Posted 1/11/12 on Common Sense Family Doctor
Recently, I had a vivid dream in which I and several family physician colleagues had gathered in a lecture hall to watch the results of the National Residency Match on a huge real-time video screen. On the right side of the screen were the names of all the graduating medical students; on the left was a smaller list of those matching to residency programs in Family Medicine. A bar graph positioned in between showed the overall percentage of our graduates matching into Family Medicine programs, which in previous years had been around 5 percent.
Continue reading “Strengthening the Primary Care Pipeline”
Posted 10/16/11 on The Hospitalist Leader
My last post discussed the dollars allocated to GME funding, and the constituents involved in defending it. The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), AHA, and academic medical centers all are proponents of continued support. Members of congress representing districts with training hospitals also endorse sustained flows of tax dollars into to these facilities for obvious reasons.
Below is a frequently distributed graph illustrating the actual and theoretical demands for future physician labor:
Given this shortfall in staff then, why would the government cut funding?
We work in hospitals and it is natural to safeguard services that are essential by our standards. However, front line physicians have not mastered the actuarial sciences, and our assumptions regarding what is “vital” differs. My objective however, is not to promote the projections of others—right or wrong, but alert you to alternate views so you may formulate a reasoned stance.
Continue reading “GME – Part II”
Posted 10/9/11 on The Hospitalist Leader
As many of you are aware, the exodus from primary care, long and painful, persists despite attempts from professional societies and government to attract new graduates. The reasons are well known, and solutions, however well intentioned, are cash poor and lack the reorganizational mass to develop a meritable system that balances all medical specialties.
Many institutions rely on trainees to support clinical services, but more importantly, the dollars that complement their presence are a key revenue stream for facilities.
Now that discussions are proceeding in our nation’s capital to reduce the debt, dollars to subsidize training programs are in play, and cuts to federal graduate medical education (GME) dollars are likely.
This is a good opportunity to review what GME is, and how it affects hospitals.
Continue reading “GME for Me, GME for Thee, But Watch That Cutter Behind the Tree”