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Learn about policy issues important to medical schools and teaching hospitals, with Executive Vice President Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D.

Washington Highlights

Congressional Briefing Highlights Unique Role of Academic Medical Centers

October 10, 2014— The AAMC, in partnership with the American Hospital Association (AHA), hosted an Oct. 7 Congressional briefing titled “Academic Medical Centers: Where Quality Patient Care, Physician Training, and Medical Research Come Together.” The briefing was heavily attended by over 100 participants and focused on the critical roles academic medical centers play in providing primary and specialized care for both rural and urban communities across the country and in training the next generation of health care providers.

Each of the speakers focused on their institution’s innovative approaches to quality patient care, workforce education, and research. A key recurring theme throughout the briefing was that Medicare support for graduate medical education (GME) enables each of these missions to thrive at academic medical centers.

The expert panel included: Thomas Burke, M.D., executive vice president, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; James Keeton, M.D., vice chancellor for health affairs and dean, University of Mississippi School of Medicine; James Stoller, M.D., M.S., chair, Education Institute, Cleveland Clinic; and Christopher Swide, M.D., assistant dean for graduate medical education, Oregon Health & Science University.

Addressing the physician shortage, Dr. Stoller described Medicare GME support as the bottleneck exacerbating the problem. He explained the Cleveland Clinic trains over 1,200 residents annually, half of which are over the Medicare GME cap. He also stated that this year, for the first time, the Cleveland Clinic will be curtailing residency positions above the cap, due to costs.

Highlighting the shortage of all types of physicians across Oregon, Dr. Swide commented, “Rural areas need primary care physicians, but also specialists, so that when they need this care they don’t have to travel so far to see them.”

Dr. Burke also echoed the need to address both primary care and specialty shortages saying, “We need people on the front end to provide screening and counseling, making sure you get the care, but we also need people to provide more complicated versions of that care.”

Dr. Keeton further illustrated the disparities in rural areas and cited telehealth as one of the innovative methods academic medical centers are utilizing, calling it the “future of medicine” in places such as Mississippi.


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

Courtney Summers
Senior Legislative Analyst
Telephone: 202-862-6042


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