AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement about the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2019 (H.R. 1763), which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and would increase federal support for graduate medical education (GME):
“The nation faces a predicted shortage of up to 121,300 primary care and specialty physicians by 2030, which places patients’ access to care at risk. The AAMC applauds Representatives Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and John Katko (R-N.Y.) for introducing legislation that would responsibly increase federal support for physician training by adding an additional 3,000 Medicare-supported residency positions each year for five years. Physicians are a critical element of our nation’s health care infrastructure, and given that it takes up to 10 years to train a doctor and because of our rapidly growing aging population, it is vital that we address these physician shortages now.
This targeted bipartisan legislation, along with companion legislation introduced in the Senate last month, takes a much needed step towards ensuring that all Americans will have access to the doctors they need. However, this will not relieve the doctor shortage completely. Additional funding is just one piece of a multipronged approach to address the impending shortfall that also includes investment in innovations in care delivery led by the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals.
We look forward to working with Representatives Sewell and Katko and other congressional leaders to help alleviate the doctor shortage to improve the health of all Americans.”
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members are all 154 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 173,000 full-time faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.