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New Research Shows Broad Opposition to Funding Cuts for Medical Research, Teaching Hospitals

Washington, D.C., December 9, 2011 –A majority of Americans oppose reducing the deficit by cutting federal funding for medical research or teaching hospitals that provide training to new doctors, special medical services, and care for sicker patients, according to a new national survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).  

Fielded Nov. 16-20 among 800 registered voters, the telephone survey found that more than six in 10 voters (62 percent) oppose significantly cutting federal funding for medical research, and that nearly eight in 10 voters (77 percent) oppose significantly cutting funding to teaching hospitals that provide training to new doctors, special medical services, and care for sicker patients.  A majority of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents all oppose these cuts.   

“It is important to note that there are no sub-groups across the data where a majority, or even a plurality, support federal funding cuts to teaching hospitals that provide these services,” said POS Partner and Co-founder Bill McInturff.  

In other results, respondents were asked to choose among eight domestic programs to be cut to reduce the deficit.  National defense received the highest percentage at 21 percent.  Only seven percent chose medical research.  

The survey also asked respondents to identify their top concerns if the federal government were to cut funding to teaching hospitals. A shortage of doctors (20 percent), loss of trauma services (19 percent), or overloaded emergency rooms (16 percent) were the three most frequently cited concerns.  Reduced patient access to the latest treatments and technologies also was a concern of 13 percent of respondents.

“At a time when medical research is improving health significantly and when more Americans are seeking medical care, we need to find long-term solutions to address the deficit, rather than short-term fixes that could damage the nation’s health,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D. 

The full report is available at www.aamc.org\publicopinionresearch

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The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association representing all 141 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 nearly 90 academic and scientific societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC represents 128,000 faculty members, 75,000 medical students, and 110,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org/newsroom

Contact

Lesley Ward
Senior Media Relations Specialist
Telephone: 202-828-0655
E-mail: lward@aamc.org