an "imbalance" in how Medicare distributes its $10 billion a year for graduate medical education (GME), according to a study published in the November issue of Health Affairs.

20 percent of nation's GME funds go to New York while 29 states get less than one percent, study says

November 4, 2013
New York state received 20 percent of all Medicare's graduate medical education (GME) funding while 29 states, including places struggling with a severe shortage of physicians, got less than 1 percent, according to a report ...

Despite rising health costs, few residency programs train doctors to practice cost-conscious care

December 16, 2013
Despite a national consensus among policy makers and educators to train residents to be more conscious of the cost of care, less than 15 percent of internal medicine residency programs have a formal curriculum addressing ...

U.S. efforts to boost number of primary care doctors have failed

January 10, 2013
(HealthDay)—Amid signs of a growing shortage of primary care physicians in the United States, a new study shows that the majority of newly minted doctors continues to gravitate toward training positions in high-income specialties ...

Recommended for you

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.