AAMC Concerned About Government Shutdown’s Impact on the Health of the Nation
Washington, D.C., October 1, 2013—AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., issued the following statement today on the federal government shutdown:
“The AAMC is profoundly disappointed that Congress was unable to come to an agreement to avert a government shutdown.
While the nation’s teaching hospitals and their medical school physicians will continue care for all patients who need their services, physicians conducting medical research and training the next generation of doctors will begin to feel the impact of a shutdown almost immediately.
As the primary federal agency responsible for supporting medical research, the ability of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide funding will be disrupted, slowing progress and in some instances stopping active research that improves health and the quality of life through new treatments and cures. Payments for physician training at children’s hospitals also will stop, placing further strain on the nation’s capacity to train the workforce needed as the nation heads toward a critical shortage of more than 90,000 doctors by 2020.
We urge Congress and the administration to work together to develop a plan to keep the federal government running. At the same time, we encourage policymakers to consider the dramatic impact that funding cuts to medical research and doctor training will have on the health of the country and the millions of patients who depend on the lifesaving research conducted at, and critical health care services provided by, the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals.”
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association representing all 144 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 148,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org/newsroom.