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AAMC Announces Record-Breaking Medical School Enrollment, Need to Expand GME Support

October 25, 2013— AAMC hosted an Oct. 24 congressional briefing highlighting data released earlier that day regarding the record-number of medical school applicants and enrollees in 2013, and urging action on legislation to expand Medicare graduate medical education (GME) support.

AAMC Chief Public Policy Officer Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D., reported that the total number of applicants to medical school grew by 6.1 percent to 48,014, surpassing the previous record set in 1996. The number of medical students enrolled in their first year exceeded 20,000 for the first time (20,055), a 2.8 percent increase over 2012.

The figures reflect the creation of new medical schools and expansion of existing schools’ class sizes, after AAMC called in 2006 for a 30 percent increase in enrollment to avert future doctor shortages.

However, Dr. Grover pointed out that residency training remains the bottleneck in increasing the physician workforce, as a 1997 cap on Medicare GME support has limited a meaningful increase in residency positions. He described three bills the AAMC supports, H.R. 1201, H.R. 1180, and S. 577, that would expand federal support for residency training.

Alicia Billington, an M.D.-Ph.D. candidate at University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine, shared her perspective as a medical student and her concerns that graduating students will not be able to match to residencies, despite the increasing demand for more physicians.

A third speaker, Suanna Bruinooge, director of research policy, American Society of Clinical Oncology, offered a closer look at shortages among oncologists. Describing the prevalence of cancer, particularly among older populations, and the aging of practicing physicians, Ms. Bruinooge projected that increased demand and limited growth in supply would contribute to shortages.

More than 70 congressional staff and other attendees participated in the briefing.

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

Christiane Mitchell
Senior Director Health Care Affairs
Telephone: 202-828-0461


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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
Senior Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806