GME-photo-final
Issue Background

Graduate Medical Education

  • AACOM believes that GME funding should be associated directly with health care workforce needs.  With rising projections of physician shortages to meet the health care needs of a growing and aging population, AACOM supports the sustainable expansion of the number of GME positions.
  • AACOM supports GME programs that expand the participation of community-based institutions. This is particularly important at a time when the number of osteopathic medical school graduates is growing and is expected to continue to grow in response to physician workforce shortages that exist and/or are projected to continue over the next five to 15 years.
  • AACOM supports lifting the statutory cap on Medicare-funded GME slots to ensure the stability and continuity of the nation’s medical residency training programs that produce future physicians and the hospitals and health centers that provide care to the nation’s citizens.
  • AACOM supports exploring additional methods of financing GME outside of CMS, such as supporting the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program, which aims to address the nation’s physician workforce shortage, and expand opportunities for future physicians training in primary care.

Graduate medical education (GME) is the formal training that medical school students  complete following graduation. This training includes internship, residency, and fellowship programs. Physicians cannot begin to practice independently until they complete graduate medical education  training, which takes between three and seven years (depending upon the field of specialty) and pass additional national licensure exams.

While the number of osteopathic medical school graduates continues to grow, federal GME funding is critical to ensure the stability and continuity of both the nation’s graduate medical education  training programs that produce future physicians and the hospitals that provide care to the nation’s citizens. Unfortunately, the number of Medicare-supported training positions has been frozen by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.