On May 3, the AAMC endorsed the Expanding Medical Education Act (H.R. 801), which would authorize initiatives to build new regional medical campuses (RMCs) and enhance current ones.
The legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.), would authorize $1 billion in grants to medical schools to construct new branch campuses and assist current RMCs in enhancing their facilities, expanding their enrollment, recruiting new faculty, developing curriculum, and planning for accreditation.
Upon endorsing the legislation, the AAMC noted, “The Expanding Medical Education Act would assist in reducing these shortages by helping expose more future providers to rural and other underserved settings. RMCs are important settings for medical schools to expand their reach and help fulfill their unique missions.”
The grants, which would be administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration, would prioritize RMCs located in Health Professional Shortage Areas or other medically underserved areas. Additionally, priority would be given to institutions that are recruiting students and faculty from underrepresented backgrounds.
“Having a diverse faculty is crucial in mentoring future physicians from underrepresented backgrounds and leads to increased culturally competent care from provides. Studies also show that underrepresented students are more likely to serve patients from those backgrounds,” the AAMC added.