As I wrote about a few days ago, the Graduate Medical Education program is critically important in not only the provision of healthcare services, but also for the training of the future healthcare workforce. These funds are at risk of being cut. Dr. Pat Jonas described the possible cuts as “another primary care crises.”
Dr. Mark Ryan has a strong take on healthcare workforce and GME. He writes:
"Medicare funding pays for majority of physicians’ post-medical school training. In other words, medical school graduates who continue their training to specialize in most fields—primary care or superficiality—will be paid for from Medicare funds. So: any cuts to Medicare will reduce our nation’s ability to train new physicians, at the very time when we desperately need to train new physicians."
Dr. Kevin Bernstein, on his blog, goes into detail on how major medical societies and associations are working together to fend off some of the GME cuts.This is a great start, but is it enough?
What can be done to help? Who can help?
Dr. Mike Sevilla, offers a few suggestions:
"What can be done? Great question. The first step is to educate our Family Physician friends and colleagues of this potential tragic situation. I admit that I didn’t know much about this until some good friends alerted me of the situation. The next step is to contact Congress to let your federal legislator know about our concern and our need to #SaveGME. You may have noticed on twitter the hashtag #SaveGME. This is our way to raise awareness about this legislative issue and the future of Family Medicine. I encourage you not only to spread the word, but also to contact Congress via the AAFP Speak Out website. This is the easiest way to locate and to contact your specific legislator. Another way is to use this link for the House and to use this link for the Senate.”
Have your voice heard. Educate someone today on the importance of funds like GME.
After all, we are only talking about training the next generation of healthcare providers. It just might be these providers who are trained to work in the system that we want, not the system we have. It may be these providers who defragment healthcare and offer new and substantial innovation.