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AAMC Says House Bill to Increase Residency Slots Is a Good First Step

September 28, 2012—Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) Sept. 25 introduced the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2012, H.R. 6562. This legislation would increase the number of Medicare-supported residency slots by 15,000, or 15 percent, over 5 years. AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., said, “This legislation is an important component of any effort to increase support for physician training and help ensure that all Americans can see a doctor when they need one.  By proposing an expansion of 15,000 residency training positions, the measure is a good first step in addressing the physician workforce shortage facing U.S. patients in the next 10 years.”

H.R. 6562 is nearly identical to its Senate counterpart S. 1627, which was introduced by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) last year [see Washington Highlights, Sept. 30, 2011]. However, Rep. Crowley’s bill incorporates a few slight changes, including language that would set aside one-third of the newly-available slots only for hospitals currently training residents over their cap. A similar provision also was included in the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction and Graduate Medical Education Accountability and Transparency Act (H.R. 6352) introduced in August by Reps. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) and Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) [see Washington Highlights, Aug. 3].

Dr. Kirch said that medical schools are doing their part to address the physician shortage. He added, “These institutions have committed to increasing enrollment by 30 percent by 2016, and, along with teaching hospitals, are implementing new, innovative models to improve the efficiency of care. But the overall supply of U.S.-trained physicians cannot and will not increase without an investment in additional residency training slots.”

In his statement introducing the legislation, Rep. Crowley said, “Raising the resident cap is a critical first step in addressing the doctor shortage; however, we must also ensure our teaching hospitals have all the resources they need to develop a highly trained physician workforce.”  Crowley continued, “Teaching hospitals have taken on a great deal of responsibility, but they need the support of Congress and adequate federal funding to continue. This is a nationwide problem and the path to ensuring all Americans have access to high-quality, well-trained physicians is through the strengthening of GME programs.”


Len Marquez
Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-862-6281


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
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Telephone: 202-903-0806