Newswise — Dallas -- The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) today strongly endorsed “The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction and Graduate Medical Education Accountability and Transparency Act” (H.R. 6352), proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would create 15,000 new residency training positions in the United States and add much-needed physicians to the nation’s health care workforce.
In announcing its support, FSMB CEO and President Humayun J. Chaudhry, DO, FACP, said the bill is critically needed to help address the looming shortage of physicians, which is expected to worsen rapidly over the next two decades. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicts the physician shortage will reach 130,000 by 2025.
“Unless proactive measures are taken, millions of patients across the nation will have limited availability to high-quality and affordable health care, especially in underserved and rural communities,” Dr. Chaudhry said. “In order to ensure the competency and accessibility of a robust physician workforce, we must demonstrate our commitment to increasing support and funding for expanded medical residency training programs.”
Dr. Chaudhry noted that despite the growing needs of our nation’s aging population, the number of graduate medical education slots has remained stagnant for nearly 15 years.
“H.R. 6352 takes an important step towards addressing the nation’s anticipated physician shortage by creating new residency slots over the next five years and bringing greater equality and accountability to the U.S. graduate medical education system,” he said. The House bill was introduced by Reps. Aaron Schock (R-Il.) and Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.).
“The U.S. is already facing the reality of having a significant shortfall in trained doctors and medical professionals, and this shortage will only continue to grow if we don’t begin to address the problem now,” said Rep. Schock. “The primary way our country can address the physician shortage is by ensuring we increase the number of Graduate Medical Education slots. By doing so, we are increasing the number of medical school graduates who will receive hands on training in a patient setting to gain the experience needed to become a practicing physician.”
“Our nation’s graduate medical education system trains the world’s most prominent physicians who serve patients in practice settings ranging from renowned teaching hospitals, to community hospitals, to small primary care practices across the country,” said Rep. Schwartz. “There is a pressing need to reform our nation’s graduate medical education system to expand training capacity and improve the quality of physician training in this country. The legislation Rep. Schock and I introduced will ensure a robust physician workforce capable of meeting the health needs of our growing and aging population.”
Founded in 1912, the FSMB is the national non-profit organization representing the 70 state medical and osteopathic boards of the United States and its territories. With offices in Texas and Washington, D.C., the FSMB serves as the collective voice for state boards and supports them in protecting the public health and safety. For more information, visit www.fsmb.org.