AMA Builds on Efforts to Expand Funding for Graduate Medical Education

CHICAGO – To ensure patients have access to an adequate physician workforce, the American Medical Association (AMA) today adopted policy at its Annual Meeting aimed at ensuring there is sufficient funding for medical residency positions. The new policy also calls for transparency in the actual costs of residency programs and how Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding is distributed to address physician shortages in undersupplied specialties.

“The AMA is committed to improving GME funding to ensure we train enough physicians to meet our country’s changing healthcare needs,” said AMA President Andrew W. Gurman, M.D. “We believe that financial transparency will be essential to the sustainable future of GME funding, particularly in making sure that we have enough physicians trained in needed specialties and regions to increase patient access to health care. To help accomplish this, we encourage institutions to publically report the aggregate value of GME payments they receive as well as how these payments are used. We will continue to vigorously advocate for the continued and expanded contribution by all health care payers at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as private sources, to adequately fund GME.”

The AMA has been a long-time advocate for modernizing GME. This includes increased funding for medical residency slots, development of innovative practice models as well as residency positions that reflect societal needs. Most recently, the AMA urged support of two federal bills, including the Creating Access to Residency Education (CARE) Act and the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2015. These bills would increase funding for graduate medical education, improve access to health care for patients in underserved areas, and address physician shortages.

The AMA also supports the maintenance and expansion of GME as part of its SaveGME campaign. This initiative urges Congress to protect federal funding for graduate medical education, which supports access to care in undersupplied specialties and underserved areas. The AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative also addresses some of these issues by supporting medical school projects aimed at accelerating student progression through medical school allowing them to enter residency sooner and contribute more rapidly to expanding the physician workforce.